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Harney County Cooperative Weed Management Area
Affiliated Counties or Partnership
Harney
 
Harney County CWMA
 
Contact
Jim Campbell, Coordinator
450 Buena Vista Ave, Burns, OR 97220
Phone:  541-573-8385
Email:  jim.campbell@co.harney.or.us
 
 
The following questions were answered by cooperators as part of an Oregon CWMA survey project in 2009.
 

CWMA Mission
The specific purpose for which this cooperative organization is: to establish a cooperative weed management area in Harney County for the purpose of controlling invasive plant species.  This is to facilitate a better coordinated, comprehensive approach by combining the resources of existing and new groups in a concerted effort to the enhancement of integrated invasive weed management across cooperative jurisdictional boundaries.  This goal shall be achieved through the cooperative efforts of Education/Awareness, Prevention/Early Detection, Research, Weed Inventories, Integrated Treatment, and Weed Monitoring.
 
List the Cooperators involved in your CWMA.
Harney County, Harney County Watershed Council, Oregon State University Extension, Burns Paiute Tribe, Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Station, Harney Soil & Water Conservation District, Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Malheur National Forest Emigrant Creek Ranger District, Harney County Weed Board, Burns Butte Sportsman, Oregon Hunters Association, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Burns District BLM,  Oregon Department of State Lands, City of Burns, City of Hines, Oregon Department of Transportation, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, and Farm Service Agency.
 
What makes the structure of your CWMA successful?
The Harney County CWMA is in its fourth year of establishment known as a CWMA but was one of the very first Partnerships in the State of Oregon.  With an existence of more than 10 years there has been an extensive amount of successful landowner projects over the years. The success of the CWMA program is attributed to the hard work and dedication of the agencies that have established weed management programs and are interested in the establishment of weed programs in other agencies.  Members of the Harney County CWMA also have the ability to bolster each others programs by being able to share resources in areas of common concern.  Another key component to the success of the Harney County CWMA program is the interest and active participation of the public in all projects.
 
What is the highest priority species in your area?
The highest priority species in our area are the new invaders that are on our borders slowly but slyly creeping in. Most projects are for the treatment of perennial pepperweed, scotch thistle and medusahead rye.
 
Describe your most valuable outreach/education tool.
The best education and outreach tool that the CWMA has come to rely on is word to mouth and the Harney County Weed Tour.  Each successful landowner driven project has proved the reputation and commitment of the CWMA.  The Harney County Weed Tour is an annual event that is held each year and highlights a different weed and aspect of control.  This tour is open to the public and is conducted out in the field with real life examples and issues that we all face. 
 
What are some of your most successful on the ground accomplishments?
A few of the most successful projects for the Harney County CWMA are the Rattlesnake-Buchanan Perennial pepperweed, the South Fork Malheur Pepperweed Project, and the Burns-Hines Weedy Project.  The Rattlesnake-Buchanan Perennial pepperweed project was a project brought to the CWMA by landowners.  The participants in this project are active in their weed control and it required little coordination from the CWMA other than obtaining funds for treatment.  As a result approximately 500 acres of perennial pepperweed was treated and landowners are continuing with follow up treatments.  The second most successful project is the South Fork Malheur Pepperweed Project.  This project is in the second year and has the participation of all by 2 landowners in the watershed.  Harney County is the beginning of the headwaters for the South Fork Malheur River which has an infestation of perennial pepperweed.  This project is driven by participating landowners and is done in cooperation with Malheur County (Juntura CWMA).  The Burns-Hines Weedy Project is an annual project where the CWMA offers residents of the Cities of Burns and Hines the opportunity to have their noxious weeds, mainly white top and Dalmatian toadflax, treated for a low application cost only as the CWMA provides the herbicide.  The past two years have had the participation of about 40 residents and has brought about more awareness to the community.  All of these projects were funded by in-kind contributions from the landowners, Oregon State Weed Board, and Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board.
 
List your highest priority on the ground projects and why they are high priority.
The highest priority on the ground project is the South Fork Malheur Pepperweed Project and the up and coming HC Medusahead Project.  South Fork Malheur Pepperweed Project is a high priority as it is landowner driven and it is critical that the entire upper watershed of the South Fork Malheur River receive treatment in its entirety.  Failing in this is critical as if each landowner does not take an active stance each infestation will only provide a continued seed source for areas down river.  This project is also closely watched as there are 2 organic operations in the middle of the project area that have declined to treat perennial pepperweed with herbicides and developing an effective weed management plan has proven challenging.  The up and coming HC Medusahead Project is another project of high priority as medusahead has negative affects on over 50 landowners in Harney County.  Medusahead has taken over critical rangelands that are the staple and backbone for the cattle industry in Harney County and with out effective treatment there will be no improvements to our rangelands. 
 
What would you say is your CWMA's largest obstacle in the way of achieving your mission?
The largest obstacle that the CWMA faces is the lack of interest and commitment from the various partners.  Of the 18 members of the CWMA only 6 take an active stance in weed control; however there is cooperation between all members.  Another obstacle that the CWMA faces is the continued difficulty in presenting education and awareness to residents in Harney County in new and inventive ways.  Despite the efforts made at thinking outside the box and presenting the information in avenues tailored for specific groups the message reaches very few.  Solid and adequate funding is needed.
 
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