Governor Gordon Criticizes BLM’s Lingering Indaziflam Approval

Another summer and another fire season will pass in Wyoming without the ability to use the herbicide Indaziflam on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands to fight cheatgrass. The BLM has not approved its usage, which still awaits signature on the Record of Decision. 

Wyoming has been urging the approval of Indaziflam on BLM lands to help grazing permittees eliminate cheatgrass, a terrestrial invasive species. The herbicide is approved for use by the U.S. Forest Service and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and is being applied throughout Wyoming successfully to limit the spread of cheatgrass and other invasive species. 

“The BLM’s sluggish approval process prevents Wyoming from utilizing one of the most effective tools against this cancer on rangeland. It represents yet another inconsistent approach to regulation and allows cheatgrass to spread needlessly where federal agencies cannot align,” Governor Gordon said. 

“Wyoming is engaged in an ongoing battle against invasive annual grasses, and we need all available tools to improve habitat for wildlife and reduce fire risk. Without the ability to use Indaziflam across land ownerships several large landscape-level treatments have been on hold, while cheatgrass continues to spread,” the Governor added. 

Cheatgrass is an especially aggressive invasive plant, which prolifically spreads seeds and thrives in disturbed areas. The noxious plant outcompetes more beneficial grasses and changes Wyoming landscapes, causing significant negative impacts to native wildlife habitats and rangelands, leaving it susceptible to fire.

Wyoming is far outpacing BLM control efforts as the state invests millions of dollars annually to prevent the proliferation of terrestrial invasive species, including cheatgrass, ventana, and medusahead. The Governor consistently spearheads the fight against invasive species and led a task force to make recommendations on how to best target eradication. The Wyoming Legislature approved $9 million for battling terrestrial invasives this year, at the Governor’s request.