Montana Weed Laws; - Updated 3-3-09
Weed Legislation [from Montana Weed Control Association] Montana Weed Laws
1. County Noxious Weed Control ActThe noxious weed control law establishes weed management districts throughout the state. These management districts are commonly called county weed control districts and are defined by the boundaries of the county. This act sets responsibility on County boards to develop and administer the district's noxious weed program, to establish management criteria for noxious weeds on all lands within the district, and to make all efforts to develop and implement a noxious weed program covering all land within the district owned or administered by a federal agency.
2.Montana Weed Control Act gives technical assistance and embargoes.
3.Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund Act The Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund (NWT) grant program was established by the 1985 Montana Legislature to provide funding for the development and implementation of weed management programs; provide for research and development of innovative weed management techniques, including biological control; and to support educational and other research projects that benefit Montana citizens. The grant program is designed to assist counties, local communities, researchers, and educators in their efforts to solve a variety of weed problems in Montana.
4. Montana Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage this program complements a state noxious weed seed free forage certification program. The purpose of the Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage (NWSFF) program is to provide forage products, such as hay, cubes, pellets, grain concentrates, or straw that are free of noxious weed seeds.
5. Montana Agricultural Seed Act lists restricted weed seed levels that must be maintained in state certified seed.
6.Montana Commercial Feed Act restricts noxious weeds in commercial feed.
7.Montana Environmental Policy Act must be addressed by any state actions that have possible environmental or socioeconomic impacts.
8.Montana Nursery Law permits for inspection, certification, and embargo of all nursery stock for listed pests, including weeds.
For a more in depth or extended look at a law click on the link.
1. Montana Environmental Policy Act.
Need Help understanding these laws? Click on a link below
1. Help understanding several laws at weedawareness.org.
2. County Noxious Control Act information and history.A site from Montana State University explaining the Act.
3. Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund information. A site provided by the government to help you understand this Act.
4. The Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage Program, which complements and supports the regional Noxious Weed Free Forage Certification Program.
5. Montana's Commercial Feed program explained by the Department of Agriculture.
6. Montana's Noxious Weed ProgramSite where you can view Montana's noxious weed program from the Department of Agriculture.
7. Montana's Weed Management Plan Montana's Plan to deal with weeds, and who weeds should be handled by in different areas and times.
8. Montana Environmental Policy Act A site provided by the Government to help you understand this act.
Summary of Legislation Associated With Montana Weed Programs
County Weed Control Programs and Legislation
The responsibility for enforcement and implementation of weed management in Montana, is in the local county government. The County Noxious Weed Control Act is enforced at local county level. The noxious weed control law establishes weed management districts throughout the state. These management districts are commonly called county weed control districts and are defined by the boundaries of the county. The Act sets responsibility on County boards to 1. develop and administer the district's noxious weed program, 2. to establish management criteria for noxious weeds on all lands within the district, and 3. to make all efforts to develop and implement a noxious weed program covering all land within the district owned or administered by a federal agency. The level of weed fighting activity in every county is unique because of disparity of financial and personnel resources at local levels. In county funding can be provided by a local levy. Some counties develop aggressive programs including preventive, and educational elements, yet other counties only maintain a minimum program. All weed boards developed long-term integrated weed management plans. Most have an active roadside herbicide spraying program. Some other important elements of local county weed programs include: educational programs; federal and state cooperative programs; biological control; development of local landowner cooperative agreements; rental sprayer programs; mowing; mechanical; and grazing. Counties can appropriate money from the general fund of the county, levy and assess taxes fixed by law, not exceeding two mills on the dollar of total taxable valuation in the county. Note: This tax must be identified for noxious weed control use, and/or levy a tax in excess of two mills if it is authorized by a majority of the qualified electors voting in an election held for this purpose. The County Noxious Weed Control Act also allows for the county to fine and punish persons or companies who do not follow the rules set by the county.
State Weed Programs and LegislationMontana Department of Agriculture administers a number of laws relating to weed management in our state. The Montana Weed Control Act provides for technical embargoes assistance. The Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund Act is a grant funding program made in 1985 to develop and encourage local cooperative weed management programs, to create research and weed control, including the weed supervisor training standards, and listing of state wide noxious weeds by rule under the County Noxious Weed Control Act. Grants have been given out to programs, researchers, counties, and educators.
The Montana Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage this program establishes a state noxious weed seed free forage certification program that supports and complements the regional Noxious Weed Free Forage Certification Program. This program provides forage products that are free of state and regionally designated noxious weed seed or any injurious parts of plants and any propagating parts of plants that are capable of producing new plants, such as hay, cubes, pellets, grain concentrates, or straw that are free of noxious weed seeds.
The Montana Environmental Policy Act is meant to declare a state policy that will encourage better relationship between humans and their environment. EPA is made up of three parts. The National Environmental Policy act of 1969 requires state government to coordinate state plans, functions, and resources to achieve various environmental, economic, and social goals. Part one has no legal requirements, but the policy and purpose provide guidance in applying and interpreting the statutes. Part 2 requires state agencies to carry out the policies in Part 1 through the use of a systematic, interdisciplinary analysis of state actions that have an impact on the human environment. This is accomplished through the use of a deliberative, written environmental review. Part 3 of MEPA establishes the Environmental Quality Council (EQC) and outline its authority and responsibilities. MEPA is not an act that controls or sets regulations for any specific land or resource use. It is not a preservation, wilderness, or anti development act. It is not a device for preventing industrial or agricultural development. If implemented correctly and efficiently, MEPA should encourage and foster economic development that is environmentally and socially sound. By taking the time to identify the environmental impacts of a state decision before the decision is made and including the public in the process, MEPA is intended to foster better decision making for people and the environment.
The Montana Agricultural Seed Act lists forbidden and restricted seed levels that must be maintained in state certified seed. All state noxious weeds are included in this list. The Montana Commercial Feed Act forbids noxious weeds in commercial feed. The Montana Nursery Law allows for inspection, certification, and embargo of all nursery stalk for listed pests, including weeds.
All state land agencies of land management are required by law to enter in to an integrated noxious weed management plan with local county weed boards where they control lands in the county. This plan needs to contain: a 6 year integrated weed management plan, to be updated biennially; a noxious weeds goals statement: and a specific plan of operations for each biennium, including a budget. Every agency is required to submit a biennial performance report to the Montana Department of Agriculture these provisions were enacted be the 1995 Montana Legislature and the MDA continues to work with agencies and countries to facilitate implementation state agencies with weed management responsibilities are: Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks: Department of Natural Resources and Natural Resources and Conservation: Department of Transportation: Department of Correction: Department of Public Health & Human Services: and the University System.
Noxious Weed Trust Fund ProgramThe Montana Weed Trust Fund grants program started in 1985 with a $1,000,000 grant from the Natural Resource Indemnity Trust Fund to give to the development of local cooperative weed control programs and creative weed management research. Half of the original grant established a permanent Trust Fund and half funded cost share weed control to local landowners. Further funding for the program was through a 1% herbicide surcharge on the retail value of all herbicide marketed in Montana. Half of this income funded grants and half was deposited in the Trust Fund account.
Additional revenue in 1987 supplemented the grants program with a $.50 fee on the registration of all vehicles in the state. Legislature also required the expenditure of 25% of all weed vehicle incomes to help pay for non chemical research and demonstration weed management procedures. The weed automobile fee has been raised to $1.50 in 1989. The permanent Trust Find reached its objective goal of $2.5 million in 1992, the herbicide surcharge was taken away. In 1999 the legislature approved a one time transfer of $2.25 million from Department of Transportation non restricted highway fund in the 00/01 biennium to the Noxious Weed Trust Fund. Interest from the Trust also is used for grants. As of 2002 the $1.50 automobile fee has been dropped because Trust Fund funding goals have been met.
The noxious weed grants program is competitive and applications are submitted to the Department of Agriculture once or twice a year. Generally requests for funding are two to three times more than the amount that is possible to get. There is an eleven member Noxious Weed Advisory Council chaired by the Director of the Montana Department of Agriculture that goes over all grant applications and provides funding recommendations to the Director. All applicants will present the grant requests they each have at a hearing of the Council.
Income for the present grants program comes from interest for the $4.75 million Weed Trust Fund and from the automobile weed fee. Income per year will vary with current interest rates and averages in between $1.2 and $1.7 million.
Local Cooperative Grant project encourages county weed districts, local landowner, state, federal, and local land managers to develop management programs for long-term programs within a defined project area, like a drainage or in areas with similar weed problems. Similar funds are required and many programs include a cost share herbicide treatment program with other control procedures implemented, depending on the desired weed species. Some other control procedures may include the establishment of biological control insectary sites, the replanting of sites with competitive species, mowing, or hand pulling.
Four hundred and forty-two local cooperative project areas have been funded by the program since 1985, using 54.2% of the available funds. Project applicants are encouraged to develop long-term plans. Although most grant funding is for not longer than four years total on a project area. The yearly average grand funding is approximately $418,000. All applicants for grants need to submit environmental information about the project area. By doing this, MDA can develop an environmental assessment for the area.
Research Projects also are funded though this program. Quite a bit of this funding supports biological control agents research for Montana noxious weed development. Some other weed research include regrouping vegetation projects, herbicide resistant weed research, and grazing projects. Of the total funding, research projects' account for 33.2%, and 111 projects have been funded through the grant's program since 1985. The majority of the required 25% funding of non chemical programs in this area. More than $1.9 million has been used on the development of biological control agents under the Trust Fund program since 1985.
Educational Programs target education of land managers on proper weed management techniques and the education of the general public to encourage their support of the weed control in Montana. Since 1985 a total of 94 projects have been funded, using 9.9% of the total funding available. The development of the Montana weed calendar, public service announcements, weed identification brochures, weed surveys and mapping, high school greenhouses and integrated control projects, weed supervisor and weed board member training, sportsman training, and realtor training are examples of funded projects.
Special County and Reservation Grants was established in 1994. All of the 56 Montana county weed districts and 7 Montana reservations may apply for $6,200 every year to fund any part of their program that will help maintain an effective weed program. Fifty-eight projects in 1996 have been funded, using 2.7% of the total grant funding available. Approximately 18% of the grant funds will be utilized by this program on a yearly basis.
Why Noxious Weeds Cause Problems
Understanding Montana's Noxious Weed Laws
By: Kendra McKlosky and Maggie Scott. Updated: 2/2002. Edited Updated by: Nelson Godbolt. 02/2005. Edited & Updated by: Nikita and Patricia 02/28/09.