Weed Board Philosophy
The invasion, establishment and spread of noxious weeds is one of the most serious threats to our natural resources today. Our wildlife, native vegetation, water quality, aesthetics, agricultural production, forest production and recreation either have been or are at risk of being altered to unacceptable levels due to the spread of noxious weeds.
The Stevens County Noxious Weed Control Board is here to assist landowners and land managers with their duty to control certain noxious weeds that may be present on their lands. We achieve this utilizing a multi-method approach: prevention, awareness, education, monitoring, voluntary compliance and, when necessary, enforcement action.
Promoting Good Land Management
Owners must realize that removal of noxious weeds without a plan for follow-up action is short sighted and generally will not constitute weed control over the long term. In fact, the removal of one weed species may create an ideal condition for another to establish. The removal of noxious weeds is a necessary first step, but the Weed Board recommends the establishment of healthy stands of competitive vegetation by re-seeding, fertilization and other general “best practices” land management by all owners in Stevens County. Failure to follow an effective land management program can leave soils exposed and ripe for re-infestation by noxious weeds as well as soil erosion.
Services, Materials, & Information Provided
Many materials and sources of information are available at the Stevens County Noxious Weed Control Board Office. We offer an array of weed and plant identification books, pictures, slides and actual plant samples for public use to help identify plants on their property. Handouts include the state weed laws, weed fact sheets, herbicide recommendations, information on biological control agents, and commercial applicator contact information.
At your request our staff can visit your property, or property you are thinking about purchasing, to help you identify weeds/plants or do a general inspection to advise if you have any weeds of concern. We can make noxious weed control recommendations based on the use of your land, desired and existing vegetation, proximity to water sources, and more. This inspection service is provided free of charge and on an as-time-permits basis. Give us a call at 509.684.7590 (TTY: 800.833.6388) to set up an appointment.
We have backpack sprayers as well as a few larger (25 & 100 gallon) units for loan. All use a hand line, no boom sprayers are available at this time. Larger sprayers are electric and we have batteries to loan out with them.
No Spray Areas:
In cooperation with the county Public Works Department we administer the Owner Will Maintain program for landowners living along a county road who wish to maintain noxious weed control in their right-of-way frontage themselves rather than have the Public Works Department do it.
Cost Share / Eradication Programs:
For certain noxious weeds of limited distribution in the county, we have cost-share and eradication programs.
We strive to provide you with the knowledge you need to make informed, practical and effective management decisions. If we don’t have the answers or the materials you need, we will do our best to get them for you or refer you to who can help.
Current Noxious Weed Assessment
These rates, were effective with the 2016 tax collections and are:
- A. Urban (parcels in incorporated cities and parcels which have been long platted) will be assessed at $3.00 per parcel.
- B. Rural (parcels which are in unincorporated areas and are not part of a long plat, except those meeting the definition of the timberland category) and Timberland (designated forest land in parcels equal to or greater than 160 acres) will be assessed at $0.10 per acre with a $3.00 minimum and a $16.00 maximum assessment per parcel.
- Parcels with undivided interests, parcels which have no acreage (ex. mobile homes) and parcels which are mineral rights only are exempt.
These rates are expected to generate approximately $150,000 per year for our weed board operations. This amount is less than the amount collected in the first year after the assessment was approved. We have had to cut back on some of the services we have provided to county residents.
The public is invited and encouraged to attend our board meetings and our annual weed list hearing. This is your chance to offer suggestions for changes to the county weed list. Unless noted otherwise, all meetings are held in the conference room in our building, 230 Williams Lake Road, Colville.