Weed Research and Development Project Management, 2016–present
Synergy designed experimental trials, monitored sites, and analyzed data for herbicide research and case studies. Specific projects included efficacy trials for jointed goatgrass (Aegilops cylindrica) control in western Colorado, case studies for general weed management in Kansas and Nebraska, and a data analysis of huisache (Vachellia farnesiana) and mesquite (Prosopis spp) brush management data from the Gulf Coast Prairie Region. As part of this project, Synergy also coordinated the allocation of research funding and development of research protocols for weed species across the United States. Currently, we have managed over 20 different contracts and collaborated with researchers at 6 different universities investigating control methods for at least 15 different weed species.
Invasive Annual Grass Dry Herbicide Management, 2013–2016
Synergy designed large-scale research trials and conducted monitoring of rangeland sites treated with Open Range® G to control invasive annual grasses such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectroum), medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae), and ventenata (Ventenata dubia). Open Range® G is an innovative dry formulation of imazapic. It offers the advantages of low-volume applications that penetrate to the soil surface. We worked closely with Wilbur-Ellis staff to troubleshoot application issues and suggest improvements for applying the newly-developed dry herbicide formulation.
Northeast Nevada Wild Horse Eco-Sanctuary RMP Amendment/EIS, 2013
Elko County, Nevada – Spruce Allotment
Subcontractor to Environmental Management and Planning Solutions, Inc. (EMPSi)
U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management Office – Elko District
Synergy collected data to describe a wide variety of ecological sites across 400,000 acres of rangeland within the Spruce Allotment in Elko County, Nevada. Data collection occurred over 200 locations and included presence/absence data on weed infestations. We compiled the presence/absence data into a GIS layer to assist with long-term planning and management.
CTWSRO Comprehensive Inventory, 2011–2015
Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation – Madras, Oregon
Synergy performed a rangeland inventory on over 625,000 acres from 2011–2014 for the CTWSRO. As a component of the inventory, Synergy compiled a weed identification booklet for tribal members and worked with tribal staff to develop invasive species plans. Weed surveys mapped the locations of 34 weed species of interest through on-the-ground sampling. Due to their ubiquity and the large scale of their invasive annual grass infestation, medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae) and ventenata (Ventenata dubia) required innovative techniques to provide useful information for management. Ground surveys were supplemented with remote sensing models. Synergy worked with Open Range Consulting to utilize soils data and remote sensing to inform predictions on the spread and occurrence of invasives. We created custom thresholds for mapping and modeling the annual grasses based upon the tribe’s management objectives and practical ability to treat.
Invasive Annual Grass and Fire Management, 2002
Synergy partnered with BASF Corporation in a joint study to identify a new method for managing cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and reducing wildfire severity. The study occurred near Boise, ID and assessed the efficacy of using Plateau®, a formulation of imazapic, to create fire breaks. Synergy performed the data collection and analyzed biomass production, litter accumulation, and plant height. Fire modeling showed that the decrease in fine fuel loading in treated areas resulted in lower flame lengths and rates of spread. We determined that incorporating Plateau® in land management plans can effectively create fuel breaks or buffer zones to help stop the spread of wildfire.