Badger Bulletin

Fighting Invasive Plants and Noxious Weeds

Badger Bulletin

Fighting Invasive Plants and Noxious Weeds

A group of volunteers pose with herbicide sprayers before a noxious weed event

The Badger-Two Medicine and surrounding lands of Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet Reservation are home to a dazzling diversity of native plants, nearly 1100 different species according to one account. This rich array of native flora are foundational to the ecological health and integrity of this region.

Unfortunately, many of our native plants are under siege from invasive species and other noxious weeds. Left unchecked, these non-native plants cause far-reaching consequences to the environment, including the degradation of fish and wildlife habitat and water quality. Many native plants are invaluable sources of food and medicine for people, or essential to Blackfeet cultural practices.

Protecting native biodiversity is a top priority of Glacier-Two Medicine Alliance. However, we recognize it is not enough to simply advocate for greater protection and expect public agencies to take care of the land alone. We share a responsibility to help care for the lands we share and cherish. That’s why Glacier-Two Medicine Alliance has joined the fight against invasive species and noxious weeds. Our current priorities are to draw greater attention to the threat weeds pose, to supplement agency actions to mitigate and monitor weeds, and to improve coordinated weed mitigation efforts across federal, tribal and private lands in this region.  While we don’t expect to eliminate weeds, our goal is to improve the ability of native species to compete against well-established intruders, and identify new infestations early so they can be contained.

2023 Field Season So Far

The weeds are growing and we’ve been busy fighting them!
Raising awareness, spurring action
Volunteer hangs a trailhead sign about invasive plants
GTMA is raising awareness of the threat noxious weeds pose. Look for some beautiful new signs we installed at trailheads in the Badger-Two Medicine that encourage people to pull knapweed on every trip. We have been distributing educational materials widely, including weed identifications guides, at various events.
Joining forces at the Marias Pass Spray Day
A volunteer sprays invasive plants by the road
We assembled a record-size crew of seven volunteers and partners to spray weeds during the annual Marias Pass Spray Day hosted by Glacier National Park, with participation from the Forest Service, Glacier County, BNSF Railway and Rising Wolf Ranch. GTMA has sprayed the Marias Pass Rest Area and Campground for years during this work day. Our effort is paying off! The rest area and campground are mostly weed-free. After some spot spraying, our crew tackled some knapweed and hawkweed infestations on access routes at Lubec and False Summit. Many thanks to Rising Wolf Ranch for the delicious lunch!
Piikani Lands Crew hard at work in the Lubec Hills
Piikani Lands Crew volunteering to spray invasive plant species
We contracted the Piikani Lands Crew, an all-Blackfeet conservation crew, to spray weeds in the Lubec hills this week. Armed with back sprayers, and with support from the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation, this awesome crew of young Blackfeet men and women has been able to spray further down trails leading into the Badger than the Forest Service can. The crew also received training in weed monitoring as well as heard from cultural leaders about how weeds harm culturally-important plant species. Thank you Piikani Lands Crew for your great work!

Still more to do - and you can help!

On July 29th we’re hosting the second annual Badger-Two Medicine Community Weed Pull and Education day. Please join us for this fun, rewarding day of caretaking public lands and learning about weeds ecological, cultural and economic impacts, as well as ways to manage them. Lunch provided and some lucky folks will take home a fabulous door prize.

In August we’ll be releasing more root boring weevils. These insects have been used safely and effectively for nearly forty years in Montana to stymie the growth and spread of knapweed so that native vegetation can better compete. Volunteers are needed to help distribute the bugs!

And, we’ll continue to train and equip volunteers to monitor and report weed locations in the Badger-Two Medicine. Knowing where the weeds are is vital to checking their spread as well as to identifying new infestations so they can be eliminated early. If you recreate in the Badger and are want to help us track weeds, please contact Jordyn Steele at or by phone at 406-434-6223. Monitoring is easy to do – all it takes is an iphone and some basic weed ID knowledge (we’ll give you a guide!).

How you can be a hero for native species!

  1. Join us for the Badger-Two Medicine Community Weed Pull and Education day, July 29th.
  2. Pull knapweed regularly, even just 10 – 15 plants per outing makes a difference! Wear gloves! Bag and remove if flowered.
  3. Report where you see weeds in the Badger-Two Medicine. Contact Jordyn Steele at or by phone at 406-434-6223 to learn how.
Thank you partners!
  • US Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Ranger District
  • Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation
  • The Wilderness Society
  • Rocky Mountain Weed Round Table
  • Individual Donors and Volunteers
  • Wild Montana
  • Montana Noxious Weed Campaign
  • MSU Extension
  • Montana Biological Weed Control Coordination Project
Your support makes a difference.
This work would not be possible without your financial support or volunteer participation. Donate today to support Glacier-Two Medicine Alliance’s work to protect native species and wild lands.
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