Noxious Weeds   

Acres of noxious weeds on BLM-managed lands in Idaho

Noxious weeds are undesirable, potentially harmful, and exotic plants usually native to Europe or Asia that became established in the United States as settlement and commerce expanded in the mid-1800s.  They are able to spread because few native insects or diseases control their growth, and because they can out-compete native plants in many areas. 

Weeds can also invade an area following wildland fire or during authorized uses or activities.  When unchecked, they can spread at the rate of 2,300 acres per day on lands in the Western U.S., posing a severe threat to biological systems. 

In turn, they can decimate the land's potential and impact many sectors of our economy, destroying wildlife habitat and lowering forage use, and adversely affecting hunting, fishing, livestock grazing, crop production, and other recreational and commercial uses.   

The BLM cooperates with Federal and state agencies, county governments, and private landowners to identify and control these invasive plants before they degrade ecosystems and damage land productivity.  The agency also requires measures to eradicate weeds or prevent their spread during uses and activities authorized on public lands. 

For example, the BLM now requires the use of certified weed-free hay and forage on all public lands it manages in Idaho to help curb the spread of noxious weeds. 

Holders of a right-of-way (ROW) on BLM-managed lands are responsible for weed control within the ROW.  

From time to time, the BLM may close certain areas to certain kinds of entry or travel in part to prevent the spread of noxious weeds and the disturbance  

In Idaho, the BLM works closely with the Idaho Department of Agriculture, Tribal governments, and county governments to combat noxious weeds.  Cooperative weed management arrangements utilize local, state and Federal resources to inventory and treat weed infestations on both public and private lands.   

Through the Great Basin Initiative, the BLM works to prevent the spread of noxious weeds in Nevada, western Utah, southern Idaho, southeast Oregon, and eastern California.

The BLM is also helping fund a statewide database of noxious weed locations. The database is an important step in developing a cohesive strategy for reducing the noxious weeds in Idaho.

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