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Regional Weed Awareness Workshops Set for March

LAS CRUCES - New Mexico land managers can improve their weed identification and control skills, and learn more about a new regional weed management plans at March seminars in Gallup, Deming, Roy, Roswell and the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge.


"These meetings are to coordinate noxious weed management," said Mark Renz, a weed specialist with New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service. "Weeds can be a problem in one area and not in others. We want to make sure people understand why they should control these weeds."

NMSU Extension and New Mexico Department of Agriculture are co-sponsoring the workshops, which will lay the foundation for a new regional weed management plan. "We need to manage these weeds now, so they won't be a problem in the future," Renz said. Weeds are normally defined as plants that go against the intended purpose for the land, he said.

The free seminars, which run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., will focus on weeds in a specific region of the state.

* March 15; University of New Mexico-Gallup, Building B; Russian knapweed

* March 17; Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, headquarters building; perennial pepperweed

* March 22; Mimbres Valley Learning Center, Deming; malta and yellow starthistle

* March 24; Community Center, Roy; perennial pepperweed and hoary cress

* March 29; Campus Union Building, Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell; Russian knapweed and African rue.

Each session will address weed species biology, management and restoration, Renz said. Today, there are 23 species listed on the New Mexico noxious weed list.

"Weeds know no boundaries," Renz said. "They'll grow and invade almost any area. Our goal is to increase the public's understanding and awareness of the negative impacts caused by many of these nonnative, invasive plants."

Noxious weeds reduce plant diversity, increase soil erosion, degrade wildlife habitat and significantly raise costs for the agricultural industry. Today, these weeds infest an estimated 100 million acres across the nation. An additional 3 million acres are infested each year.

For more information or if you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the meeting, please contact Renz at (505) 646-2888 or markrenz@nmsu.edu before the event.