North American Weed Management Association Conference Sept. 21 to 24
A national weed management trade show in Kearney will highlight Nebraska's response to weeds along streams and rivers. The 17th annual North American Weed Management Association Conference and Trade Show at the Holiday Inn, Sept. 21 to 24, will be hosted by the Nebraska Weed Control Association.
"NAWMA was created to allow weed professionals to learn from each other. This conference offers a unique opportunity to learn about weed control in riparian areas and build support for your program," said NAWMA president Riley Walters. NAWMA was created to promote professional improvement, foster cooperation and encourage uniform programs for any phase of county, state, municipal, provincial or national noxious weed control or management.
"Invasive weeds spread rapidly," said Annabel Major, who was until recently the coordinator of the Nebraska Invasive Species Project. "They can consume the narrow and extremely important riparian areas along waterways, diverting water from other purposes and affecting wildlife habitat."
"This conference will show what can be accomplished by working together and even more important, will provide some insight into how future riparian invasions can be prevented," said Russ Shultz, Lancaster County Weed Control Authority.
The urgency of the noxious weed problem led the Nebraska Legislature to establish the Riparian Vegetation Management Task Force in 2007. The legislature provided $4 million in grants for use in 2007 and 2008, which supported nearly $7 million in control efforts by weed management areas. Conference attendees will learn more about these projects, see the on-the-ground-results, and learn about plans to counter the next wave of riparian plant invaders.
State Sen. Tom Carlson, the keynote speaker, will discuss Nebraska's Riparian Vegetation Management Plan. Other speakers will address Nebraska's response, along with a multi-state response and the situation throughout North America. "There will be plenty of lessons that can be applied to a broad range of weed problems," said Walters.
A tour will highlight problems and responses on the Platte River. Attendees will see the invasion of non-native plants in the streambed and adjacent riparian areas, as well as the results of the weed management area's projects, Rowe Sanctuary efforts, and several herbicide, grazing and burning trials.