Fall River County Weed and Pest Supervisor, Nina Steinmetz, holds up a t-shirt displaying last year's catch phrase. Steinmetz promotes community engagement to help her office's efforts to control invasive plants and animals.  

Last Tuesday, Nina Steinmetz presented to the board of County Commissioners a review of Fall River County Weed and Pest's 2018 efforts to control invasive plants and animals.

Steinmetz serves as Fall River County Supervisor for the Weed and Pest control office. She helps seasonal employees, volunteers, and local land owners tackle invasive weed and pest challenges.

Steinmetz's presentation focused on her office's 2018 efforts; to control Baby's Breath and Salt Cedar invasive plants and to organize focused spraying along Hat & Indian Creek. The presentation included details on grant monies used for control efforts and how monies were distributed county wide.

Weed and Pest promotes public awareness through education. Steinmetz and her team provide newsletters to the public and stage informational booths at local events. The office mailed out 2,800 newsletters in 2018.  Last year, Weed and Pest was on location at the Spring Fling event in April and the Fall River County Fair in August. Their goal is to connect with residents and land-owners—displaying samples of problematic plants and answering questions about their work.

Fall River County Weed and Pest promotes a well educated and fully engaged community. Residents are crucial for identifying invasive plants, communicating facts to the control office, and aiding in the containment of harmful plants and animals.  

Steinmetz places herself in a supportive role for area land-owners, providing best practice methods, while transferring vital information from various governmental agencies to those in direct contact with invasive plants.

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She maintains that land-owners play the most important role in controlling weeds and pests. "They are the on-the-ground management control of noxious weeds and prairie dogs," Steinmetz says.

Private land-owners working with Weed and Pest receive financial assistance through reimbursement grants. Grants provide cost savings to participating land-owners after monies are spent on materials. In 2018, Weed and Pest accepted just over $49,000 in reimbursements grants to distribute among participating land-owners.

Working directly with land-owners and supporting their efforts is her office's main goal. Steinmetz takes a "good neighbor" approach to build trust with residents, allowing her office to employ a robust containment protocol. "If it is invasive, we can get it slowed down or stopped before it becomes a problem." Steinmetz says. "Early detection and rapid response is a program that we support."  

In 2019, Weed and Pest has a growing list of invasive and noxious weeds to control. Their efforts are aided by community awareness, education, and participation. 

Please contact Fall River County Weed and Pest Office for information on how residents can help in the control efforts.

Visit http://fallriver.sdcounties.org/weed-pest/ or call (605) 745-5047.

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