STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
COMMITTEE ON JOINT AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
|Time:||07:34 AM to 08:49 AM|
|This Meeting was called to order by|
|This Report was prepared by|
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call
|Bills Addressed: ||Action Taken:|
|CSU Experiment Station|
Noxious Weeds & Invasive Species
07:34 AM -- Colorado State University Agriculture Experiment Station
Dr. Lee Sommers, Director, Colorado State University Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES), explained that the mission of the CAES is to conduct research that addresses the economic viability, environmental sustainability, and social acceptability of activities impacting agriculture, natural resources, and consumers in Colorado (Attachment A). The CAES was established in 1888 when the Colorado General Assembly's ratified the provisions of the Hatch Act. The federal Morrill Act of 1862 provided for public higher education by establishing colleges in every state and territory that were endowed through grants of public lands. The federal Hatch Act provided research at these institutions by authorizing a state agricultural experiment station for each state. Dr. Sommers explained that the CAES supports 8 off-campus research centers (10 sites) to conduct research to meet agricultural production needs in different regions of the state. The CAES budget for FY 2007-08 was $40.1 million including $13 from federal grants, $9 million from state moneys, $8.5 million from nonfederal grants, and $4.6 million in cash. Dr. Sommers also described research projects to improve wheat, potatoes, pinto beans, and dry land cropping systems. He also responded to questions from the committee regarding the development of drought and heat resistant crops.
Dr. Sommers described the development of an animal identification technology using retinal scanning by the CAES and research on food safety that has been used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He also described research in the Arkansas River Basin concerning vegetable production and water use by crops. In response to a question from the committee, he explained that the study for water use in by crops in the Arkansas River valley received a grant from the Colorado Water Conservation Board and described the need for long term funding for the weighing lysimeter research project that measures water use by crops. He also described weed management programs on agriculture experiment station lands and funding needs for such efforts.
07:58 AM -- Institute for Livestock and the Environment
Jessica Davis, Director of the Institute for Livestock and the Environment (ILE), soil science and Extension Specialist at Colorado State University, explained that the U.S. is the world's largest consumer, producer, and exporter of beef and that the livestock industry contributes over $3 billion to Colorado's economy (Attachment B). The mission of the ILE is to solve problems at the interface of livestock production and science-based environmental management. It seeks to bring together faculty members from various disciplines across the Colorado State University campus to balance issues of economic growth in the livestock industry with the environment. The ILE includes five interdisciplinary teams specializing in water conservation and quality, air quality and emissions, ecosystems, pathogens, and pharmaceuticals that are addressing a cross-section of issues from land conservation to environmental practices and energy issues related to livestock production. Professor Davis explained that the 2008 federal Farm Bill included money for farm and ranch land protection and grassland reserve.
Professor Davis responded to questions from the committee concerning research conducted by ISL on animal waste disposal, endangered species, game damage, and biofuels.
08:18 AM -- Noxious Weeds and Invasive Species
Jonathan Rife, President-elect, Colorado Weed Management Association, described the mission of the association and identified the impact of noxious weeds on the environment and the economy (Attachment C). The impacts include decreased crop production, reduced livestock carrying capacity, increased soil erosion, and decreased land values. He also responded to questions from the committee regarding federal support for noxious weed management on federal lands.
Ron Mabry, Ouray County Weed Control, President of the Colorado County Weed Supervisors Association, responded to questions from the committee about weed management programs in Costilla and other counties.
Mr. Rife identified noxious weed management problems in Colorado including leafy spurge, tamarisk, yellow star thistle, and other weeds. He also described control measures for various weeds in Colorado and the need for additional assistance to pay for noxious weed management.
Mr. Mabry described weed management programs on Division of Wildlife and Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation lands.
Steve Anthony, Garfield County Weed Program, explained that the Noxious Weed Management Act (Section 35-5.5-101, C.R.S. et seq.) allows county weed managers to require private land owners to control weeds on their land. He also described weed management projects that received matching money from the Noxious Weed Management Fund and the need for additional appropriations for this fund.
Mr. Rife responded to questions from committee regarding the enforcement of weed management controls on private lands. He explained that the Colorado Noxious Weed Management Act allows county weed managers to require private land owners to control weeds on their land. If the landowner or occupant fails to comply with the notice to manage noxious weeds, the local governing body has the authority to compel the management of the noxious weeds and assess the cost for control the weeds, including up to twenty percent for inspection and other incidental costs (see Section 35-5.5-109, C.R.S.). He also explained that counties are unable to require the control of noxious weeds on municipal lands or on private lands that are adjacent to public lands that have noxious weeds that are not being controlled.
The meeting adjourned.