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Idaho Noxious and Invasive Weed Awareness Week

Idaho Noxious Weed Campaign Officials Seek To Garner Support in Noxious Weeds Battle
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Meridian, Idaho – May 25, 2016 - For Immediate Use
Contact: Roger Batt: (208) 412-5760

         

This week is officially “Idaho Noxious and Invasive Weed Awareness Week.” The designation was placed into Idaho's Statute through Legislation passed and signed into law in 2014. Its purpose is to designate a specific period of time to educate Idaho's citizens about the serious impacts of noxious and invasive weeds to Idaho's economy, waters, lands and agriculture and to spur Idahoans to take action against these unwanted invaders, state weed officials announced today.

Noxious and invasive plants are a serious threat to Idaho’s economy causing an estimated $300 million annually in direct damages. This includes the costs to fight fires on rangelands and forests due to the proliferation of invasive plants such as Cheat grass that supplies fuel for rangefires resulting in the destruction of Sage Grouse habitat and productive grazing lands for livestock producers. Despite the fact that landowners and land management entities spend about $25 million every year to directly control and manage noxious weeds, Idaho loses thousands of acres annually to the 67 varieties of noxious weeds that have been identified across the state.

"We want to encourage all Idaho citizens to take an active role in the battle to control and manage noxious and invasive weeds in our state and to ask for their help not just during Idaho’s Noxious and Invasive Weed Awareness Week but throughout the entire weed season," said Roger Batt, spokesperson for the Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign.

There are a variety of tools Idahoans can use to do their part in trying to halt the on-going spread of noxious and invasive weeds in the state. Some of these include:

  • Learning to identify noxious and invasive weeds that may show up on private property or a favorite camping, hiking, fishing or hunting area so that potential invaders can be identified and reported to land and wildlife managers and County Weed Superintendents.
  • Becoming aware of Idaho’s noxious weed law, which requires all land owners to control and manage noxious weeds on their lands. Many people mistakenly believe that it is the County’s responsibility to control noxious weeds. However, Idaho’s noxious weed law actually requires that noxious weeds are to be controlled both on public and private land by the individual, company or agency that owns the land.
  • Avoiding travel through weed-infested areas with ATV’s and other off-road vehicles. This will help prevent the spread of noxious weeds and weed seed into new areas.
  • Don't pick and transport pretty flowers you cannot identify – you may be inadvertently spreading the seeds of an attractive noxious weed.
  • Checking boats, trailers and watercraft carefully after they are pulled from the water for signs of aquatic plants such as Eurasian watermilfoil. Pumping your bilge also helps prevent spreading aquatic noxious weeds into other water bodies.

"Idahoans can also acquire a free copy of Idaho’s Noxious Weed book. This useful tool identifies Idaho’s 66 listed noxious weeds," Batt added. "It can be a lifesaver when it comes to telling the difference between noxious weeds and Idaho’s native vegetation. The book is 115 pages of color photos and in-depth information to help Idahoans identify Idaho’s 67 listed species of noxious weeds."

You can get a free copy of the book by going to the Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign’s website at www.idahoweedawareness.com or by calling the Idaho Weed Awareness hotline at 1-844-WEEDSNO.

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