The Weld County Weed Division has three distinct tasks. These tasks include landowner compliance/education, mowing and spraying. For more information on these tasks click here.
Weed vs. Noxious Weed
Any plant that is growing where you do not want it to grow can be a weed. The important differentiation is between a weed and a noxious weed. A noxious weed is a legal term that is classified by several key characteristics. 1. It is a plant that is non-native to Colorado (and most likely the United States). 2. It is very invasive and spreads easily without human assistance. 3. It displaces native vegetation. And 4. The plant may be toxic to livestock, wildlife and humans (if consumed).
Weed Management History in Colorado
Prior to 1990’s Colorado had weed districts that usually had a mill-levi associated with them. Each district could select what weeds they were concerned with. In the 1990’s the law was changed to create County-wide programs if the voters chose to change. Most did. However a few Counties still operate under taxing districts. With this change the Colorado Department of Agriculture put all of the weeds of concern onto one big list that Counties could select from; kind of like al-a-carte. There wasn’t any real consistency around the state.
Then in 2004, the law was changed once again and the A, B and C lists were created. A list species are set for mandatory eradication all over the State of Colorado. The B list species are set for a minimum of control/suppression around the State and possibly eradication depending on the size of the infestation in each specific County. The C list species are out there for Counties and municipalities to address if they choose to. These species are wide spread throughout the State of Colorado.
Around 2012 a Watch List was also created. This list has on it species of concern that are being evaluated. The evaluation includes a literature review, corresponding with other states as to issues they have had with these species as well as looking for and evaluating their existence in Colorado. From this list these species will either fall off the list as not posing a problem or be moved to one of the regulatory lists, most likely the A list.