Boise District Weed Specialist Lonnie Huter honored by Washington County as a Weed Warrior
Story by Sara Morelli, Public Affairs Specialist (Detail). Photos by Hannah Cain, Public Affairs Specialist.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) congratulates Idaho Boise District Weeds Specialist Lonnie Huter for being honored by the Washington County Weed Advisory Board during their recent yearly meeting. The Board’s annual Weed Warrior award was presented to Lonnie for his outstanding work combating invasive weeds in Washington County and his ability to go above and beyond to form strong partnerships with other agencies and private landowners.
Lonnie has worked for the Boise District for twenty years, including twelve in his current position. During that time, he has built strong partnerships with Idaho Power, the Air Force, private landowners and counties throughout the Boise District.
“Lonnie is one of us for the good of the cause; he’s been part of our weed family,” says Bonnie Davis, Washington County Weed Superintendent. Since starting his position, “he hit the ground running and discovered new invaders that have saved millions of dollars down the road.”
In 2008, thanks to Lonnie’s vigilance while spraying other weeds, he discovered a common crupina infestation, a noxious weed new to the area, and he worked to secure different ways to treat the infestation. In 2017, the Boise District was able to add aerial application as a treatment method and has since been successful in reducing the common crupina infestation by 95%. The capacity to use aerial treatments has also allowed the Boise District to treat yellow star thistle and other noxious weeds in remote areas more effectively. This culminated in 5,000 acres of common crupina and yellow starthistle treatment over a four-year period.
“Aerial application had never been done; Lonnie made that happen,” says Davis.
Lonnie’s commitment to working with Washington County and their commitment to working with the BLM is a win-win.
“There’s a long reliable relationship and a lot of trust has been built up over the years,” explains Rob Bennett, Supervisory Natural Resource Specialist for the Boise District.
Noxious weeds don’t have jurisdictional boundaries. To fight weeds—a common thread between different land management agencies and private landowners—working together is critical.
Lonnie says, “I really value the relationships, not only in Washington County, but throughout the Boise District that have been built while working to control invasive species. I've been very fortunate to work with a lot of likeminded people, which makes the work easier.”
These partnerships have allowed the Boise District to be more effective and productive in treating noxious weeds, and more importantly, helped bring people and resources together to conserve and protect the landscape.