What are noxious weeds?

Noxious weeds are non-native plants that are highly destructive, competitive and difficult to control or eliminate. They have been introduced accidentally or as ornamentals in peoples’ gardens. Some are poisonous to humans and livestock and most grow rapidly and overwhelm desirable vegetation. They can reduce crop yields, destroy beneficial native habitat, damage recreational opportunities, clog waterways, and diminish land values.

What is the Noxious Weed Control Board and what does it do?

The Pend Oreille County Noxious Weed Control Board was established to direct the state mandated program as required by the court order. The board consists of five unpaid citizen volunteers who represent five districts that cover the entire county. The board meets monthly and provides vision and direction to the weed control program. While the program’s staff are technically county employees, they are hired, directed and supervised by the citizen board.

What is the Noxious Weed Control Program?

The Pend Oreille County Noxious Weed Control Program focuses on education, prevention, technical assistance and control of noxious weeds through voluntary compliance. Preventing the spread of weeds is more effective and less costly than eradication.

From March through October, when weeds are growing the most rapidly, the program employs field staff to survey public and privately owned lands in Pend Oreille County for noxious weeds and to work with landowners to achieve weed control.

How is a plant designated as a noxious weed?

The State Noxious Weed Board, a group of citizen volunteers representing all areas of the state, annually adopts and publishes a list of weeds to be controlled or eradicated based on public comment and input from county weed boards. The Pend Oreille County Weed Board customizes the state list and puts out a list of Pend Oreille priority weeds that are required by law to be controlled by the property owner.

What noxious weeds are found in Pend Oreille County and where do they occur?

Noxious weeds are found everywhere in Pend Oreille County—in urban, suburban and rural areas; on developed and undeveloped land, farmland, forests and other natural open spaces as well as in lakes, rivers, and streams.
What are some of the costs associated with noxious weeds and why should I be concerned?

            • Non-native invasive weeds across the US cost an estimated $26.4 billion per year in agricultural economic losses.
            • Approximately 420,000 acres of grassland and national forests in the Pacific Northwest are reported to have been degraded by invasive weeds
            • Noxious weeds are a leading contributing cause of species endangerment.
            • Purple loosestrife, which chokes out wildlife habitat, now invades wetlands in 48 states at an estimated cost of $45 million a year for control and lost land use.
            • Other noxious weeds can significantly reduce the recreational value of public open space and aquatic areas. For example, the aquatic weeds Brazilian elodea and hydrilla can clog waterways, seriously disrupting boating and swimming activities.

What services, duties are accomplished by the Noxious Weed Control Program?

            • Detecting and responding quickly to new weed infestations and introductions.
            • Surveying/mapping noxious weed infestations locations countywide.
            • Offering landowners technical expertise to achieve high rates of weed control and voluntary compliance with the state weed law.
            • Providing educational services to the public through informational workshops and publications.
            • Conducting research on the best methods for weed control and eradication in Pend Oreille County.
            • Assisting other agencies and non-profit groups with weed identification, control and eradication.
            • Coordinating weed management efforts by working with volunteer and community groups.
            • Providing Neighborhood Cost Share

What is Neighborhood Cost share?

This agreement is available to landowners who have a Category I, mandatory control noxious weed infestation. Where we share the cost up to 50% with landowners. We have proven successful at increasing our efficiency and effectiveness through this program. Our Inspectors are licensed to spray for weed control so they can spray the weeds during inspection and provide this service at a reasonable cost. The Inspectors will only spray those noxious weeds mandated for control. Therefore, we will only offer this cost-share option to property owners where those weeds grow so we can give you the most efficient control for your cost.

The Pend Oreille County Weed Board is charged by Washington state law with the cooperative control and management of noxious weeds. Through education, outreach and management measures, the board protects the Pend Oreille county ecosystem for everyone’s use and economic benefit. Weed Board offices are open and personnel in office available for consultation Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8am-5pm.