We have assessed the amount of plant propagules on three different types of vehicle (tracked, tactical wheeled and civilian pattern) under field conditions over the past three summers.  All vehicles were fitted with global positioning systems and their location monitored throughout the sampling period, enabling quantification of distance travelled on and off-road.  Vehicles were washed before and after the exercise with a commercial re-locatable vehicle wash unit and the post exercise soil and other waste was removed and contained.  The waste samples were placed in a greenhouse and Montana State University, and germination and establishment of all individuals is being recorded over a 12 month period. 

The effectiveness of five commercial re-locatable vehicle wash units was assessed by driving tracked, tactical wheeled and civilian pattern vehicles around a set course.  The soil and other debris washed off by the different commercial systems after the different vehicles were driven around the set was contained and stored separately.  Vehicles were meticulously cleaned prior to initiating the experiment, and again at the end by the US-FS collaborators.  The results showed a relatively high cleaning efficiency for all units on each of the three vehicle types. The efficiencies ranged from 66% to 95% showing some variability between vehicle types and units.
At the end of the project the evaluation of seed transportation and NIS probability of occurrence data will be used to develop a NIS management prioritization protocol for managers.  The evaluation of commercial vehicle wash units data has been developed into a technical report by the USDA Forest Service (see attachments). Overall the information collected and analyzed as part of this project will reduce the amount of NIS propagules transported by military vehicles, as well as to minimize the time and cost of compliance with the Executive Order 13112.

Taylor K, Pollnac F, Brummer T, Mangold J and Rew LJ (2011) Washing vehicles to prevent weed seed dispersal. MontGuide MT201106AG Montana State University.http://msuextension.org/publications/AgandNaturalResources/MT201106AG.pdf

Taylor K, Mangold J and Rew LJ (2011) Weed seed dispersal by vehicles. MontGuide MT201105AG Montana State University.http://msuextension.org/publications/AgandNaturalResources/MT201105AG.pdf

More detailed results will be available in the future.

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