What is a noxious weed?
Noxious weeds in Nevada are described under NRS.555.005, 3 as “any species of plant which is, or is likely to be, a public nuisance, detrimental or destructive and difficult to control”. The Nevada department of agriculture (NDA) designates which plant species are listed as a noxious weed. Plant species may be designated as noxious for a variety of reasons and are considered harmful to Nevada ecosystems and its agricultural economy. The majority of these species are not native to North America. Seven species of noxious where recently added to Nevada’s noxious weed list in 2018 making a total of 54 species. That list can be found on NDA’s noxious weed webpage.
Why are noxious weed species a concern along roadsides?
The rate of disturbance along transportation corridors is much higher than in natural ecosystems. Most noxious species are well adapted to establishing themselves on these disturbed sites and can be easily transported through these corridors. These species produce large amounts of seed which are well adapted to taking over nearby sites once a plant has established itself at a location. Preventing the spread is the 1st and most effective step in controlling these invasive plant species.
What is NDOT doing about noxious weed control?
NDOT maintenance staff manages roadside vegetation to create safe and esthetic roadways through a variety of Nevada’s climates and ecosystems. Part of that vegetation management is to control and prevent the spread of noxious species wherever possible. NDOT uses a several control methods to address roadside weeds including herbicide applications, as well as mowing and mechanical removal. NDOT also requires all contractors to develop a weed mitigation plan specific to the site conditions.
Who is responsible for controlling noxious weeds?
The responsibility of noxious weed control falls on the landowner. If noxious plant species occur in an NDOT right of way it would be NDOT’s responsibility to control those noxious species. If noxious species occur on private property it would be the private owner’s responsibility to control those noxious species. These responsibilities are described in NRS 555.150.
How can I help prevent the spread of noxious species?
Awareness and prevention are the first and most effective steps in noxious weed control. It is important to be aware of what species are listed as noxious in Nevada. If you are unsure whether a species is noxious or not please contact NDA noxious weed staff.
- Avoid traveling through areas with known noxious weed infestations
- Be sure to remove seeds or any other propagative material after traveling through areas where noxious species are known to exist. Check footwear, clothing, pets, tires, undercarriage of vehicles, and watercraft.
- Use certified weed free material whenever possible. This material is inspected at the source and is then certified to be free of noxious species. Currently the NDA performs inspections to certify hay and straw, gravel and other aggregates, and mulch.
- Avoid planting any invasive and noxious plant species. A large number of these species were originally introduced as decorative plants and have since escaped private gardens and landscapes to invade natural ecosystems. At a local level Nevada’s master gardener’s program is a great resource for plant recommendations. Plant native species to promote Nevada’s natural ecosystems whenever possible.
What can I do about noxious weed control?
Unfortunately, even the best prevention measures may not stop a noxious species from being introduced into an area free of noxious weeds. Once a species has established itself the resources needed to remove/eradicate the species can raise exponentially in a few short years. Early detection of noxious species followed up with effective control is needed to prevent that species from gaining further footholds. Some control measures will not be effective for certain species. For instance, mowing alone will not usually provide effective control for perennial species. In some instances, the removal of the species may no longer be feasible and control shifts preventing further spread. Because of this Nevada has different categories of Noxious species in the state. For more information on noxious weed categories and please visit the Nevada department of agriculture’s noxious weed webpage.
How can I report noxious weeds?
- The early detection and distribution mapping system EDDMapS can be used to report noxious plant species and other invasive species in Nevada. All that is required is that the individual registers with the system to allow verifiers to follow up if more information is needed.
- Formal noxious weed complaints can be submitted on NDA’s webpage. These reports will generate regulatory action. The extent of that action will depend on the category of the species listed on the report and the location being reported.
- Other noxious plant species inquiries can be directed to the NDA’s noxious weeds program staff.
Provided By: Jake Dick, NDA