Montana Weed Fighter Inducted into Cowboy Hall of Fame

Published in the Fall 2014 issue of TechLine Invasive Plant News, Western Range & Wildlands Edition

Charlie Hahnkamp, lifelong rancher from Dillon, Montana, was recently inducted into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame. Hahnkamp has been involved in rodeo, ranching, and killing weeds for more than 70 years.

“They say your destiny chooses you at times … so when you’re 10 years old and trailing cows from Broadus, Montana to Bell Fourche, South Dakota it’s safe to say you’re going to be a cowboy. And Charlie has been a real top hand ever since,” writes the Hall of Fame.

Not only is he a first rate cowboy, but Charlie has also been a top hand at controlling weeds in Montana. He was instrumental in organizing and leading the Headwaters Resource Conservation and Development Range Weed Committee during the 1980s. Charlie continues to be a strong supporter of weed management, lobbying for stronger weed legislation in Montana and Washington D.C., and still finds time to control weeds on his own property and neighboring ranches. Affectionately known as Charlie ‘Knapkamp’ for his relentless quest to control spotted knapweed, he even plotted public education stunts at rodeo events arranging for the rodeo queen to fly a knapweed flag during the opening ceremony. 

Congratulations on your recent award Charlie, and thanks for your long-term commitment to weed control in Montana and the West!