The Noxious Weed Program's goal is to survey the county several times each growing season to find and record the numerous noxious weeds that are found through the area. Surveys are mostly done from a vehicle and from public roads or public properties. Locations of weeds and the size of infestations are recorded and GPS points are captured to an ArcGIS mapping program.
This information is very helpful to us and to other natural resource agencies. From this data, we are able to find grant funding that will help us provide projects free of charge to the public, provide cost-share assistance to deal with a particular number of noxious weeds, and gives us a very good idea of what proactive activities we can put in place to reduce the number of vectors that are helping in the spread of many of these noxious weeds.
Question: Why is control of noxious weeds important?
Answer: Noxious weeds affect us all and cost millions of dollars to control, reduce native vegetation, disrupt rivers, estuaries, and entire ecosystems. Noxious weeds cost an estimated $26.4 billion dollars per year of losses to agriculture producers. Another $45 million dollars of control costs and loss of land to 48 states who are battling aquatic invaders affecting wetlands and choking out wildlife habitats. Noxious weeds also reduce forage for native wildlife, disrupt recreational activities, clog waterways, impact dikes, and reduce property values.
Enforcement of Washington State Noxious Weed Laws
The State of Washington passed a law in 1969 mandating all counties to have a program to combat noxious weeds. Chapter 17.10 RCW.