Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

Applications Sought For Grants To Fight Invasive Weeds

UDAF is now accepting applications for the Invasive Species Mitigation Weed Control Grant for the 2013-2014 season.

The program is making $1 million in grants available to support projects designed to control or eliminate the growth of noxious weeds in Utah. The grants are intended to fund rehabilitation projects in areas affected by invasive species.

"Invasive, non-native weeds are similar to a slow-burning biological wildfire that is spreading out of control through areas of Utah," said Plant Industry Director, Robert Hougaard. "This grant program is intended to focus our resources and efforts in some of the more seriously threatened areas of the State," Hougaard added.

Organizations that are encouraged to apply include: Cooperative Weed Management Areas (CWMA's), county weed boards, federal, state, tribal, private landowner, conservation districts, and/or other political subdivisions. The grant application deadline is March 1, 2013. Funding for projects will begin July 1, 2013 and terminate June 30, 2014.

Invasive weeds were partially responsible for fueling wildfires in Utah last year that destroyed several homes, consumed more than 400,000 acres of timber and rangeland, claimed the lives of three people, and incurred a cost of $50 million to fight.

This is the second year that the UDAF has awarded grants for its War on Weeds and is a part of a statewide effort to reduce catastrophic fires.

Weeds compete with crops and residential landscaping, and as a result reduce the quality of food, feed, and fiber throughout Utah and the United States. In the agricultural sector, crop losses and control costs are estimated at more than $15 billion per year. Financial losses in non-crop sectors including golf courses, residential lawns and ornamentals, forestry, highway rights-of-way, and other sites is estimated at about $5 billion per year.

A short video highlighting last year's weed control projects is located at: http://bit.ly/WIgmYX .