Noxious weeds were introduced to the United States from foreign countries, primarily Asia and Europe. Not having any natural enemies to keep them in check, they flourish, infesting millions of acres, doing irreparable damage to our environment and costing billions of dollars of damage to our agriculture industry.
The Pondera County Weed District controls noxious weeds on about 1300 miles of county roadside ditches and about 200 miles of federal/state highways in Pondera County. In addition, the District assists and on occasion sprays for Burlington Northern Santa Fe, the Bureau of Land Management and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.
Noxious Weeds in Montana
The Montana Noxious Weed law determines which weeds are noxious. The following weeds are currently determined to be noxious:
Spread of Noxious Weeds
Vehicles play a large part in the spread of these weeds. traveling from different areas of the west, weed seeds are constantly spread along our roadsides. If the weeds are not controlled at this point, they can become established and invade adjacent cropland, rangeland and area tributaries.
Floods and high water spread these weeds throughout the sensitive riparian zones of our creeks and rivers; areas which make control very difficult.
Integrated Noxious Weed Management Program Techniques
Weed Seed Free Feed Program
The District inspects forage acreage that will be sold or used in natural forests and other public lands with require weed seed free feed. Most public lands now have this requirement.
Weed Control Grants
The District writes numerous grants which to date amount to over $300,000 for weed control in Pondera County. Grants are funded from the State of Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund which came into being in the mid-80s. Funds are derived from an herbicide surtax and from a junk vehicle tax of $1.50. The grants have provided money for the purchase of herbicides, spray, equipment and sheep fencing to help in weed control efforts. Grants are allocated to cooperatives groups of local landowners who share common noxious weed problems and can cover up to 50% of weed control costs.
The Weed Department is located west on Conrad near the Municipal Airport.
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