Volunteers Needed
for Fall Weed Control
By Bill Wenstrom

Among other tasks, the SFTR POA, like all Colorado property owners, is required by law to control noxious weeds. The POA's responsibility includes our common area, primarily the road and utility rights-of-way and the Gallinas Conservancy. In the past, the POA spent dues money to hire a commercial pest controller. This year, we saved money that might be better spent elsewhere by organizing a DIY effort.

More than 30 resident and non-resident property owners participated in spring weed control, beginning on May 14. In addition to patrolling roadsides and going off-road in the Gallinas Conservancy, we applied herbicide off-road on Charles Baldwin's "J" lots along the frontage road and on the Morley Town Site. Total acres treated were approximately 490, and included areas never sprayed in the past. We dispensed about 700 gallons of herbicide and appear to have achieved a high rate of kill. Despite requiring a substantially greater effort than anticipated, we consider the spring program an unqualified success.

We'd now like to follow-up on the spring effort by promoting an "Adopt-A-Road" approach. This is similar to the "adoption" program popular throughout the country whereby volunteers agree to collect roadside trash. SFTR owners will volunteer to patrol specific road segments at their own pace this fall and in the future and eradicate weeds found there.

Weed control now can be accomplished mechanically by digging them up or chemically by spraying with herbicide. Thistles, for example, are beginning to disperse seed. Even if sprayed with herbicide, the seed heads (or the entire plant) should be removed because the seeds already formed could disperse even if the mature plant dies.

The POA owns three 15-gallon sprayers that may be mounted on an ATV or in the back of a truck, and two 25-gallon sprayers which are towed behind an ATV. The sprayers, herbicide, and protective clothing, if desired, will be provided to each volunteer for use in the program. Call (719-846-7457) or e-mail (bwenstrom@bacavalley.com) me to get herbicide, schedule use of the sprayers, or order protective clothing.

There is a map (courtesy of Michael Hughes, Click Here to view it) with a number assigned to each road segment on the ranch. There is also a listing showing segments already adopted via notices posted in the "Forum" of our website. (Click Here to view it.) Please note that the mileage shown is linear. To do both sides of a segment by ATV, for example, you'd double the mileage to determine the total length of roadway you want to adopt.

It's evident that we need more volunteers. In addition, we'll need help with follow-up in Gallinas, perhaps during the Labor Day weekend. Whether or not we'll do any fall treatment on Baldwin's property or at Morley is undecided.

If you'd like to participate, please call or e-mail me to identify specific road segments for which you'll be responsible. First come, first served. If there are multiple claimants for a segment, I'll get back to you ASAP.

Thanks to all who choose to help out with this important effort now and later.