Weed Control FAQ

Q:

What are noxious weeds?


A:

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.

Q:

How is a plant designated as a noxious weed?


A:

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.

Q:

What is the Noxious Weed Control Program?


A:

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.

Q:

What is a noxious weed assessment?


A:

In October of 2018, Lewis County established a special assessment for noxious weed management as allowed per state law. Noxious weed assessments are used by over half of the counties in Washington State to provide a dedicated source of funding to the County Noxious Weed Control Board. The noxious weed assessment is levied against lands classified as Non-Forest land and Forest land throughout Lewis County with some exemptions including Federal and Tribal land.
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Q:

Why is the forested parcel with the noxious weed assessment rate less than the parcel where my house and out buildings are located?


A:

The noxious weed assessment is categorized into two land classifications: Non-Forest land and Forest land. The rate of Forest land is at one tenth the rate of Non-Forest land, per State Law, (RCW 17.10.240). Property classified as Forest land is defined in Chapter 84.33, RCW (Use Code 88, as defined by the State Department of Revenue). No refunds of noxious weed assessments are allowed where multiple parcels are owned by a single landowner.
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Q:

Why should landowners pay an assessment if they live in the city or don’t have noxious weeds on their lot or parcel?


A:

Control of noxious weeds is a benefit to all lands and helps provide for the long-term stability of our area’s economy and value of property. The invasive nature of these plants means that no land is resistant to their spread and establishment. Noxious weeds destroy native plant and animal habitat, reduce recreational opportunities, degrade waterways and increase flooding impacts.
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Q:

Will the County Noxious Weed Control Board now be responsible for coming out to control landowner’s weeds?


A:

No. The Noxious Weed Control Board will not become the primary entity for weed control throughout the county. The Noxious Weed program will still rely upon landowners taking the responsibility for their weed management, along with other agencies taking charge to control weeds on city, county and state right of ways and the lands they manage.
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