In the "Your Tax Dollars at Work" category, we have a potential $500,000 weed program for Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park. An Interior Department contract solicitation seeks landscapers who can inventory then kill weeds along some 250 miles or roads. There's no question the weeds are noxious. Anyone who's touched thistle knows that. But aren't national parks supposed to be natural? And it's not just at Teton. The government also wants them gone in Custer, S.D., home to the Black Hills National Forest.
Here's the synopsis for the contract:
The Department of Interior, National Park Service, Grand Teton National Park, are seeking interested sources that can provide all labor, supervision, equipment, supplies, services, permits, licensing, and transportation to accomplish weed treatment and weed inventory services. Specifically sources will need to be able to provide treating noxious weeds, providing treatment data and conducting weed infestation inventory. A significant portion of weed treatment will occur along road corridors within Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) located in Western Wyoming. All Wyoming state listed weeds a long with Berteroa incana, Hoary alyssum, Cardaria draba, Whitetop, Carex feta, Greensheath sedge, Carduus nutans, Musk thistle, Centaurea maculosa, Spotted knapweed, Centaurea repens, Russian knapweed, Chondrilla juncea, Rush skeletonweed, Chrysanthemum leucanthemum, Oxeye daisy, Cirsium arvense, Canada thistle, Cirsium vulgare, Bull thistle, Convolvulus arvensis, Field Bindweed, Cynoglossum officinale, Houndstongue, Elaeagnus augustifolia, Russian olive, Euphorbia esula, Leafy spurge, Hieracium aurantiacum, Orange hawkweed, Hieracium fendleri, Yellow hawkweed, Hyoscyamus niger, Black Henbane, Hypericum perforatum, St. Johnswort, Isatis tinctoria, Dyers woad, Lepidium latifolium, Perennial pepperweed, Linaria genistifolia, Dalmation toadflax, Linaria vulgaris, Yellow toadflax, Potentilla recta, Sulfur cinquefoil, Tamarix ramosissima, Salt Cedar, Tanacetum vulgare, Common tansy, Verbascum thapsus, Common mullein, are to be treated chemically and/or mechanically on approximately 275 miles of road shoulder. Area to be inspected and treated if needed extends 30 feet from the edge of bare roadway. Treatment in old hayfield areas and areas of limited accessibility may also occur. Equipment being used for the requirements under this contract shall be cleaned prior to entering the park and cleaning may be required between sites. Supply of water may or may not be available in the local area of work, if not; the contractor will be required to furnish water. Services provided are to be performed during the base year of June 1, 2009, through May 31, 2010, and with the possibility of four option years ending no later than June 1, 2014. Work shall commence when target plants are actively growing and weather conditions make them most susceptible to herbicide effects as per the manufacturers' recommendations. Individual task orders will identify specific start work and completion dates. However work will generally begin on or around June 1st of each year. The NAICS code for this procurement is 115310, with a size standard of $7M.
Corrected on 2/11/09: An earlier version of this article incorrectly listed the price for the weeding program. The program will actually cost less than $100,000 per year for five years.