Officials with the Bighorn National Forest are moving ahead with plans to apply herbicide to large areas of the forest by plane, helicopter, or drone beginning next year. The plans were met with both support and concern from government organizations, environmental groups, and ranchers who use U.S. Forest Service (USFS) lands.
Thad Berrett, a Rangeland Management Specialist with the USFS, said an aerial application aims to improve the reach of herbicides over a larger area than what can be done with the current ground-level approach.
“The aerial application [is] looking at the different options we have from drones to helicopters,” he said. “The really hard to get to weed locations that are just hard to access or in rough terrain that you couldn’t take an ATV on—those are the types of spots we’d consider going in with a drone.”
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