Working together to strengthen and support noxious weed management efforts in Montana.

News & Updates


Monday, August 21st, 2017


Montana State University: Montana Agricultural Experiment Station and Extension Service
JUNE 2017

Bill to fight invasive species scraps boat decals for fishing license increases, bicycle fee

Friday, March 31st, 2017


TOM KUGLIN Mar 30, 2017 Updated 15 hrs ago LINK

HELENA — A bill to fund Montana’s fight against aquatic invasive species now includes increases to the price of fishing licenses and a new fee for out-of-state bicycles, but drops decals for motorized watercraft.

Senate Bill 363 aims to generate $11 million over the next two years to double the number of watercraft inspection stations, check all out-of-state boats and implement mandatory decontamination at Tiber and Canyon Ferry reservoirs, two of the state’s most popular. Mussel larvae were detected at Tiber last year and suspected larvae were discovered at Canyon Ferry.

Once established, mussels clog hydropower, irrigation and water treatment infrastructure. They also filter plankton which sends ripples through the ecosystem impacting fish and other aquatic life.

There is no known means of eradicating mussels once established. The best current measures, experts say, are to prevent their spread through inspection and education.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Chas Vincent, R-Libby, on Thursday apologized to fellow senators for the shape of the bill, which was heavily amended in committee shortly ahead of transmittal deadline.

Vincent introduced multiple amendments on the floor, saying he wanted to do as much work on SB363 before it goes to the House.

The bill came to the floor tapping fees on hydropower, irrigation and both in-state and out-of-state motorboats.

Senators voted to approve Vincent’s amendments to drop fees on irrigation and watercraft in exchange for a $15 bump to nonresident and $2 bump for resident fishing licenses. Successful amendments also included putting sunsets on the funding mechanisms, passing the full burden of hydropower fees onto customers and putting excess revenue into an invasive species trust to fund future work.

Sen. Scott Sales, R-Bozeman, then introduced an amendment to put a $25 fee on out-of-state bicycles. Sales criticized cyclists when speaking on a different bill he called them “rude” and “self-centered” for his perception of their sharing of the road.

Sales told the floor he had heard from cyclists and believed they should have some “skin in the game” as AIS impacts recreation that lures tourists to Montana.

Sen. Jill Cohenour, D-East Helena, questioned the seriousness of the amendment before it passed 26-24.

The amended bill then passed second reading 29-21. In must pass third reading to pass to the House.

Reporter Tom Kuglin can be reached at 447-4076 @IR_TomKuglin

Are you a Montana County Weed Coordinator? We have a Bill for you — HB410

Thursday, February 16th, 2017


Stop. Look. Respond!

Are you a Montana County Weed Coordinator?
Could your program use more funding?

If you answered yes to both of these questions, we have a bill for you!

HB410 is a proposed bill sponsored by Montana Association of County Commissioners and Montana Weed Control Association to increase the noxious weed portion of the vehicle fee tax to go to counties and reservations, and to re-define integrated weed management within the act. The act can be found here.

As you may be aware, there are many entities who receive funding from the vehicle fee tax and this legislative session, increases are coming out of the woodwork. Noxious weed fees associated with the vehicle fee have not been increased since 1989. We know your program costs have increased greatly since 1989 and we also know that many county budgets are being cut across the board. If passed as currently proposed, this legislation would provide an additional $13,000 per year to county weed districts and reservations. We desperately need your support for this bill if we are going to have any chance of this passing.

The first hearing for HB410 will be held next Tuesday, February 21, 2017, at the Capitol building, room 137 with the House Ag Committee. If you can possibly make it in person, a strong showing of counties would be fantastic. But if you can’t make it, a draft template of a letter you can re-word to make it fit your program is here and an infographic you can print off and post to engage the support of your weed board and commissioners can be found here.

The only shot this bill has of passing is if we can garner the support of Montana County Weed Boards and Commissioners! Please help us and help your program by testifying or writing or calling House Ag Committee members. You can also contact the bill sponsor, Representative Ray Shaw. His email is

Members are here and you can find their contact info at

(H)Agriculture — Standing Committee
Rep. ALAN REDFIELD (R)- -Chair

NWTF 2017 Applicant Hearing Agenda

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017


Here is the 2017 Grant Hearing Agenda.  Please note the day and time that you will be presenting your application(s), please arrive 30 to 45 minutes ahead of your scheduled time.  The hearings will be held at the Wingate Hotel in Helena; map link –

If you are planning to have someone else present, other than who is listed as a presenter on your application, please let me know so I can make the appropriate updates.

Please review your application carefully to ensure you have the correct figures in your budget and herbicide/revegetation worksheets (if applicable).  It is recommended that you bring a copy of your application with you.

Also, if you are planning to do a power point presentation I will need them no later than February 20, 2017; you can either email them to me, send them on a jump drive (we will return all jump drives at the hearings) or on a CD.  If you choose to email them remember that our servers here at MDA have a 10MB limit.

We will once again have conference calling available, we will be using GoToMeeting which allows a presenter to participate by internet/computer.  Please let me know by February 20th if you will be presenting by this method, and I will get the connection information to you.

The agenda is scheduled numerically; no deviations will be considered.

I have sent this email to the primary contact listed on each application. Please forward the agenda to anyone you feel necessary.

If you have questions please contact Dave Burch 444-3140, Jasmine Reimer 444-7882 or Carol Bearden 444-7880.

Jasmine Reimer
NWTF Grant Coordinator
Montana Department of Agriculture
PO Box 200201 / Helena, MT 59620
406-444-7882 / 406-461-9207 (Cell)

2017 Legislative Session – Help Us Support Two Weed Bills

Monday, January 2nd, 2017


Weed Peeps, I can hardly believe it, but the 2017 Legislative session is starting this week! So to get you up to speed, there are currently two bills we are involved with or supporting. One is a bill that has been drafted by the MT Dept of Ag and it amends pesticide fees and also provides stable funding for the State Noxious Weed Coordinator. That bill is HB 126 and it will be heard in the House Ag Committee on Thursday, January 5 at 3 p.m. If you support Montana’s Noxious Weed Program and support the state weed coordinator position, I highly encourage you to write letters, send emails to the House Ag Committee or attend in person to support this legislation.
MT Association of Counties (MACO) is working on a draft bill that will increase the vehicle fee percentage to provide much needed revenue to county weed programs and tribes across Montana and MWCA is a co-sponsor on this bill. The MWCA membership already approved of going for this revenue increase in 2014. This bill is being drafted and sounds like it will also be presented to the House Ag Committee when it is ready. As soon as I have the bill draft, I will send it out to you.

2017 House Ag Committee Members are:

Redfield, Alan (R) Chair
Staffanson, Scott (R) Vice Chair
Pierson, Gordon (D) Vice Chair
Anderson, Fred (R)
Bachmeier, Jacob (D)
Beard, Becky (R)
Bennett, Bryce (D)
Curdy, Willis (D)
Fleming, John (D)
Funk, Moffie (D)
Hamilton, Jim (D)
Harris, Bill (R)
Lenz, Dennis (R)
McKamey, Wendy (R)
Mortensen, Dale (R)
O’Hara, James (R)
Olsen, Andrea (D)
Perry, Zac (D)
Ricci, Vince (R)
Sales, Walt (R)
Sheldon-Galloway, Lola (R)
Webb, Peggy (R)
Windy Boy, Jonathan (D)

Secretary: Sydney Kessel,
Rm 468, (406) 444-1513

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. – Becky Kington at or 406-684-5590.

Draft 2017 State Noxious Weed Plan For Your Review

Monday, January 2nd, 2017





TO:         All Interested Parties

FR:         Dave Burch, State Noxious Weed Coordinator

RE:         Draft 2017 State Noxious Weed Plan

Please find attached a PDF copy of the Draft 2017 Montana Noxious Weed Plan for your review, or view on the Departments website at: or

We will be taking written comments/edits on the Plan until January 31, 2017 after which we will finalize the plan.  I encourage all agencies and entities listed in the plan to review their section and make edits as necessary.  You will notice we have made significant changes and yet kept vital information from the 2008 Plan.  Please send all comments/edits to me at or by mail at:

Montana Department of Agriculture
Attn: Dave Burch
PO Box 200201
Helena MT 59620

This plan mirrors the newly produced Montana Invasive Species Framework, it is a very functional format, which will provide for easy updates as need over the next six years.

Please feel free to share this information with other appropriate individuals.

Dave Burch
Montana Department of Agriculture
State Noxious Weed Coordinator/Program Manager

2016 Proposed Bylaws Changes – Membership Voting Soon

Monday, November 14th, 2016


Proposed MWCA Bylaws Changes 2016:

  • Article IV, Part (c) to read as follows: Election of the Board of Directors, passage of public policy statements and legislative resolutions and/or bylaw changes shall take place by electronic and or mailed ballot to all voting members in good standing. The MWCA staff shall email and or mail ballots to all members in good standing no later than December 1. All returned ballots must be postmarked by December 21 to be counted in the election results. Election shall be by simple majority of those voting. Should a simple majority not be received by any candidate for an office, that office shall be elected by a runoff vote between the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes.


  • Article VI, Section 5.01, Part (a) to read as follows: (a) The Fifty percent (50%) of the voting members of the Board of Directors present shall constitute a quorum at all board meetings. Each board member shall have one vote.


  • Article VI, Section 6.06, Parts (a) and (b) to read as follows: (a) The Board of Directors shall have a minimum of three (3) meetings each calendar year. The Executive Director shall notify each director of the time and place of each meeting by mail or email a minimum of ten (10) five (5) business days prior to each meeting. (b) Special meetings of the Board of Directors may be called by the President or Vice President, upon ten (10) five (5) days’ notice by mail to each director.


  • Article V, Section 5.01, Parts (b) and (c) to read as follows: (b) Special meetings of the members of the Association may be called by President or upon petition in writing requesting the same by one-fourth of the members, or upon order of the Board of Directors, and ten (10) five (5) business days’ notice of the time and place of said meeting shall be given to each member by the Executive Director , by mail. (c) The Executive Director will give all members in good standing ten (10) five (5) business days’ notice , by mail, email, or website of the time and place of all meetings scheduled by the Board of Directors.


  • Article VI, Section 6.09 to read as follows: Liaison Advisory Representatives. The Board of Directors may invite representatives of any local, state, or federal agencies, or other related organizations that may be beneficial to participate in board activities as liaisons advisors for their agencies/organizations and mandate that they be members of MWCA.


  • Strike Article VIII. Section 8.02, Parts (d), (e) and (f).

(d) Coordinator Support Work Group. To encourage professionalism, and provide operational and educational direction for Montana Weed District Coordinators. The chair of the coordinator support committee shall receive nominations for the chair position the fall of the year their term is completed and all coordinators will vote by ballot by Sept 1 for that position. The state shall be divided into seven areas to coordinate weed management efforts. Area councils shall include Western, Southwestern, South Central, Southeastern, Northeastern, Central and Triangle. Area councils may choose to elect a chairperson for their area council other than their area representative who serves on the board of directors. Such council chairs shall be voted on by their respective councils annually. If the council chair is someone other than the area representative, this will not be a voting position on the board of directors.

(e) Integrated Weed Management Work Group. Committee will encourage the development, research, and demonstration of sustainable, integrated weed management strategies. Chair of the committee will be an elected board position.

(f) Education Work Group. Committee will encourage educational events, training, publications, and other activities to further the knowledge and expertise of MWCA members and the public. Chair of the committee will be an elected board position.

The MWCA NEEDS YOU: Board of Directors Nominations OPEN | Deadline 11/21/2016

Friday, November 11th, 2016


We need interested, passionate, think-outside-the-box board members!

MWCA Board of Directors has the following positions up for election:

  • Vice President
  • Education Committee Chair
  • Agriculture Representative
  • Member-at-Large
  • Triangle Area Representative
  • South Central Area Representative
  • South West Area Representative
  • Western Area Representative

MWCA Board Nomination Form. If you are interested you can contact Becky for more information about any position. MWCA Board Nomination Form. MWCA Board Nomination deadline is November 21.

2016 MWCA Awards – Deadline November 21

Friday, November 11th, 2016



MWCA has pared down its awards for 2016. We are awarding in the following categories this year: Weed Fighter of the Year, Barb Mullin Lifetime Achievement Award and Weed District of the Year. Letters of nomination are due Monday, November 21, and criteria can be found at Awards. Please think about all of the weed peeps you are involved with and consider nominating one or more for one of the above listed categories!

Water samples have tested positive for the larvae of aquatic invasive mussels

Thursday, November 10th, 2016


Water samples from Tiber Reservoir east of Shelby have tested positive for the larvae of aquatic invasive mussels, with similar tests from Canyon Ferry Reservoir near Helena showing “suspect” or inconclusive results, according to officials at Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Read more

Water Samples Positive for Invasive Larvae in Tiber Reservoir

Zebra and Quagga Mussel FAQs and Fact Sheet