Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula L.) is an exotic, noxious, perennial weed which is widely established in the north central United States and is an especially serious problem in the northern Great Plains. In 1997, the Agricultural Research Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, initiated a major Integrated Pest Management (IPM) research and demonstration project to develop and demonstrate ecologically based IPM strategies that can produce effective, affordable leafy spurge control. In 1998 and 1999, a survey of ranchers, local decision makers, and public land managers was conducted to evaluate managerial, institutional, and social factors that might affect the rate and extent of implementation of various control strategies. In 2001, a second survey of the same ranchers, local decision makers, and public land managers was conducted to 1) assess any changes in land managers' perceptions of weed problems, control alternatives, and related issues and 2) evaluate the impact of The Ecological Area-wide Management (TEAM) Leafy Spurge (TLS) project on the respondents' weed control practices. Findings from the first survey identified a number of constraints limiting land managers' ability to utilize available control techniques to manage leafy spurge infestations. The TLS project used a variety of tools and communication strategies, such as presentations at local meetings, demonstration plots, and field days, to communicate and demonstrate weed control strategies and address the impediments to leafy spurge control identified in the first survey. Findings from the second survey indicated TLS efforts had effectively addressed many of the constraints to leafy spurge control previously reported by landowners and land managers.
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Vol. 59 • No. 5