Resources for Landowners
You can do a lot to conserve natural resources on your property while benefiting yourself and your land at the same time. Numerous technical and financial assistance programs can help. Below are some resources to get you started.
What You Should Know
Conservation projects are voluntary. The programs below can help you manage and protect your land, but whether and how to pursue them is up to you.
Your land remains private. Unless you choose to sell or donate your land, you retain full ownership of your property when you pursue conservation projects.
There may be a cost. Like any sound investment, conserving or enhancing your land can incur costs, but these programs can reduce or share those costs. Many also provide tax benefits. (ALC does not provide tax advice. Please consult with a tax or financial advisor to fully understand how your taxes will be affected.)
Land Managment Assitance Programs
Managing land to support plants and wildlife can also address issues such as erosion, poor water quality, flooding, and fire.
- Permanently Protecting Your Land
You've worked hard to care for your property, but what happens when you sell or bequeath it? Learn how to permanently protect your land.
- Articles of Interest
â– Managing Weeds
- American Land Conservancy
â– Contact our Conservation Staff. You can also call us at 415-912-3660 or send a general inquiry to email@example.com.
Managing Weeds on your Land
What Landowners Need to Know
ALC works with many private landowners to protect important natural resources for people and wildlife. But to achieve the full benefit of land protection, the places we protect must also be ecologically healthy. One challenge many landowners face in ensuring the health of their land is noxious weeds.
The Federal Noxious Weed Act defines noxious weeds as plants of a parasitic nature or of foreign origin that pose a direct or indirect threat to agriculture, wildlife resources, livestock, or public health. Approximately 100 million acres of habitat in North America are covered by noxious weeds, with nearly 3 million additional acres infested annually. Noxious weeds can spread at rates of up to 16 percent per year.
Despite the menacing name, some noxious weeds can be quite beautiful, with many species introduced intentionally for domestic gardens. But the majority of noxious weeds are generally unpalatable to wildlife and livestock. Many species are poisonous and cause skin irritation. Wildlife may entirely avoid areas where the density of noxious weeds is high.
Once noxious weeds take hold, plant diversity decreases, lowering native grass production and negatively impacting habitat and biodiversity. In severe infestations, nesting and forage resources are lost, erosion and soil compaction increase, and water quality and aquatic resources can be imperiled, with economic impacts running into the tens or hundreds of millions. Noxious weeds can spread quickly and aggressively, and can infest new areas via avian and terrestrial wildlife, livestock, vehicles (motorized and non-motorized), humans, wind, and water.
While noxious weeds cannot be entirely eradicated, they can be controlled. Landowners have three basic treatment options: mechanical (pulling prior to the flowering stage), chemical (applying herbicides), and biological (introducing insects). Controlling noxious weeds not only helps to restore the landscape, it can drastically increase grass production. In one documented case, noxious weeds had accounted for 56% of the plant biomass before treatment, but only 2% after two years of treatment. At the same time, grass production increased from 350 pounds per acre to nearly 3,000 pounds per acre.
A variety of resources are available to landowners who want to know more about controlling noxious weeds. Your local extension agency, state wildlife agency, county government offices and numerous state and local websites can help. For suggested links and more information for landowners see below.
More Resources and Information Links on Managing Weeds:
- Cooperative Extension Offices
- Excellent local resource for agricultural producers and others. See www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension and click on the map to find the office nearest you.
- Natural Resource Conservation Service
- A resource for private land owners and managers who want to conserve their soil, water, and other natural resources. To find the Conservation Service Office nearest to you, go to www.nrcs.usda.gov and click on the â€œContact Usâ€ tab. Select â€œLocal NRCS Service Centers,â€ then click on your state and then your county on the map.
- US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
- Information on noxious weeds that threaten agricultural and natural resources.
See the Noxious Weed Program home page: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/weeds/index.shtml
Also check out the on-line resources link: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/weeds/resources.shtml
- Western Society of Weed Science
- Online courses, weed factsheets, publications, newsletters, online links, and more. www.wsweedscience.org