Noxious Weeds

What are Noxious Weeds? Rich Lee with weed wrench, photo by Judy Jackson

The state’s noxious weed law, RCW 17.10, defines a noxious weed as "a plant that when established is highly destructive, competitive, or difficult to control by cultural or chemical practices.”  These weed species are non-native to Washington State, and they must appear on the state’s noxious weed list, which is found in WAC 16-750 as well as on San Juan County’s own noxious weed list (pdf).  

How do you control Noxious Weeds?

The Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board offers a good explanation on how to control noxious weeds on your property, if necessary:

How can I get involved?

A community-wide commitment is critical to the effective control of noxious weeds.  Citizens can "Adopt-A-Patch" by spending a little time each week attending to an infestation in their neighborhood or by joining a recurring work party.  In addition to stopping the spreWeed-Warrior-396x348ad of weeds and enhancing habitat, exercise, fresh air, entertainment, and social connection are among the rewards of noxious weed control.  Please contact us for ideas about how and where to get started.  We are buoyed to learn of our volunteer teammates, so please be in touch to share your challenges, successes, and photos.  Residents can also contribute by joining Noxious Weed Control Board meetings as a member or attendee.  Meetings are held on the first Friday of each month from 9-11am.

Who are we? 

The San Juan County Noxious Weed Control Board was started in the 1990s to raise awareness of noxious weeds affecting our county and to educate the public about control methods and noxious weed law in Washington State.  The deaths of several head of cattle on Orcas, believed to have been poisoned after eating tansy ragwort, helped to spur the creation of the SJC Noxious Weed Control Board under WSU Extension, with a pivotal role from former WSU Extension Director, Dr. Tom Schultz.  

Today, our program provides consultation and direct noxious weed control services for properties throughout the county, with a program staff of one program Manager-Coordinator, two Field Specialists, and two seasonal field technicians.  We are now housed within the County Manager’s Office.  Nearly every other county in Washington State has its own noxious weed control board and corresponding staff.   

  1. Our Mission
  2. Our Goals

The mission of the San Juan County Noxious Weed Program is to focus on education, prevention, technical assistance and control of noxious weeds through voluntary compliance with RCW 17.10 and WAC 16-750. The Program offers:

  • Early Detection and Rapid Response;
  • Educational Materials & Programs;
  • Noxious Weed Identification and Inventories;
  • Site-specific Control Recommendations;
  • Weed Control Assistance to Individuals, Organizations & Agencies;
  • Weed Wrench Loans to San Juan County Residents.