Invasive Species at The Heart Mountain Ranch

Intern: Bessie Gondwe

Ranch: The Nature Conservancy—Heart Mountain Ranch Preserve


Bessie is taking pre-veterinarian classes at Northwest College.  She was born in Sweden, moved to Zambia when she was 5, and then back to Sweden with she was 16.  She chose Wyoming because she was interested in the abundant nature and affordable education opportunities.


Heart Mountain Ranch

Week 3

This week we worked more with invasive species. I learned about how it helps to know more about the plants than just the fact that they are either poisonous or grow too wildly. Some plants for example bull thistle are biennial. If we cut off the seeds then we don’t have to worry about it growing out more cause it only does that every other year. They were the worst weeds to pick cause they were prickly. Along with the bull thistle we picked Mullein, White tops and another poisonous plant called Hen bane.

Flies can be a bother but not as much as they bother the cows. I got to watch as they sprayed the cows with disinfectant. It takes a while but makes the cows so much happier. Towards the end of the week I finally hiked up to the top of Heart Mountain and on the way we cut down trees that were in the way of the trail, picked up trash, in short we cleared the trail as we hiked up. The week ended after I watched one the herd owners injected some of the cows with antibiotics, Oxytetracycline to be specific. Most hoofed animals like sheep, goats and cows tend to get a bacterial disease in their feet called Foot rot. It slowly rots the foot and therefore causes them to limp. With all of what I learnt I can’t say more than that It has been a fun week and I can’t wait for the next one.

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