Noxious Weeds & Invasive Species
COMMITTEE ON JOINT AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
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08:18 AM -- Noxious Weeds and Invasive Species
Jonathan Rife, President-elect, Colorado Weed Management Association, described the mission of the association and identified the impact of noxious weeds on the environment and the economy (Attachment C). The impacts include decreased crop production, reduced livestock carrying capacity, increased soil erosion, and decreased land values. He also responded to questions from the committee regarding federal support for noxious weed management on federal lands.
Ron Mabry, Ouray County Weed Control, President of the Colorado County Weed Supervisors Association, responded to questions from the committee about weed management programs in Costilla and other counties.
Mr. Rife identified noxious weed management problems in Colorado including leafy spurge, tamarisk, yellow star thistle, and other weeds. He also described control measures for various weeds in Colorado and the need for additional assistance to pay for noxious weed management.
Mr. Mabry described weed management programs on Division of Wildlife and Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation lands.
Steve Anthony, Garfield County Weed Program, explained that the Noxious Weed Management Act (Section 35-5.5-101, C.R.S. et seq.) allows county weed managers to require private land owners to control weeds on their land. He also described weed management projects that received matching money from the Noxious Weed Management Fund and the need for additional appropriations for this fund.
Mr. Rife responded to questions from committee regarding the enforcement of weed management controls on private lands. He explained that the Colorado Noxious Weed Management Act allows county weed managers to require private land owners to control weeds on their land. If the landowner or occupant fails to comply with the notice to manage noxious weeds, the local governing body has the authority to compel the management of the noxious weeds and assess the cost for control the weeds, including up to twenty percent for inspection and other incidental costs (see Section 35-5.5-109, C.R.S.). He also explained that counties are unable to require the control of noxious weeds on municipal lands or on private lands that are adjacent to public lands that have noxious weeds that are not being controlled.
The meeting adjourned.