With many different private and public landowners along the 60-mile Smith River Corridor, a collaborative approach to weed management is paramount.

A priority for the Smith River Habitat Project was to establish a Cooperative Weed Management Area, where participating landowners agree to work together to develop mutually beneficial strategies towards achieving a common objective—desirable forage and habitat for wildlife and livestock, and a sustainable recreational resource. SRHP facilitates planning and implementation of invasive plant management activities in the Smith River corridor. Management strategies include a variety of on-the-ground management tools including herbicides, insects, hand-pulling, digging, mowing, grazing or burning. Depending on the site conditions and extent of weed populations, objectives may include preventing establishment of new plants, eradicating small populations, or containing or suppressing widespread infestations. Explore the Invasive Plant Management Resource Library to learn more about management methods and strategies.

Current on-the-ground efforts focus on...

  • Maintaining weed free campsites and other high-traffic sites, and preventing movement of invasive plants to and from the Smith River Corridor (Clean Campsites Program)
  • Suppressing and containing invasive plant populations on adjacent range and wild lands (Healthy Habitat Program)

Assessment, education and awareness are additional critical components to a successful weed management program.

The Healthy Habitat Program is designed to assist owners of private and public lands adjacent to the river corridor in achieving resource management goals that promote sustainable plant communities for wildlife and livestock.

Valuable range and wildlands within and adjacent to the Smith River corridor are infested with multiple populations of persistent and highly invasive plant species. Since 2003, SRHP has helped private and public landowners treat thousands of acres, reducing infestations by more than 50%. We will continue to suppress and contain invasive plant populations in these areas through the following efforts:

  • Facilitating landowner cooperation and resource sharing through Cooperative Weed Management Area planning
  • Providing in-kind and financial assistance to public and private land owners for weed treatment and assessments
  • Facilitating biological control collection, release, and population monitoring

The Clean Campsites Program uses coordinated, aggressive weed eradication strategies to remove invasive plants from high-traffic sites to reduce risk of weed seed transport by recreational users.

High traffic and disturbed areas such as campsites, trails, latrines, and river access sites are common areas for weeds to become established. Invasive plant species occur in many designated campsites along the 60-mile float. When river recreationists use these areas they are at risk of transporting seeds on their clothing and equipment to the next site they visit. 

We work to reduce invasive plant infestation in campsites through the following efforts:

invasive plant removal

SRHP organizes volunteers and professional weed managers to treat invasive plant populations in and around campsites. Treatments includes herbicides and hand-pulling at all camp sites. Accessible infestations on lands between campsites are also treated. SRHP participants have logged thousands of man-hours treating and removing invasive plants from campsites and other high-traffic areas.

Promoting Stewardship

We cannot control movement of invasive plant seeds by wind, water, or wildlife, but we can attempt to minimize movement by humans. Through education and awareness, we aim to influence river user behavior by promoting prevention practices. River recreationists are encouraged to do their part by learning to correctly identify, remove, and report invasive plants they find in their campsites.


We support Montana's efforts to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species through the Inspect, Clean, Dry program

  • INSPECT your boat and equipment for mud, water, and vegetation that could carry invasive species. 
  • CLEAN your boat and equipment with high pressure hot water. You do not need to use soap or chemicals.
  • DRY your boat and equipment.

Assessment is the process of gathering and evaluating information in a way that facilitates decision making. Through methods such as mapping, inventory/survey, and monitoring, assessments provide a more accurate picture of problems and solutions associated with plant invasions so that land managers are better equipped to implement effective management strategies.


Current inventory of size and locations of weed populations is important for developing management priorities. By comparing inventories, land managers are able to measure and monitor management effectiveness in reducing weed populations and spread. SRHP aims to maintain an accurate assessment of the extent and locations of invasive plant infestations to facilitate planning, develop effective strategies, and ensure efficient use of resources.

Smith River Weed Map  | Interactive Weed Map


Monitoring can be used to demonstrate where management actions (e.g., control treatments) are effectively and successfully meeting invasive plant management objectives, and to more quickly detect and modify actions that are ineffective.

SRHP uses annual weed treatment records, landowner and river recreationist observations, and permanent photo points to measure changes in invasive plant population over time. The establishment success of biological control agents and their impacts on invasive plant populations are monitored using quantitative scientific methods. 


One of our goals is to facilitate implementation of best management practices that will reduce weed populations to a manageable level on adjacent range and wildlands along the river corridor. Research is still needed to help understand the impacts of invasive plants and developing the best management practices for a variety of situations and environments. We work with agencies and universities to develop research opportunities and contribute to the knowledge base for best management practices.

The ability of river users to identify, avoid, and report weed populations to land managers can help to prevent establishment and further spread into non-infested areas.

One of the primary goals of the Smith River Habitat Project is to educate and raise awareness among floaters, landowners, outfitters, policy makers, and the general public about invasive plant issues so that they may become active contributors to the solution.

Awareness and education efforts support each of SRHP’s program areas.

  1. River Recreation Stewardship Packet
    (Planned for 2018. Available online / print for river distribution)
    Will include materials to help river recreationists identify invasive plant species, remove them safely and effectively, avoid spreading seeds, and/or report their occurrence as part of the Clean Campsites programs.
    Available now: Handout for Floaters and Brochure.
  2. Invasive Plant Management Resource Library (online)A compilation of key publications, websites, and other resources for topics to help land managers apply best management practices.
  3. Events
    SRHP hosts events that bring the Smith River community of landowners, recreationists, outfitters, and other concerned citizens together to celebrate accomplishments, learn about invasive plants, and implement sound management practices.