Montana Department of Agriculture hosts event for Montana Noxious Weed Awareness Week

Weed field guide
Posted at 2:34 PM, Jun 06, 2024

HELENA — Helena community members joined the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) for a noxious weed-pulling event on Wednesday.

“When you see those pretty weeds outside, they’re usually noxious, unfortunately,” said Jasmine Chaffee, the noxious weed section manager for the MDA.

Roughly 20 people showed up at the Old Shooting Range Trailhead to pull noxious weeds like spotted knapweed, dalmatian toadflax, and leafy spurge.

Noxious weeds examples

According to the Bureau of Land Management, “a noxious weed is any plant designated by federal, state, or county government as injurious to public health, agriculture, recreation, wildlife, or property.”

As of 2019, 36 plants are classified as noxious weeds in Montana.

Chaffee said, “All noxious weeds are invasive. They’re not native, so they’re not from Montana or even the U.S., and they are actually by law, so they are extra dangerous to the wildlife and our other native plants.”

Man with weeds

June 2nd to the 8th is Montana Noxious Weed Awareness Week.

The Montana Weed Control Association says, “Weeds are most easily identified by their flower color, but sometimes you have to look at other features, including their leaf structure.”

The association also provides Montana noxious weed field guides.

“People live in Montana because they love our native landscape. It’s beautiful – the big sky. So, we want to keep that the way it always has been, and by doing that, we control our noxious weeds.”

These weeds can be spread in various ways, such as human activity, birds and animals, wind, or vehicles.

Invasive species sign

The Montana Weed Control Association says that preventing the spread can involve “washing off your vehicles after driving through weeds, brushing your boots off, or buying weed seed-free forage for your animals.”

You can find more ways to identify noxious weeds and how to prevent their spread here.