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

Weed Legislation

2015 Montana Legislative Session

Thursday, July 10th, 2014



Legislative Resolutions:

Legislative Resolutions will be very specific resolutions that are geared towards specific legislative action. For instance, if we want changes made to a specific area of Montana Code, those resolutions will address the issue specifically.

Additionally, these resolutions will help guide our lobbying efforts in relation to specific legislation, for instance, if there is a divide among the membership on a specific issue, these resolutions will be specific enough to provide a CLEAR POSITION as to the path the organization should take in its lobbying efforts. For example, if a resolution is proposed in favor of one legislative action, the board will provide the opposing resolution so that, when a vote is made, a clearer determination may be concluded from the resulting vote.

Policy Statements:

Policy statements are, like the resolutions that we operated under in the 2013 legislative session, very general and broad in nature and advocate for our support or opposition of general efforts. These act more as guidelines for the organization to help determine the action that should be taken regarding legislation that changes suddenly, involves the association in an indirect manner, or that the association is being encouraged to get involved in by other outside organizations.

Things happen fast during the legislative session, and the policy resolutions provide guidelines for on-the-spot decision-making that needs to happen in order to keep up with the pace of the session.

Download the complete document on legislation along with templates you may use.

Compliance Letter Template – Noncompliance

Friday, July 26th, 2013


The Department of Agriculture created a  Compliance Letter Templates  for County Weed Districts.

These are only templates, please customize as you and your County Attorney deem appropriate.  If you have any questions please contact either Cort Jensen at 406-444-3144 or Dave Burch Dave Burch, State Weed Coordinator,444.3140.

These are available for your download and use.  We have provided them in two formats PDF and Microsoft Word.

Notice of Noxious Weeds and Request for Inspection – County  PDF Word

Notice of Noncompliance – County      PDF Word

MWCA maintains copies of current Montana Weed Legislation in our website library for your convenience.

County Weed Control Act

Thursday, July 25th, 2013


Montana has a law on the books to manage noxious weeds. An excerpt from the law: “It is unlawful for any person to permit any noxious weed to propagate or go to seed on the person’s land, except that any person who adheres to the noxious weed management program of the person’s weed management district or who has entered into and is in compliance with a noxious weed management agreement is considered to be in compliance with this section.”

“Draft 2017 County Weed Control Act” – Title 7, Chapter 22, Part 21 is available for review on the webpage maintained by the State of Montana.

The last major revision in 2013.

For additional information regarding the enforcement, how weeds are priorities and more  visit our online library in the FAQ section.

2013 Legislative Report and Scorecard

Monday, July 15th, 2013


The 2013 legislative session was one with many bills that impacted noxious weed management.  This was the first year MWCA had a set of Legislative Policies and a lobbyist to help us find out about and watch any legislation may impact those policies.  We learned lots our first year.

Download the 2013-2017 Policy Statements booklet.

Download the2013 Legislative Report and Scorecard

Visit the MWCA public policy committee page on our website.

Weed Seed Free Forage

Thursday, April 18th, 2013


Why the importance for weed seed free forage? An excerpt from the Montana statute states the reason: “the movement of agricultural crops or commodities as livestock forage, bedding, mulch, and related materials, including pellets, cubes, and other processed livestock feeds with noxious weed seeds, causes new and expanding noxious weed infestations on private and government‑managed lands, which adversely impact agricultural, forest, recreational, and other lands.”

Find out more about Weed Seed Free Forage

Noxious Weed Trust Fund

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013


Montana is the only state in the nation to offer grants through a noxious weed trust fund administered by the Department of Agriculture. The fund was established in 1985 with a $2.5 million cap. The interest from the trust in addition to vehicle license fees is what generates grant funding. At the 2007 legislature, HB 269 increased the Trust and capped it at $10 million. The estimated interest from this fund in 2013 is $499,000.   This funding issued for on-the-ground local cooperative, educational, and research projects. Grant deadlines are the first of December, with hearings held in March of the following year. For more information, refer to the Montana Department of Ag website.

Montana Pesticide General Permit Overview

Thursday, February 16th, 2012


Beginning November 1, 2011, the Montana Pesticide General Permit (PGP) is the permitting mechanism for anyone who applies pesticides into or over state surface water.  Everyone — from an individual homeowner to a federal agency –- with responsibility for pesticide application to or over surface water is subject to this requirement, although the US EPA regulates the application of pesticides to surface water located within the boundaries of an Indian Reservation.

The PGP is not a pesticide permit – it is a wastewater discharge permit regulated under the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Montana Pollution Discharge Elimination System (MPDES) program.  Discharge of pollutants to state water without a permit is a violation of the Montana Water Quality Act in 75-5-605, Montana Code Annotated (MCA).  The PGP program replaces the DEQ’s existing 308 Authorization program.  It will be renewable on a five-year basis.

The Montana Department of Agriculture maintains responsibility for all other pesticide certification, licensing, aquatic weed management plans, and enforcement and compliance considerations.

Download the complete PGP overview prepared by the DEQ.

Permits Required for the Following Aquatic Plant Management Activities: Diver Dredge, Hand Removal, and Bottom Barriers

Thursday, October 27th, 2011


If you are planning aquatic plant management activities that involved dredging, pulling or bottom barriers you many need to obtain a permit prior to beginning your efforts.

The type of activity  and body of water are two of the factors that determine the type of permit(s)  you many need to obtain.  We have a short summary of the different permits, who is the issuing agency, and which ones are required for which activity.   Download this summary before you begin your work.

Weed Law 1895 version

Monday, May 23rd, 2011


This year the Montana state legislature took up many bills dealing with invasive species, terrestrial and aquatic.   Weed control and invasives are not a new issue for Montana.   Bulletin number 30 from the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station of Montana College of Agriculture issued June 1901 titled Weeds of Montana, told about the weed law.  We have provided a download of page 22 and 23 of this publication for the section about the then current weed law.   The penal code for weeds was approved March 18,  1895.   The first listed weeds were Canada thistle, the Scotch bull thistle and the Russian thistle.   Fines to be assessed were not less than $5 and not more than $50 ($1,292 adjusted for inflation today), pretty steep fines.  They had provisions for noncompliance.

The names may have changed, but the fight is still the same.  Thanks to Dave Brink, Mineral County Weed Coordinator, for sharing his find.

Healthy Habitats Coalition Primer

Monday, April 4th, 2011


The Healthy Habitats Coalition (HHC) promotes conservation of the nation’s natural resources and economic interests by efficient management of invasive species thus curtailing the associated harm. Through state and federal leadership, HHC seeks legislation and appropriations that improves private, local, state, and federal land managers with on-the-ground control tools.

HHC is a committee under the North American Weed Management Association and recently, with considerable efforts from 16 state teams, over 1/3 of congress was approached with the HHC’s solution to jump starting invasive control programs: the five asks.

1. Over five years, federal land management agencies shall increase their on-the-ground control obligation by fivefold and decrease current infested acres by 25%. In examining federal agency budgets for invasive species, HHC has determined that 5-7% of every dollar is actually used on-the-ground. For example, if $500,000 has been allocated for invasive weeds, about $25000 is used for actual control. HHC is asking for better fiscal accountability from agencies.

2. Federal agencies shall provide a state pass through fund assessed at 25 cents on each state’s federally managed acre. A state entity shall submit a request for this critical pool of money based on a consistent set of criteria with a measurable control strategy to reduce current infestation levels or stop new invasions on any land in the state. Federal funds may be passed to the governor annually. 70% of the funds shall be utilized for on-the-ground control to manage taxes as prioritized by the state. Money may be appropriated directly to state Invasive species programs in order to maximize impact and avoid costly overhead. An example of “re-directing” federal dollars may be to examine as HHC has been told not all of those funds are expended in a year. In Montana, it is estimated this would amount to 6.8 million dollars for invasive management.

3. To stop the conduit for invasive species spread, the FHWA should authorize a line item at $300 per state center line mile of highway. Annual funds shall pass to each state DOT Maintenance Section as authorized in Section 329 of the 2005 SAFETEA Reauthorization Act to improve control, stop introductions and/or educate the public about invasive harm.  In Montana, it is estimated this would amount to 1.2 million dollars for invasive management.

4. Each state should develop and implement an invasive species plan and law to receive and manage invasive species funding with control tactics equivalent to Montana or Idaho laws.

5. States are encouraged to work in regional and national concert to educate the public through television and social media methods in metro areas. To reduce redundancy, all natural resource management agencies, state/local governments, universities, nonprofit organizations, industry, and the private sector should collaborate to form partnerships to protect land and water assets and resources.

These five asks have been supported in the Western Governors Association through resolution and by the National Department of Agriculture Association. Your Montana state team consists of Montana Department of Ag Weed Coordinator, Dave Burch,, Montana Weed Control Association MACo Representative, Dave Schulz, and Montana Weed Control Association Executive Director, Becky Kington, Please contact any of these individuals for more information.