Noxious weeds are non-native plants that are highly destructive, competitive and difficult to control or eliminate. They have been introduced accidentally or as ornamentals in peoples' gardens. Some are poisonous to humans and livestock and most grow rapidly and overwhelm desirable vegetation. They can reduce crop yields, destroy beneficial native habitat, damage recreational opportunities, clog waterways, and diminish land values.
The State Noxious Weed Board, a group of citizen volunteers representing all areas of the state, annually adopts and publishes a list of weeds to be controlled or eradicated based on public comment and input from county weed boards. The Lewis County Weed Board customizes the state list and puts out a list of Lewis County's priority weeds that are required by law to be controlled by the property owner. The Lewis County Noxious Weed Control Program, which can be reached at (360) 740-1215, can provide color photos and descriptions of noxious weeds to help citizens identify and eliminate noxious weed infestations.
The Lewis County Noxious Weed Control Program focuses on education, prevention, technical assistance and control of noxious weeds through voluntary compliance. Preventing the spread of weeds is more effective and less costly than eradication. From March through October, when weeds are growing the most rapidly, the program employs field staff to survey public and privately owned lands in Lewis County for noxious weeds and to work with landowners to achieve weed control. Much of the survey work is the result of citizens reporting infestations and asking for information and assistance in getting rid of noxious weeds on their property. Field staff finds additional infestations as they travel the county.