Vision: Noxious weeds are managed and/or controlled cooperatively throughout the San Luis Valley Management Area regardless of geographic or political boundaries to promote ecological and economic values.
Mission: The San Luis Valley Weed Management Association is a public and private partnership created to promote awareness and management of noxious weeds through local and regional initiatives in the SLV area.
History: In response to the Colorado Weed Management Act: C.R.S. Title 35, Article 5.5, the San Luis Valley Weed Management Association (SLVWMA) was formed to manage noxious weeds in the San Luis Valley. The San Luis Valley is the highest alpine valley in the world, covers six counties, and its two primary economic drivers are agriculture and natural resource management including federal lands. While the SLVWMA has been in operation since 2002, the group received its 501©(3) non-profit designation in December 2013, but worked with two established natural resource non-profits – Resource, Conservation and Development (RC&D) and Rio Grande Watershed Conservation and Education Initiative (RGWCEI).
Goals of the San Luis Valley Weed Management Association are based on the belief that Prevention, Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) and early treatment are the most cost effective means for weed control, and are the ideal for preserving agricultural production, recreational open space, and natural resources and the environment. With that in mind, the SLVWMA’s goals are to:
- Strive to identify and contain, reduce, or eradicate current weed infestations and reduce or eliminate weed seed production in certain species;
- Monitor for new infestations and new invasive species to prevent new encroachments on unincorporated lands in the counties;
- Help develop and implement Integrated Weed Management Plans for noxious weeds on county-owned properties, easements, rights-of-ways, and all other properties;
- Protect agricultural production, native plant ecosystems, watersheds, and recreational lands from degradation from noxious weeds by enforcing the Noxious Weed Act and working through cooperative agreements with city, state and federal agencies and adjacent counties and states;
- Preserve the quality of life in urban and rural areas of the SLV Noxious Weed Management Area through desirable plant stewardship and noxious weed management to enhance human health aspects, land values and esthetics;
- Provide technical support and recommendations for noxious weed management and work with landowners, counties, including state and federal agencies, to develop their Integrated Weed Management Plans; and,
- Educate citizens on the impact of noxious weeds on the economy and the environment and provide information on Best Management Practices for noxious weeds.
View our Management Plan.
San Luis Valley weed Management Association Board
Jon Brownell has been a farmer for almost 40 years with his cropping being made up of potatoes, small grains and alfalfa. His family consists of his wife Teri, and two grown daughters Lindsey and Heather. Jon has served on many boards and commissions that include: United States Potato Board, served on executive committee and was elected Chairman of the Board, Colorado Groundwater Commission, served as vice-chairman of the board, Monte Vista Cooperative, served as Chairman of the Board, San Luis Valley Research Center Committee, served as Chairman of the Board, Rio Grande Water Conservation District, served as secretary-treasurer, Tu Casa Inc., served as Chairman of the Board, City of Alamosa Ranch Advisory Committee, served as Chairman of the Board, United Potato Growers of Colorado, serves on executive committee, City of Alamosa Recreation Advisory Board, serves as vice-chairman, SLVWMA, serves on executive committee, City of Alamosa Noxious Weed Advisory Board, serves on executive committee. Jon was a founder or co-founder of many businesses in addition to his farming. These include: Brownell Farms, Cottonwood Ranch, Zapata Seed Company, Alpine Potato Company, Colorado Gourmet Potatoes, Rio Grande Racquet and Fitness.
Jim Clare currently works as the Solid Waste Manager for the San Luis Valley Regional Solid Waste Authority since July 2012. The SLVRSWA serves a six county region which incorporates all of the San Luis Valley. Some of his expertise is in regulatory compliance and job safety working with CDPHE, OSHA and EPA requirements. Jim is also retired from the Monte Vista Fire Department with 25 years of service where he was Assistant Chief before retiring. Currently he is the Vice-President of the local SLV Hazmat board. Jim has worked with the San Luis Valley Weed Association since 2008 when it was under the operation the RCD Resource Conservation & Development group. In the process the group was able to form their own association as a 501-c-3 which currently serve as the San Luis Valley Weed Management Association. Jim is currently President of the association and promotes the venture of the association with the new coordinator, community training, formal partnership with several valley entities, developed web site, developed association operation plan and the admires the commitment of the association board to make noxious weed management work valley wide. Jim has also served on the Rio Grande County Weed Advisory Board for many years and is currently the secretary for the advisory board. Jim has been married to his wife Cynthia for 36 years.
Brenda’s Anderson association with the San Luis Valley Noxious Weed Association began in 2010, when she began serving on the committee. In 2013 she served on the committee that worked on the application for their 501 C 3 status. Currently, she serves as the Treasurer for the organization. Her experience with noxious weeds started when she began working for the Center Conservation District in 2001 as their District Manager. A part of her position is managing the districts Noxious Weed Control Service, which involves working with Saguache County and Colorado Department of Transportation in negotiating annual contracts with them for noxious weed control services. She is also responsible for overseeing weed spraying employee’s, tracking areas treated and writing and administering grants. Brenda and her husband live in Del Norte and have a small ranch where they raise cattle and put up hay.
My name is Brianna Brannan and I am supervisor of the Rio Grande County Weed/ Pest District. I have been in this position since May of 2015 and previously I attended Adams State University for a Bachelor’s degree in Earth Sciences, majoring in physical geography. For years I have been fascinated by earths attributes and aspired to learn the processes of its function and development. I continue to be astounded by the effects of Invasive weed species and their effects on the ecosystems they conflict. Through education to myself and the agricultural community around me I intend to actively and effectively reduce the invasive species population and continue this fascination with earth’s natural balance
Lucas Casias is from Costilla County, where he serves as the Noxious Weed Coordinator, GIS Coordinator and the HUTF Road Inspector. He has been employed with Costilla County in his current position for the past 4 years. Lucas grew up in Alamosa and attended Sangre de Cristo High School graduating in 2005. After high school he attended Adams State College, where he studied History. Lucas sits on numerous boards throughout the San Luis Valley, he is a board member of the SLV E911 Board, the SLV GIS/GPS Authority Board and is currently on the Costilla County Conservation District Board, and is a member of the executive committee of the SLVWMA board. Lucas enjoys his work controlling noxious weeds and is a member of the Colorado Weed Management Association and many of their boards. Lucas is married to his beautiful wife Lisa, and they have 5 children, 3 boys and 2 girl
Danny Neufeld has been involved in the family farm for 44 years. Danny currently farms with his son, Brian. Together they will Farm 11 quarters this year; with 5 1/2 in potatoes and 4 1/2 in small grains and 1 1/2 cover crops. Danny has been a Supervisor for the Center Conservation District, since 1999. He has held the office of President for the district since 2004. Danny has served on the Colorado State Conservation Board for 9 years and is a past president. Also, he is the treasure/secretary for the Rio Grande Watershed and also sits on the board of RGWEI. Also, Danny in on the board for SLVWMA and has been there from the start. Danny and his wife Judi have been married 43 years They live in the same house that helped raise their children. Judi is the CFO of the Monte Vista Coop, and is now in her third year at this position after working with the Coop for 29 years.