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BLM Idaho State Office
Release Date: 07/21/11
Contacts: Roger Rosentreter , (208) 373-3824 ,

BLM to Require Use of Weed-Free Hay on Public Lands in Idaho

BOISE, ID – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today published new rules requiring the use of certified weed-free hay, straw and mulch on all BLM-managed lands in Idaho.  The supplementary rules, which were published in today’s Federal Register, require all visitors, permittees and operators to use certified weed-free hay, straw or mulch when visiting or conducting authorized activities on BLM-managed lands in Idaho.  The rules become effective on August 20, 2011.  The BLM will begin enforcing the new requirement on September 19, 2011, to allow time for public outreach and education.


“This measure is needed to help slow the alarming spread of noxious and invasive weeds on public lands,” said BLM Idaho State Director Steve Ellis.  “It’s consistent with existing policies of the State of Idaho and the U.S. Forest Service, so in following these new rules, public land users will join the growing effort in Idaho and other Western states to combat the spread of weeds.”


Noxious and invasive weeds are a serious problem in the American West.  They spread an estimated 2,300 acres per day on BLM-managed lands and 4,600 acres per day on all Western public lands.  Species like perennial pepperweed, purple loosestrife, yellow starthistle, hoary cress (whitetop), leafy spurge, diffuse knapweed, spotted knapweed, Russian knapweed, Scotch thistle, Canada thistle, and rush skeleton weed are non-native to the United States and have no natural competitors to keep them in ecological balance.


“These weeds create all sorts of problems – from reducing grazing capacity to damaging wildlife habitat and altering fire regimes,” Ellis said.  “The rules will standardize regulation for all users of public lands in Idaho and allow coordinated and complementary management across jurisdictional lines.” 


Use of non-certified hay, straw or mulch on BLM-managed lands in Idaho carries a penalty of fines of up to $1,000, prison sentences of as many as 12 months, or both.  Under the new rule, only hay, straw and mulch certified by the State of Idaho as free of prohibited weed seed will be allowed for use on public lands in Idaho. 


Ellis said the 2 months between today’s publication and when the rules will be enforced will give public land users time to become familiar with the new requirement and to learn where to purchase weed-free products.  “The Forest Service and Idaho state agencies already require the use of weed-free forage on lands they manage, so there are suppliers standing ready to provide certified straw, hay and mulch.”  


For more information about availability, vendor locations, and price of certified weed-free hay, straw or mulch, contact BLM Idaho botanist Roger Rosentreter, (208) 373-3824 or .



List of Idaho growers of weed-free forage and straw (by county):


Idaho Agriculture Dept.’s Noxious Weed-Free Forage and Straw Certification program:


The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.

BLM Idaho State Office   1387 S. Vinnell Way      Boise, ID 83709  

Last updated: 10-31-2013