The Jefferson County Invasive Species Management program helps protect natural resources through education and outreach. We assist the public by developing integrated management plans to control forest insect pests and noxious weeds. The program coordinates with private entities and local, state, and federal governmental agencies to achieve regional pest control.
This site includes information to help identify, control and prevent forest pests and noxious weed infestations. Our goal is to educate the public about weed and pest problems and offer solutions.
2020 Noxious Weed Awareness Campaign
Cheatgrass is a winter annual grass that emerges in the fall and/or early spring. It has shallow fibrous roots and reproduces solely by seed. Seedlings are dark green and may be seen growing through previous years’ thatch. Mature plants can reach 20+ inches high but most plants are about 12 inches tall. Older plants are straw to red colored.
It can be found on all continents except Antarctica. It was introduced to North America in the mid-1800’s from Eurasia and was first noted in Colorado in 1892.
Cheatgrass matures earlier than native perennial grasses and its shallow roots utilize soil moisture and nutrients before deeper rooted plants can access them.
Cheatgrass burns hotter, quicker and more frequently than our native grasslands. The change in regime makes it harder for native grasslands to recover, making them even more susceptible to cheatgrass invasion.
Removal, grazing, or chemical treatment prior to any seed development are recommended controls. See the Cheatgrass Management Handbook: Managing an invasive annual grass in the Rocky Mountain Region for more information.
2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the Noxious Weed Law. Jeffco Invasive Species Management is a partner in COLORADO’s NOXIOUS WEED AWARENESS CAMPAIGN. See a sneak peak of our first video HERE