JEFFERSON CITY— The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF) have joined forces to control invasive, exotic and noxious weeds along the state’s roadways.
“This partnership is important as some of the treated acres on MoDOT right of way are located adjacent to land managed by MDC, MPF, and many citizens, businesses, and communities across Missouri,” said Natalie Roark, state maintenance director. “Gaining control of invasive species benefits both departments, MPF, and the entire state.”
Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) spraying units have been a part of MoDOT’s herbicide application operations in some test regions in recent years. This spring, MoDOT is taking the new UTV spraying operation statewide to strategically target specific harmful vegetation while limiting collateral impact to desirable roadside vegetation. The new partnership includes funding, training and shared resources between the three organizations to support MoDOT’s crews applying the treatments.
“These operations are positive in that they not only remove vegetation that could continue to spread and replace beneficial plants, but they also encourage and bolster the vegetation that promotes a healthy environment for native insects and other forms of Missouri wildlife, as well as people,” said Angela Sokolowski, MDC invasive species ecologist.
Support vehicles will be working behind the UTVs to provide materials and a water source as well as back-up safety to the spraying crews. Typically, spraying operations should have little impact on traffic flow on state roadways as the work is done from the shoulder and side slopes of the roadside. Motorists are urged to use caution and slow down if they see an invasive species spraying operation at work.
For more information on the plants categorized as invasive for Missouri by the MDC, please visit https://mdc.mo.gov/trees-plants/invasive-plants.
Source: Missouri Department of Transportation