Williams named Idaho's Weed Superintendent of the Year
Clearwater County Weed Superintendent Dennis "Denny" Williams was named Idaho's Weed Superintendent of the Year by his peers during a recent conference in Boise.
Williams said that many of Idaho's other counties have two to four employees, besides their superintendent. In Clearwater County, Williams is full time, but only has part time help, primarily during the summer. Idaho has 41 Weed Superintendents for its 44 counties. Some smaller counties in southern Idaho have joint superintendents.
Williams, with part time help, works to control weeds on the county rights-of-way, ditch lines and roadsides, as well as those of Clearwater Highway District. Each year, he also develops an operating plan that identifies the weeds of most concern in the county.
Clearwater County's weed program is very active in working with landowners. Williams said this year they plan to have five to six weed education schools with two "bio" workshops during which they will distribute insects that help to control certain types of weeds such as yellow star thistle. There will also be a couple of workshops to help small landowners learn how to better adjust spray equipment. A weed meeting last December attracted 106 participants from around the region.
Williams is also available to assist individual landowners identify weeds on their property and determine the best way to eradicate or control the invasive species.
Clearwater County has two weed cooperatives, one in the Fraser area and one in the Twin Ridge Fire District area. Williams works to help those organizations to obtain grant funds.
The Weed Department works cooperatively with the U.S. Forest Service, Idaho Department of Lands, individual private property owners and surrounding counties to control noxious weeds. They are also deeply involved with the weed free hay and forage program. Williams looks forward to working closely with the new Idaho Department of Agriculture Director Celia Gould. The department also participates in Clearwater Basin Weed Management Area activities.
Williams said the state has an advantage that Governor Butch Otter has spent time in Washington, DC. Idaho is the leading weed fighter in the country and Otter heard a lot about that work while he was in Congress. Otter's recent budget with $6 million for noxious weed control reflects that. The expenditures still need to be approved by the Idaho Legislature. Another $4 million is planned for aquatic weed Eurasian Milfoil control. While Williams does not know of any Eurasian Milfoil in Clearwater County, he is being proactive and having Nina Eckman from Kootenai County come this summer to check bodies of water that may.
Photo: Clearwater County Weed Superintendent Dennis Williams reported to Clearwater Commissioners about the Idaho Weed Superintendent of the Year award he recently received. Shown from left are: former commissioner Pete Curfman, Dennis Williams, Commissioner John Allen, Commissioner Stan Leach and Commission Chairman Don Ebert.
Williams may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 476-4918.
Article and photo courtesy of Window on the Clearwater.