Blackfoot Valley Dispatch - The Blackfoot Valley's News Source Since 1980

By Roger Dey
BVD 

Lewis and Clark County proclaims Nov. 2, 2018 'Bob Bushnell Day'

 

November 7, 2018

Roger Dey

Lewis and Clark County Commission Chairman Andy Hunthausen reads the proclamation.

In honor of his years of effort fighting the War on Weeds, County Commissioners declared Nov. 2, 2018 "Bob Bushnell Day" in Lewis and Clark County.

Commission Chairman Andy Hunthausen began Lincoln Government Day last Friday with a reading of the proclamation, which detailed Bushnell's volunteer efforts on the Lewis and Clark Conservation District, the Lewis and Clark Weed District, the Montana Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council and the Ponderosa Snow Warriors.

The proclamation earned Bushnell a standing ovation from the members of the county staff and from many friends and comrades who've worked with him over the years on various boards.

Bushnell told the BVD the honor came as a surprise, but felt the credit deserved to be shared.

"I think that was pretty darn nice, but I had a nice crew that works with me on that program to get people thinking about weeds," he said.

Bushnell said his efforts with weed management in the Lincoln area date back to 1996, when he worked with Ray Smith and Joe Parry spraying weeds along the Ponderosa Snow Warriors trail system from the back of his truck.

"We'd go to breakfast and then go spray and spend all day out there," Bushnell said. They'd ultimately cover the entire snow warriors' trails system.

Bushnell said it really started as a way for the Snow Warriors to thank area landowners for use of their property for trails. They expected it to take about two or three years, but were still at it 20 years later. Bushnell said it just took off after their first couple years, when they got another grant to continue the program grant. The Snow warriors have been awarded grants every year since.

"It took 10 or 15 years for it to connect with people that there was a weed problem in the Lincoln area," he said.

In addition to his work with the Snow Warriors, Bushnell served on the Lewis and Clark Weed District board for 18 years and the Conservation District for 16 years. He retired from both boards in 2016. He also served on the state's Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council, which oversees the Montana Department of Agriculture's Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grant program, from 2004 to 2010.

Several people who served on boards with Bushnell thanked him for his efforts.

Steve Johns with the Lewis and Clark Weed District called him a tremendous asset and someone who "doesn't fool around."

"I want to thank him, I really do. He's been outstanding," Johns said.

Sara Howe Cobb served on both the weed and conservation district boards with Bushnell and appreciated the example he set as a volunteer.

"I just can't thank him enough for being a mentor to me, showing me what it means to volunteer, and to do a great job at it," she said.

Her husband Mike, who also worked with Bushnell on the same boards, appreciated his calm demeanor that helped keep things running smoothly. He also said no new weed gets by him, saying Bushnell once found and took care of a yellow star thistle, a weed not normally found in the area.

Ernie Lundberg, who took over as chair of the Lincoln Community Hall board from Bushnell, said he still serves as a barometer for the projects they tackle at the Hall.

"Also, he's the one who got me going spraying weeds with the Ponderosa Snow Warriors. Now I'm a weed man too," he said.

Roger Dey

Bob Bushnell receives a standing ovation.

"He has made it his goal to make sure somebody's gonna fill his shoes in all these boards he's on and I took on two," said Bushnell's daughter Jeanette Nordahl, who now serves on the Lewis and Clark Conservation District and Ponderosa Snow Warriors boards. "He pushed for me to take on the third one and I said no. But I convinced my husband to do it."

Mike Nordahl now represents Lincoln on the Lewis and Clark Weed board.

Bushnell nearly missed hearing the acocolades. Bonnie Shown, who coordinated the presentation with Public Works Director Eric Griffin, said he told her he didn't think he wanted to attend Government Day this month. She told him he needed to go with her.

Bushnell said at the meeting that they got started and found they could finally make a difference after a few years.

"With everybody's help, it's been a fun program," he said.

 

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