All posts by TCWP

2022 – What A Year It’s Been

As we wrap up 2022, we can’t help but reflect on everything we’ve accomplished and the challenges along the way. We implemented successful programs, identified new threats, addressed staff changes, completed special projects, and upgraded new safety measures.

2022 Successes

Our K-12 Education programs exceeded any of our previous educational programming. We reached 10 schools, 40 teachers, and 900 students with a total of 140 hours of outreach. 

The district lab completed major safety updates which allowed us to operate for the first time at a biological safety level two.

 Our inaugural Invasive Species Cost-Share Reimbursement Program provided assistance for 232 landowners to manage invasive species on more than 7,340 acres throughout Teton County.

In previous years we ran 1-2 insecticide resistance tests using local mosquito pools. In the summer of 2022 we performed 22 tests which allowed us to detect direct evidence of insecticide resistance for the first time.

Our EDRR (Early Detection Rapid Response) staff diligently checked the locations of priority weeds. This summer over 48% of the mapped locations did not have any high priority invasive plants present. Our efforts allowed us to remove almost 10% of historic EDRR points. 

One of our unique projects is our efforts to use trained dogs to sniff out specific invasive weeds to help us locate and eradicate priority species that threaten our waterways. For the third year, Working Dogs for Conservation aided our invasive plant crews on the Snake River. With their help, we discovered 16 new perennial pepperweed locations. Plus, our teams and crews were accompanied by a children’s book author who intends to feature these efforts in a book for 8 to 11 year-olds. This is a great way to educate the public outside of our typical programming efforts. 

In October, surface and groundwater testing was conducted in four locations in Teton County. Although final results are still pending, initial data did not indicate any herbicide contamination or runoff. These findings are especially important because here at the district we prioritize environmental stewardship and responsibility. Although we wish to contain invasive species, we will not do so at the expense of any water, land, and wildlife that we hold dear. 
The cooler spring delayed some plant growth which helped our invasive plant program and short-staffed crew to reach most priority locations with appropriate timing.

Our mosquito team conducted rigorous West Nile Virus testing and detected WNV near the town of Jackson. With this information, our team was able to focus our efforts on mosquito abatement practices in specific areas where WNV was more prevalent. Since public health and safety is the backbone of our mosquito program, we consider our focused efforts to be successful and efficient.

2022 Challenges

As always, every season at the district presents new and distinct challenges. This year we were able to identify, address, and overcome new weeds, pests, safety issues, threats, and setbacks. 

Our cold, late spring brought late-season nuisance mosquitoes that were bothersome county-wide. Nevertheless, our mosquito and disease surveillance program efforts were executed with efficiency and excellent teamwork. 

Our late season insecticide resistance tests revealed that we need to research and test for resistance in upcoming seasons. Although insecticide resistance is troubling, our knowledge that this issue exists gives us a headstart to address and combat this issue.

Common teasel

For the first time in over ten years, our staff discovered a new location of common teasel—an invasive plant that crowds out native plants around it. 

Despite the fact that one of our spray trucks was involved in an accident with a dump truck on Highway 89, our crew was uninjured. In addition, we had two other vehicle incidents with our UTV’s. One UTV rolled and one was pinned against a tree. Again, none of our staff was injured. 

After two full-time personnel moved on since the first of the year, we will assess our programmatic needs this fall.

….and that’s a wrap! We had a great 2022 season and can’t wait for the successes and challenges that next year brings.

Take our Survey: Help us Improve our TCWP Website

Teton County Weed and Pest District is working on improving its website. We value your feedback and strive to provide a resource for our community that serves up answers and education that helps empower your stewardship and gets accurate science-based information to Teton County.

Please share your feedback below, and you can win a $100 gift card to Teton Mountaineering or Skinny Skis. If you submit a photo of how you enjoyed the trails this year, you will have five extra entries into the drawing. 

Survey Deadline: Nov 30, 2022

Now is the Time to Winterize your Herbicide Sprayers

Dropping temperatures, snow on the ground, and shrinking daylight hours means that it’s time to winterize your pesticide equipment! Harsh winters like we have in Jackson can damage your sprayers if you don’t take proper precautions and measures. Plus, equipment parts seem to keep rising in price. To avoid costly mistakes yet maximize the lifespan of your equipment, stick with us to learn how to winterize your sprayers’ filters, nozzles, pressure gauges, other sprayer components, and more.

Before you winterize: Wear your PPE

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is more than just clothes and gear that you should wear—it is mandated by law for your safety. PPE is worn to reduce hazards that could cause serious injuries or illnesses. Even if you’ve worked with a specific herbicide for years without any adverse effects, you should still wear every piece of PPE that is required by the label.

Keep up with sprayer maintenance BEFORE you need to winterize

When you keep up with general maintenance and cleaning throughout the year, winterizing is much easier and your chances of needing to buy new replacement pieces decreases. Plus, make sure that you know the best storage procedures for every season of the year. Where and how you should store something in the summer may or may not be the same as in the winter.

Winterize your sprayers for maximum use next spring

Why winterize right now and not leave it for the spring?

  • It is easier to to remove herbicide residue from filters, hoses, and tanks before the residue has hardened
  • Freezing temperatures throughout the winter may damage pipes and pumps
  • Your equipment will work better the first time you use it next spring
  • Your equipment’s warranty may become void if you don’t practice your due diligence
  • Winterized equipment is safer for you and everyone around you

The best way to winterize is to follow the owner’s manual. Step by step instructions will help you ensure the longevity of your equipment. Some of the suggestions you may notice will follow these guidelines:

Filters and nozzles:

  • Remove, wash them with soapy water, and rinse.
  • Store metal components in vegetable oil to avoid rusting

Pressure gauges: 

  • Remove 
  • Store in upright position in room temperature

Sprayers: 

  • Remove as much water as possible. Use an air hose to rid the sprayer of any moisture

Fuel and hydraulic oil tanks:

  • Keep full to eliminate condensation
  • Add stabilizers

Lights and flashers:

  • Check warning lights and flashers to ensure that the sprayer’s electronics are working properly

Batteries: 

  • Remove, clean, and store batteries because they are expensive pieces of equipment

Hoses:

  • Inspect hoses for wear and tear. If you need to replace or fix an old hose, it is better to start that process in the fall than to wait until spring.

Straps, hoops, and bolts: 

  • Over time the equipment on your tank may loosen. Retighten and inspect everything now.

As always, refer to the owner’s manual instead of these basic guidelines. Each sprayer is different and will require specific instructions for winterization. 

Image by Juliane Lutz from Pixabay
Be proactive—winterize your equipment now!

If you’ve worked with sprayer equipment before, then you know that the quote “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is true. It is easier and cheaper to stop a problem before it occurs than to try to fix it after something goes wrong. Realizing in the spring that you didn’t properly clean or store something and now you need a new part and are behind in work, is an external stressor that doesn’t need to exist in your life. Be proactive right now and you’ll thank yourself later. 

Weed of the Month: Canada Thistle

Canada thistle can be a real pain in our side—literally and figuratively! Sometimes you’ll feel it before you even see it. Canada thistle is difficult to control and quite unpleasant to the touch. Even if you’re wearing thick jeans, the long, sharp thistles of this plant can penetrate through clothing, leaving a stinging sensation. 

Unfortunately, canada thistle is prevalent in most states because of its early introduction and rapid spread. However, hope is not lost. With the correct timing and a little bit of tenacity, we can control and decrease canada thistle around us. Read more to find out why September is a GREAT time to kill canada thistle.

Canada thistle’s threat to Teton County

Once Canada thistle is established it quickly spreads and outcompetes native thistles and other plants—thus reducing biodiversity. Many of our native animal species like elk, coyotes, and bison steer clear of canada thistle. This lack of foraging allows canada thistle to spread quickly because it is not a desirable plant to eat. 

Plus, canada thistle is an opportunist plant. Meaning, it likes to grow quickly in disturbed areas such as landslide locations, construction areas, and roadsides.

Identification of Canada Thistle

Canada thistle is a perennial plant which means that it comes back every year. Plus, it has a robust root system that can penetrate deep into soil and aggressively spread and propagate. This means that canada thistle is extremely difficult to kill.   

Other identifying features:

  • The leaves alternate and are deeply divided with spines along the edge
  • Stems typically do not have spines
  • Can distribute up to 5,000 seeds
  • Seeds can stay viable in the soil for a decades
  • Coloring can range from a dull to a vibrant green depending on soil and water conditions 
  • It has purple flowers
  • Plants typically bloom in late spring and early summer
  • Seeds have feathery white tufts that allow it to effectively disperse by wind

Although the name may be misleading, canada thistle did not originate in Canada but likely Europe or Asia. It is suspected that it spread through contaminated crop seed in the 1700s.

PlayCleanGo to stop canada thistle

The PlayCleanGo motto is simple for canada thistle. The best way to stop this invasive species in its tracks is to: 

  • REMOVE – plants and mud from your boots, gear, pets, and vehicles
  • CLEAN – your gear before AND after recreational activities
  • STAY – on designated roads and trails
  • USE – certified or local firewood and hay

Like we said before, canada thistle is an opportunist. It will try its best to spread in any way it can. Use these four simple steps to ensure that our backcountry, trails, roadsides, and yards stay canada thistle-free.  

How to control canada thistle

Although the PlayCleanGo message is effective for thwarting invasive species BEFORE they are established, different methods need to be employed if canada thistle patches already exist. 

Few invasive plants are as annoying and frustrating as canada thistle. However, there is a silver-lining. September is a GREAT time to treat canada thistle. 

If you choose to use herbicide to control canada thistle, September in Teton County is the perfect time to do so because we usually see our first hard frost around now. What does a frost have to do with anything? Canada thistle goes dormant in the fall, typically after a late summer frost. When canada thistle goes dormant it takes its energy from its leaves and stem down to its roots—thus giving you a window of opportunity to use herbicide to kill the entire plant. Remember, canada thistle is a perennial with an extensive root system. Therefore, you need to target its extensive root system to permanently destroy the plant. 

Herbicide Control Instructions: Apply herbicide around or a couple of weeks before the first hard frost.

If you choose not to apply herbicide and opt for mechanical means of control, you can do so throughout the summer. Be aware that mechanical control takes a lot of work and potentially many years for an effective outcome. 

Mechanical Control Instructions: Repeatedly pull or cut the plant until its energy reserves are exhausted and the plant does not return in the spring.

We are here to answer your canada thistle questions

As always, the staff here at TCWP is available to answer your questions regarding canada thistle control methods, tricky look-alike plants, and any other questions you may have. 

Mikenna just finished her second master’s degree

This summer was yet another season jam packed with intense efforts from our full-time staff. One person who had quite the extraordinary summer is our entomologist, Mikenna Smith. 

Mikenna Smith completed her second master’s degree

Mikenna completed her second master’s degree this summer while juggling many tasks at TCWP. Her role as entomologist is vital to our west nile virus detection services for the county. You can find her behind a computer, looking through a microscope in the lab, or out surveying in the field. Want to get to know how Mikenna does it all? Read further for a Q&A with our favorite entomologist.

What is your second master’s degree in, and what prompted you to pursue it?

The degree is a Master’s of Science in Entomology from the University of Florida, with an emphasis in Medical Entomology. After about a year working for the Teton County Weed & Pest District running the small lab and doing some mosquito work, I noticed there was a vacant niche here for an entomologist. There were already quite a few employees well-versed in weed science, but no one who had a lot of knowledge or experience with insects outside of what’s needed for mosquito abatement.

After looking at mosquitoes under the microscope for a few years, Mikenna wanted to branch out and learn more. 

Between this vacant job niche and the Teton County Weed & Pest tuition assistance program for employee professional development, I saw a great opportunity to pursue something I could tell early on that I was quite fascinated by and would love to turn into a career.

Mikenna Smith

What was your first master’s degree in and how were both degrees different or alike in overall experience?

My first master’s was in Agricultural Science from the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany. These degrees were on a different plane altogether.

Although her first master’s was in person, the degree that she just finished was online.  

Both degrees were quite challenging— the cultures, teaching styles, and experience as a student were just wildly different. In Germany, the coursework load during the semester was lower in my experience with more of an emphasis on attending lectures and independent study for the final exams. Through the University of Florida, coursework load was higher but finals felt easier because they prepared you so well throughout the semester.

What was your coursework like for your second master’s degree?

Much of the coursework included attending online or pre-recorded lectures, independent reading and study, some lab and field work, written assignments, group projects, exams, etc.

Although Mikenna attended classes online, she did have a two-week mosquito identification course at the University of Florida Medical Entomology Lab—a course that is sure to help her with the upcoming summers at TCWP.

The University of Florida had been doing online programs for many years now, so they really had a good system dialed for folks like myself who couldn’t move to a university campus at this point in their lives but were still looking for professional development opportunities.

What was going through your mind the moment you submitted the last assignment?

I need a nap!

Overall I was just really overjoyed to have finished. It took me about three years to complete the degree with a two-semester hiatus in there somewhere.

Who were your biggest supporters through this process?

I would say that everyone I was close to was quite supportive during this process. My supervisors and coworkers were amazingly supportive and accommodating with me when, for example, I needed to take a half day off for final exams or something.

My husband was a huge cheerleader for me as well. Although he didn’t always enjoy my extreme stress levels while in grad school and working full time, he always let me know how proud he was of me for what I was accomplishing. 

Friends and family were also so supportive and helpful, cheering me on the entire time.

What have been the biggest challenges and victories this summer at TCWP?

Summers at TCWP always have challenges given their short duration and high workloads, and that was certainly true for me this summer as well. This summer, the workload was particularly high given that we were understaffed and many of us had to do more this year than we’ve ever done in the past.

The Brighter Side of 2020: Mikenna Smith was engaged
The Brighter Side of 2020: Mikenna Smith was engaged

Mikenna’s summer schedule ranged between 8-11 hours of work each day not including a two-hour commute and grad school. Whew, talk about busy!

There just wasn’t any time left over for “life.” But in that same vein, I would say my greatest victory was stepping into new roles with greater responsibility and doing so much better than I ever thought I could.

Weed of the Month: Baby’s Breath

August was prime wedding season here in Jackson. Between May and October, Teton County sees numerous destination weddings, elopements, and other special occasions. While these events are moments of celebration for most people, they can also be the source of invasive plant infestations. 

Baby’s Breath in Flower Bouquets

Even if you’ve never heard of baby’s breath you’ve probably seen it in a bouquet before. It has delicate white flowers used as fillers in various floral bouquets. While baby’s breath makes a bouquet come together as a beautiful floral arrangement, it is a non-native plant that will spread if introduced in Teton County. 

If possible, buy bouquets composed of native flowers or at the very least, flowers that are not considered invasive in our state.

Although baby’s breath can be found at wedding venues, it can also escape ornamental flower gardens. Research every plant before you add it to your garden.

Baby’s Breath Characteristics

Baby’s breath is a deep-rooted herbaceous perennial that can grow three to four feet in height. Its leaves sit opposite of one another, silvery-green and narrow. 

Many people dislike the odor of baby’s breath and can smell it from a short distance away. After it flowers, the leaves become less noticeable. Once established, baby’s breath grows in a dense mound shape and can be difficult to control. This plant is especially dangerous because it can produce approximately 14,000 seeds.

Without intervention, baby’s breath will grow and spread rapidly—outcompeting native plants and altering our ecosystem. 

Baby’s Breath Control Methods

Prevention is the first line of defense for potential baby’s breath infestations. 

  • Buy or make bouquets with native flowers
  • Carefully use or dispose of baby’s breath
  • Research native and non-native ornamentals before you plant them in your garden
  • Warn your friends, family, and neighbors about the invasive nature of baby’s breath

Thankfully, if a baby’s breath infestation occurs you still have time to manage its spread. 

First, report the infestation immediately to Teton County Weed and Pest. You can reach us at (307) 733-8419. Because baby’s breath isn’t established in Teton County and is a high priority species, we will work closely with you to eradicate it.

Control methods include digging around and under the plant as well as control from chemical herbicides.

Weed of the Month: Leafy Spurge

Leafy Spurge has small, inconspicuous, and almost neon colored yellowish-green flowers enclosed in a heart-shaped leaf. Its additional leaves are long and narrow. Although the plant may look harmless in your yard, it contains a milky latex substance that can cause blisters, rashes, and even blindness. Imagine that it almost acts like bear spray if you were to touch it to your skin or eyes. It is also poisonous to cattle and wildlife. In addition, its seed capsules can shoot seeds up to fifteen feet away from the plant—thus invading a new territory at a rapid rate. Lastly, leafy spurge has a deep root system which can exceed twenty feet in depth and therefore can proliferate even if it is cut, mowed, or pulled. 

Leafy Spurge Control Methods

As mentioned, leafy spurge’s deep root system makes it a difficult plant to control. There are many invasive plants in our county that can be easily killed if you chop them such as musk thistle. Leafy spurge on the other hand is not so easily controlled. Plus, its seeds can stay viable in the soil for up to eight years. 

Although it is possible to dig around and under the plant to completely uproot it, this is typically only effective in small infections of a few plants. For larger infestations, we recommend an herbicide application before the plant goes to seed. This ensures that the plant dies and cannot proliferate further. It is important to check the site of infestation for the next eight years to determine if any seeds were viable in the soil and if a new infestation may occur. 

Protect our Water Resources and Become a Trout Friendly Lawn Ally

Our behaviors impact the ecosystem around us—and landscaping is no different. Thankfully, there are many local businesses in our county that seek to protect our waterways from detrimental lawn practices such as fertilization and overwatering. “Excess nutrients can lead to increased algae and aquatic plant growth, which can harm aquatic habitats and disrupt the ecosystem.” Collectively, individuals, businesses, organizations, and government departments in Teton County are committed to trout friendly lawn practices. 

#1 – Limit Fertilizer

Excess fertilizer can negatively impact native trout, insects, plants, and other wildlife. Common fertilizers on the market use high but short-lived nitrogen. This nitrogen can seep into your groundwater or be flushed down a waterway near your land. To avoid this, use our helpful tips:

  • Only use fertilizer if it is absolutely necessary
  • Use slow-release or organic fertilizer 
  • Don’t fertilize within twenty feet of water

#2 – Be Water Wise

Overwatering is not only a waste financially, it is also a poor environmental practice (especially in the west where we commonly have drought and other water shortages). Plus, overwatering increases the likelihood of pollution from contaminated water runoff. Be more water wise this year:

  • Water your lawn at dawn or dusk
  • Turn off your irrigation system if it rains
  • Mow your lawn high

Watering the correct amount will reduce pollution risks, establish healthier plant root systems, and reduce your risk of creating mosquito habitat (yay!).

#3  – Plant Natives and Maintain Streamside Buffers

A streamside buffer five feet away from a waterbody will naturally protect water resources near you. 

  • Allow your native grasses to naturally grow tall within five feet of a waterbody—do not mow them 
  • Plant willows or other native species that thrive in riparian areas

Healthy vegetation near a creek or a pond will keep water temperatures cool, reduce pollution, and provide habitat for birds, insects, and mammals.

#4 – Use Herbicides and Pesticides Appropriately

Excessive application of pesticides can damage native wildlife and decrease water quality in our county.

  • Only treat state and county-designated noxious or invasive weeds
  • Follow the label on the pesticide
  • Spot spray instead of cover-spraying an area
  • Use organic pesticides when possible
  • Contact us to create an invasive species management plan before you use a pesticide 

We Can Be a Part of the Solution

We all need clean water—and the Snake River fine spotted cutthroat trout deserves to live in healthy streams. When you commit to trout friendly lawn practices, you join a coalition of people who collectively improve our water resources in Jackson. Be a part of the solution! 

23rd Annual Gros Ventre River Spray Days 2022

Over three days, partners with the Jackson Hole Weed Management Association (JHWMA) collaborate on an invasive weed project across the Gros Ventre River corridor. 

“The goal is to contain and reduce the spotted knapweed infestation that is thought to have started on the Gros Ventre River in the 1970’s…without this amazing group coming together for this team effort, we would be losing critical wildlife habitat to these invaders”

Erika Edmiston, Supervisor at TCWP

Between July 19th and the 21st this year, various crews and individuals from Teton County Weed and Pest, Grand Teton National Park, and other organizations team up to mitigate the invasive weeds that negatively impact elk, moose, deer, bison, birds, and other animals in this area.

JHWMA - Backcountry Horseback Spraying Horse Train Image

The 1,200+ Acre Project Area

Each year approximately 50-100 acres of invasive plants are sprayed by plant management team members and volunteers who join the fight. As always, the three days of spraying are grueling but necessary work. Per usual, the end of July tends to be in the mid to upper 80s at the heat of the day. The spray days (albeit hot and long) offer a glimmer of hope. The hope that invasive plants throughout this corridor can be contained and mitigated—and that our wildlife have abundant native vegetation to eat. 

Plus, the three spray days build camaraderie among like minded citizens—people who understand the seriousness of invasive species and want our ecosystem to thrive. Although the crews typically break into separate groups to focus on specific areas, camaraderie is built during a shared lunch. Here, people who have never met can introduce themselves to others and learn more about different styles of management, work days, species control, herbicide application rates and techniques, and even each others’ hobbies.

The agencies, organizations, and businesses that have assisted with the project over the years include but are not limited to:

Fremont, Lincoln, Natrona, Park, and Teton County Weed and Pest Districts in Wyoming, Bonneville and Teton County Weed Districts in Idaho, Jackson Hole Fire/EMS, Boreal Property Management, Jackson Hole Property Services, Intermountain Aquatics, the Bridger-Teton, Custer Galatian, and Shoshone National Forests, the National Elk Refuge, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks as well as the National Park Service – Northern Rockies Exotic Plant Management Team.  The Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming Department of State Lands, Jackson Hole Land Trust, Hanna Outfitting, Gros Ventre River Ranch, Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis, Teton Conservation District and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

The Main Target—Spotted Knapweed

Spotted knapweed
It is named for its black or dark-brown-spotted bracts

Although crews will target any invasive plant species in the project area, the main concern is spotted knapweed. Spotted Knapweed outcompetes native plants along the Gros Ventre River Corridor which can therefore decrease biodiversity in the area. In addition, it may “degrade soil and water resources by increasing erosion, surface runoff, and stream sedimentation.”

How Long Has Spotted Knapweed Been in the Gros Ventre River Corridor?

Although a definitive answer may never exist, here’s the known timeline:

  • 1974 – Spotted knapweed was mentioned at a Weed and Pest District Board Meeting
  • 1999 – JHWMA partners decided it was important to begin recording the presence of noxious weeds throughout Teton County.
  • 2000 – Crews from Grand Teton National Park, the Bridger Teton National Forest, Teton County Weed and Pest, and the National Elk Refuge began targeting spotted knapweed along the river corridor in the hopes of reducing and containing the infestation and keeping the infestation from spreading further east into the Gros Ventre area.
  • 2001 – Spotted knapweed was found between the Forest/Park boundary and Lower Slide Like on the Gros Ventre Road. 
  • 2008 –  Spotted knapweed was found at the Lower Slide Lake Campground
JHWMA - Gros Ventre River Spray Days Truck Coming up Road with Noxious Weeds image
We Need Spray Days!

Clearly, spotted knapweed spreads like wildfire in ecosystems like ours. Therefore, the Gros Ventre River Spray Days continue to be integral to the protection of wildlife habitat in Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge. 

The JHWMA Spray Days event is unique in that it pulls together groups from across western Wyoming. Without concerted efforts each year, our river corridors would continue to degrade without any hope in sight. Thankfully, the spray days are a step in the right direction.

If you have any questions about the project area, how to volunteer during spray days, or to learn more about JHWMA, visit www.jhwma.org

Meet our Team: Stella Krone

Meet Stella—after only one year as a seasonal worker she returned to us as a crew lead for our 2022 season. You might even see her in the field as she maps and sprays invasive weeds along our highways. Whether she’s spraying on the roadside near Hoback or Togwotee you won’t miss her in her favorite (and stylin’) neon orange and yellow outfits. 

Stella grew up in Arkansas, studied Environmental Studies in college, and wanted to work outside.

The views are obviously an amazing plus, but really I love hiking around and seeing different parts of the county. It’s also great to work with people who have similar interests as me.

Her favorite memories while working at TCWP are the views, abundant wildlife encounters, and a paddleboard battle with co-workers at Crew Appreciation Day in the Palisades. 

Name: Stella Krone

Where did you grow up and what brought you to TCWP?

I grew up in Arkansas. I came to TCWP because I studied Environmental Studies in college, I really wanted to work outside, and I absolutely adore the mountains.

What’s your current role at TCWP and how long have you worked here?

I am a weed crew lead doing mostly highway work and this is my second summer.

Best parts of the job?

The views are obviously an amazing plus, but really I love hiking around and seeing different parts of the county. It’s also great to work with people who have similar interests as me.

The biggest challenges of the job?

It can be hard on your body, especially as we get farther into the season and it gets hotter. Rest is super important: mental and physical.

What have you learned between your first season at TCWP and now?

I learned a lot about the environment. Being around people who care about the earth is awesome and we always get to share what we know with each other. 

Best memory while working at TCWP? 

Going to the Palisades for crew day and having a battle on the paddle boards. 

Least favorite weed?

Spotted Knapweed

Coolest wildlife experience in the field?

One time on the elk refuge in the early morning I got to see 6 bull moose all together in one pasture. It was incredible. I also love seeing coyotes and badgers hunt together. 

Do you want to stay in Jackson long-term or do you have your sights set on something else?

At this point I’m not really sure—I like seasonal work and the opportunity to move around. I want to stay in the west though, I think. 

What is your favorite part of living in Jackson?

All of the incredible and easy access to nature. There is always something to do outdoors and it totally boosts my mood. 

Hobbies?

I love riding bikes, hiking, and chillin’ by the river. Really anything that gets me outside whether that be sports or just relaxing.