BOZEMAN – During Montana’s second annual Noxious Weed Awareness Week, June 9-13, weed professionals around the state will hold events to educate Montanans about noxious weeds and to share information about noxious weed identification and impacts, integrated noxious weed management and where to find additional resources in the fight against these invasive plants.
“Noxious weeds cost landowners millions of dollars annually due to lost productivity of range and cropland and the expenses associated with their management,” said Shantell Frame-Martin, project coordinator with the Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign (MNWEC). “Over the past 150 years, both the rate of introduction and spread of noxious weeds have increased significantly, likely due to increases in human travel and expanding commerce through trade.”
Noxious weeds, which can render land unfit for agriculture, forestry, livestock, wildlife or other beneficial uses and can harm native plant communities, infest more than 7.6 million acres in Montana. Many organizations across Montana are active in noxious weed management, outreach and education. MNWEC is a partnership among multiple federal, state and county agencies, non-governmental and educational organizations and private citizens in Montana. Montana State University Extension also serves as an outlet for noxious weed information with offices in counties across the state.
A weed attains a “noxious” status by rule as described in the Montana County Weed Control Act. Currently there are 32 state listed noxious weed species. Each of the 56 counties in Montana can also have county listed noxious weeds.
Jane Mangold, associate professor in MSU’s Land Resources and Environmental Sciences and MSU Extension rangeland weed specialist, said education is the first line of defense in noxious weed management. Education is the goal of the community weed pulls and field days, speakers and presentations scheduled for Noxious Weed Awareness Week.
Contact: Jane Mangold, MSU Extension rangeland weed specialist, (406) 994-5513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.