Grants awarded to curb noxious weeds | TSLN.com

Grants awarded to curb noxious weeds

The Montana Department of Agriculture announced the award of over $1.4 million in grant funds for the development and implementation of noxious weed management programs.

"We all have a stake in combating the spread of noxious weeds at a statewide level. The Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council has a unique opportunity to look holistically at the state's noxious weeds and fund areas that are going to be the most effective. This year the council reviewed over $2 million in proposals and awarded more than $1.4 million in funds for education, research, and cooperative projects," said Ron de Yong, director of the Montana Department of Agriculture and council chair.

The advisory council meets annually in March to review applications and make selections to assist counties, local communities, tribes, researchers and educators in efforts to combat the most serious noxious weed problems in Montana. In total, 74 grant proposals were awarded funding, including 51 local cooperative projects, 12 research projects, and 11 education projects. In addition to the $1.4 million awarded, each of the 56 counties and 7 reservations in the state is eligible to receive $7,500 per year and a fund is maintained for noxious weed emergencies.

"We look for projects that can help solve a variety of the noxious weed problems facing our state. Just last year a new noxious weed, medusahead or medusahead wildrye, was discovered in the western part of the state, with more knocking on our border every year. Noxious weeds impair agricultural crops, diminish biodiversity, reduce property values, impact wildlife forage and degrade fisheries," said Dave Burch, weed program manager.

The Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund grant program was established by the Montana Legislature in 1985. The advisory council reviews applications, hears applicant testimony and provides funding recommendations to the director for final approval. Funding is typically passed through a governmental organization, local weed district, conservation district, extension office or university.

A list of award recipients will be available at agr.mt.gov/agr/Programs/Weeds/TrustFund/ after the award process has been completed.

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–Mont. Dept. of Agriculture

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