Twin Valley Weed Management Area (TVWMA) began work on the Eastern Republican Riparian Project in 2007 in
anticipation of LB 701 funding. This project continues and dramatically expands ongoing efforts to control
invasive riparian plants around Harlan County Reservoir and along the Republican River and it’s tributaries.
Such control efforts will be conducted in a holistic manner, utilizing a full range of mechanical, biological,
and chemical tools to eradicate invasive species and control vegetation in stream channels.
Work began with the writing of a grant application, and identification of landowners along a 77 mile section ,
approximately 1500 acres, of the Republican River between Harlan County Dam and the Kansas-Nebraska border.
It was determined that landowners in that area totaled 180. Information about the proposed project was published
in the area newspapers, and three informational meetings were held in Superior, Red Cloud, and Franklin.
An agreement was drafted for access to the landowner properties and the process of getting landowner signatures
began. This process required a great deal of time and effort, and in the end all but 5 landowners signed.
In July grant awards for LB 701 were announced and TVWMA received $773,000. Bid specifications were published
for chemical application by ground and air, as well as a project coordinator. Skycopter was awarded the aerial
application and Chemtrol was awarded the ground application. Merle Illian was hired as project coordinator.
As of the date of this article 1,100 acres has been sprayed on the Republican River, and 750 acres has been
sprayed on Harlan County Reservoir. Additional work will be required next year in Harlan and Furnas Counties,
and cleaning up misses on the treated areas.
The ground work for the next phase of the project has commenced, which is mechanical removal.
This has been a very large project which needed to be executed in a restricted time period, requiring the
extensive time and resources of all our members involved in TVWMA and its many partners. I think this a very good
example of how collective cooperation and effort of many agencies, groups, and individuals can win the war on
invasives in Nebraska.