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Wyoming People

Weed, pest employees, managers recognized during annual convention

Written by Saige Albert

Laramie – Among the partners recognized during the 2015 “Partners in Resource Excellence” conference, held in Laramie at the beginning of November, the Wyoming Weed and Pest Council (WWPC) recognized four citizens for their work.

The Everett Johnson Award was developed to recognize an employee of a weed and pest district who has demonstrated outstanding management practices.

“When the words allegiance, commitment, devotion, loyalty and dedication are used to describe, Steve McNamee is the first person who comes to mid,” said WWPC. “He has committed his entire career to pursuing weed and pest management through his service to his home district and the Council.”

Since 1970, McNamee has worked for weed and pest in Laramie County, also serving on the Council and various committees.

Michael Schwope was recognized posthumously with the Archie Lauer Award. Schwope was a University of Wyoming Extension educator, served as a board member in Big Horn County and was president of WWPC from 2003-06.

“Mr. Schwope lived in Teton County for six years before moving to Big Horn County for the remainder of his career,” WWPC commented. “He enjoyed the agricultural aspects of his job and worked closely with many producers in the state during his service.”

On his retirement, Schwope had served 42 years in an active weed management career.

Schwope passed away in August 2015.

The Guy Haggard Award was presented to Bob Sundeen of Trail’s West Outfitters. Sundeen was recognized for his continued support of weed and pest programs in Sheridan, Johnson, Crook and Campbell counties.

“Finding individuals dedicated to a cause outside of employees and board members is often a difficult undertaking,” said WWPC, who noted that Sundeen has generously donated time, horses and the use of his outfitting camp to weed and pest employees during their backcountry weed surveys.

“His generosity has helped raise several thousand dollars over the years for the scholarship program while at the same time promoting friendship and camaraderie within the weed and pest community through spirited discussion of weed control philosophy,” WWPC continued.

As their final award, WWPC presented the Harold P. Alley Award to University of Wyoming Extension’s Brian Mealor.

“Brian has essentially dedicated his life to understanding the vast array of ecosystems throughout Wyoming,” they commented. “He has performed numerous research projects utilizing all aspects of integrated pest management, often using the needs of the council as his foundation and inspiration.

“Additionally, Brian’s ideas for weed control, equipment and technology are innovative and cutting edge, as demonstrated through his advocacy and instruction on the use of mobile apps for identification and reporting of invasive weeds,” WWPC added. “Brian is not only an individual whom all of us look to for answers to the tough questions, he has also become a close friend to the members of the Council and one of the strongest advocates for the mission of the program.”

Each of the award winners was presented with a plaque in recognition of their dedication to the mission and work of WWPC.

Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..