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Belt kids helping scoop up invasive snails

By The Associated Press
Published On: Aug 14 2013 07:39:27 AM MDT

agr.mt.gov

BELT, Mont. -

Children in central Montana are helping to make a dent in the population of an invasive snail species while trying to win prizes.
    
The Department of Agriculture's Pest Management Program is offering two $1,000 gift certificates and two $500 gift certificates to a Great Falls bicycle shop to the Belt-area kids who bring in the most eastern Heath snails this week.
    
Ian Foley with the pest management program tells the Great Falls Tribune the weeklong program won't eradicate the snails, which seem to be everywhere in the Belt area. But he says it will cut into the population and make people aware of the invasive species so any new infestations are reported quickly.
    
Brothers Hunter and Bridger Vogl brought in a bag with 12.5 pounds of snails on Monday, while 9-year-old Gavin Olson brought in a pound.