Why Spray for Weeds?

According to Montana state law, it is unlawful for property owner’s to permit noxious weeds to propagate (7-22-2116, MCA). The purpose of the law is to limit the negative impact weeds have on our state’s economy, ecology, and human health. Besides satisfying your lawful duty, spraying for weeds benefits the environment and helps maintain property values.

Noxious weeds cause detrimental effects on the environment by disrupting native vegetation, lowering biodiversity, lowering forage potential, and causing soil runoff and streamside erosion. Decrease in the land’s productivity and water quality and lost livestock and wildlife negatively impact our economy. By definition a noxious weed is “any exotic plant species established or that may be introduced in the state that may render land unfit for agriculture, forestry, livestock, wildlife, or other beneficial uses or that may harm native plant communities (7-22-2101, MCA).”

Our objectives at All Terrain Weed Management align with the objectives of Montana’s Weed Management Plan:

  1. Implement ecologically based integrated weed management.
  2. Conserve terrestrial ecosystems by preventing establishment of noxious weeds.
  3. Reduce abundance and distribution of invasive plant infestations.
  4. Support weed management partnerships with public and private land managers, such as supporting watershed groups and weed management areas.

The key to management of weeds is early detection and control to prevent spread. The Montana Weed Management Plan includes four categories of weeds, as follows:

“Category 1 includes 15 noxious weeds infesting about seven million acres of Montana. These weeds, such as spotted knapweed and leafy spurge, are generally widespread in the state. They are well adapted to a wide range of site conditions, and render land unfit or greatly limit beneficial uses.

Category 2 includes ten noxious weeds infesting about 500,000 acres statewide. These weeds have recently been introduced into the state or are rapidly spreading from their current infestations. Weeds within this category, such as rush skeletonweed, tansy ragwort, and tamarisk are capable of rapid spread and invasion of lands. Category 2 weeds have a high priority for management.

Category 3 includes six noxious weeds: yellow starthistle, common crupina, dyers woad, Eurasian watermilfoil, flowering rush, and the knotweed complex. These weeds have either not been detected in the state or may be found in small, scattered, localized infestations. As of 2007, there were about 800 acres infested with flowering rush, 200 acres of knotweed, and 154 acres of dyers woad reported in Montana. Eurasian watermilfoil was reported in the state in 2007 and is estimated to infest more than 200 acres. Management criteria include public awareness and education, early detection, and immediate action to eradicate infestations.

Category 4 includes scotch broom. Weeds within this category include plants that are invasive and may cause significant economic or environmental impacts if allowed to become established in Montana. Research and monitoring for Category 4 plant species may result in their listing as a Category 1, 2, or 3 noxious weed in Montana. Plant species designated as a Category 4 plant are prohibited from sale within or into Montana.”

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