Tuesday, August 02, 2011

BLM to Require Use of Weed-Free Hay on Public Lands in Idaho

August 2 2011

BOISE, ID – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today published new rules
requiring the use of certified weed-free hay, straw and mulch on all
BLM-managed lands in Idaho. The supplementary rules, which were published
in today’s Federal Register, require all visitors, permittees and operators
to use certified weed-free hay, straw or mulch when visiting or conducting
authorized activities on BLM-managed lands in Idaho. The rules become
effective on August 20, 2011. The BLM will begin enforcing the new
requirement on September 19, 2011, to allow time for public outreach and

“This measure is needed to help slow the alarming spread of noxious and
invasive weeds on public lands,” said BLM Idaho State Director Steve Ellis.
“It’s consistent with existing policies of the State of Idaho and the U.S.
Forest Service, so in following these new rules, public land users will
join the growing effort in Idaho and other Western states to combat the
spread of weeds.”

Noxious and invasive weeds are a serious problem in the American West.
They spread an estimated 2,300 acres per day on BLM-managed lands and 4,600
acres per day on all Western public lands. Species like perennial
pepperweed, purple loosestrife, yellow starthistle, hoary cress (whitetop),
leafy spurge, diffuse knapweed, spotted knapweed, Russian knapweed, Scotch
thistle, Canada thistle, and rush skeleton weed are non-native to the
United States and have no natural competitors to keep them in ecological

“These weeds create all sorts of problems - from reducing grazing capacity
to damaging wildlife habitat and altering fire regimes,” Ellis said. “The
rules will standardize regulation for all users of public lands in Idaho
and allow coordinated and complementary management across jurisdictional

Use of non-certified hay, straw or mulch on BLM-managed lands in Idaho
carries a penalty of fines of up to $1,000, prison sentences of as many as
12 months, or both. Under the new rule, only hay, straw and mulch
certified by the State of Idaho as free of prohibited weed seed will be
allowed for use on public lands in Idaho.

Ellis said the 2 months between today’s publication and when the rules will
be enforced will give public land users time to become familiar with the
new requirement and to learn where to purchase weed-free products. “The
Forest Service and Idaho state agencies already require the use of
weed-free forage on lands they manage, so there are suppliers standing
ready to provide certified straw, hay and mulch.”

For more information about availability, vendor locations, and price of
certified weed-free hay, straw or mulch, contact BLM Idaho botanist Roger
Rosentreter, (208) 373-3824 or Roger_Rosentreter@blm.gov .

List of Idaho growers of weed-free forage and straw (by county):

Idaho Agriculture Dept.’s Noxious Weed-Free Forage and Straw Certification

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