|Ogden Valley News
|In Copyright (InC)
|SR Communications DBA, Eden, Utah
|Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah
|Ogden Valley News
Page 18 THE OGDEN VALLEY NEWS Volume VI, Issue I April 15, 2002 Weeds . . . Who Is Responsible ? By James Parks, notice is maintaining a public nuisance. Weber County Weed Abatement Local governments can be a wonderful thing with their umbrella of services and protection, all funded by your tax dollars. Weber County’s umbrella of services is intended to include most every segment of the county with its diverse communities and population. But perhaps no county program is more misunderstood, or ignored, than the services and statutes pertaining to weed control. Since spring is here, let’s take a look at the county’s efforts to address the challenges associated with weed control. Weber County has adopted, and supports, the Utah Noxious Weed Act as outlined in Utah Code Title 4, Chapter 17, last updated November 30, 2001. The county has a functioning Weed Board, and a Weed Division attached to the County Operations Department. The Weed Division has one spray rig, which is supported by limited county funds, and one licensed weed man to run the single spray truck—for the entire county. In Weber County, no state funding exists for implementation of the Utah Noxious Weed Act, but fortunately, the Noxious Weed Act has provided a large amount of help to the County Weed Supervisor. The following two excerpts from the State Code explain: 4-17-7. Notice of noxious weeds to be published annually in county — Notice to particular property owners to control noxious weeds — Methods of prevention or control specified — Failure to control noxious weeds considered public nuisance. (1) Each county weed control board before May 1 of each year shall post a general notice of the noxious weeds within the county in at least three public places within the county and publish the same notice on at least three occasions in a newspaper or other publication of general circulation within the county. (2) If the county weed control board determines that particular property within the county requires prompt and definite attention to prevent or control noxious weeds, it shall serve the owner or the person in possession of the property, personally or by certified mail, a notice specifying when and what action should be taken on the property. Methods of prevention or control may include definite systems of tillage, cropping, use of chemicals, and use of livestock. (3) An owner or person in possession of property who fails to take action to control or prevent the spread of noxious weeds as specified in the 4-17-10. Jurisdiction of state and local agencies to control weeds. The departments or agencies of state and local governments shall develop, implement, and pursue an effective program for the control and containment of noxious weeds on all lands under their control or jurisdiction, including highways, roadways, rights-of-way, easements, game management areas, and state parks and recreation areas. Weber County currently does not have the resources–with one truck and one operator—to both enforce the Noxious Weed Act for all of Weber County, and spray all of the parks, properties and roadsides that the county is responsible for. Fortunately every landowner/land manager in Weber County—not Weber County Weed Abatement—is fully responsible for weed control on their own property. Every irrigation company; city or town; state or federal land management entity; homeowner; and every farmer or rancher is responsible for maintaining their land and right-of-ways in compliance with these state weed control laws. Having the responsibility shared in this manor, many weed problems can be addressed and resolved with minimal cost to taxpayers. The county is available to help and assist in any way they can—as a source of weed control information, and to provide limited herbicide application. Since incorporated cities or towns adopt and enforce their own weed ordinances, tailoring them to address the needs of their community, the county weed board, as now constituted, does not cite or enforce weed issues within these communities that have the authority to regulate themselves. Chapter 10 of the State Code quoted above requires that communities take responsibility for noxious weed abatement within their jurisdiction. Weber County can provide advisement on how a weed abatement program can be set up within your entity. Many fire departments already inspect for weeds that are, or may become, fire hazards as the summer season becomes progressively hotter and dryer. Adding a noxious weed program can be done quite easily. Since the county has only one man and one truck, with no state funding to adequately enforce the Noxious Weed Act in all of unincorporated Weber County, local township and community members can be a positive influence by talking about and pointing out weed control issues in their rural areas. Usually it is this kind of contact that results in a landowner resolving a weed OGDEN VALLEY LAWN CARE We will be aerating Mowing on April 12th Trimming Call ASAP to make your appointment Fertilizing Aerating 745-0494 Clean-Up Reliable Service Free Estimates Kyle Goodwin * Worth Petersen * Marcy Petersen problem on their private property. Once again, if every individual; every local, state and federal government entity; and every farm, ranch, utility and recreation facility would do their part, Weber County could rid itself of many noxious weeds. In addition to spraying right-ofways, parks and other properties, Weber County Weed can contract with others to perform weed abatement work. The county charges a fair market price for this service, and will schedule with private land owners to do so, as time permits. Call the county for details. If the county cannot spray for you, your local agricultural inspector has a list of licensed herbicide applicators that can. Individuals who take care of weeds in front of their own property along county roadsides are very much appreciated. If for some reason you do not want the county to spray the roadside in front of your property, keep the weeds eradicated, and notify the county that you do not want them to spray. The county tries to spray for unattended weeds twice during the year. Thank you for your cooperation in making our county a more beautiful and productive place to live and work in. For more information contact: Weber County Weed Department: 801-399-8356 (Please leave a voice mail message.) State Agricultural Inspector in Weber County 801-399-8380 USU Extension Agent in Weber County 801-399-8200 Weber County Weed Web Site http://www.co.weber.ut.us/WEEDS/weeds.html NOTE: On the web site you can find identifying characteristics of the 18 Utah noxious weeds, helps on weed control, and information on biological weed control efforts in Weber County. Utah Noxious Weed List The following weeds are officially designated and published as noxious for the State of Utah, as per the authority vested in the Commissioner of Agriculture under Section 4-17-3, Utah Noxious Weed Act: Bermuda Grass Bindweed (Morning Glory) Broadleaved Peppergrass Canada Thistle Dyer’s Woad Johnson Grass Leafy Spurge Musk Thistle Quackgrass Russian Knapweed Scotch Thistle Whitetop Squarrose Knapweed Diffuse Knapweed Yellow Starthistle Medusahead Rye Spotted Knapweed Purple Loosestrife HIKERS PLEASE HELP! PLEASE PULL THIS NOXIOUS WEED BY THE ROOTS THIS RAPID SPREADING NONNATIVE PLANT IS INVADING OUR MT TRAILS & FIELDS There is a Valley wide effort being made this spring to eradicate, or at least limit the spread of this state listed noxious weed—dyer’s woad. Residents and visitors are being asked to eliminate the weed from their private property. The forest service and other public entities will be posting the above sign at trailheads in the Valley, asking hikers to also pull the noxious weed from the edges of pathways while traversing mountain trails. Dyer’s woad is an annual, meaning that the plant will die out on its own, usually within two or three years if the reseeding process can be contained. Left unattended, the yellow blossoms turn into black colored seeds that scatter, then lie dormant, sometimes for many years, until the right conditions for germination exist, usually in disturbed soil. Volunteer groups are also being asked to organize this spring, and participate in eradication efforts.