Montana Department of Agriculture logo

Noxious weeds have a destructive impact on Montana's landscape by displacing native plant species, increasing soil erosion, and decreasing wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities. Rangeland, pastureland, cropland, forests, and wildlands cover 92 million acres, 98% of the total land area, in Montana. These lands are vital for agricultural production and protecting the integrity of ecosystems.

The Department's Noxious Weed Programs offer resources and assistance with the management of state- and county-listed noxious weeds.

  • The Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grant Program is a reimbursable grant program, providing up to $75,000 per grant. Grant awards assist counties, landowners, local communities, researchers, and educators in their efforts to solve a variety of noxious weed problems in Montana. Additional information can be found in the grant guidelines.
  • The Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage certification program provides inspections and certification of forage products such as hay, pellets, and straw. Certified forage is required when using horses or pack animals on public land in Montana. Government agencies and public utilities are required to use weed free mulches, bedding materials and erosion control barriers in their work. Use of certified forage prevents new infestations of noxious weeds.


  • Noxious Weed Listing: Petitions are due to the Department by September 28, 2018.
    • Petitions to add a new weed to the statewide noxious weed list are received by the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) from individuals or organizations across the state.   the Noxious Weed Listing Workgroup comprised of researchers, local and state agencies, tribes and other interest groups who make a recommendation to the director of the Department of Agriculture. If the director accepts the recommendations, the MDA proposes a rule, holds public hearings if necessary, and the rules are adopted, published and distributed.
    • Click here for the Priority Change Request Form

Montana has 35 state listed noxious weed species that collaboratively affect about 8.2 million acres of Big Sky Country. Both new and continued infestations of these non-native species not only reduce the productivity of cropland and rangeland, infestations of noxious weeds diminish the productivity and biological diversity of ecosystems by negatively impacting wildlife habitat and by affecting the vitality and survival of native species due to competition for space, nutrients and water.

To address noxious weeds, you first need to know how to identify the weeds we are dealing with in Montana. Weeds are most easily identified by their flower color, but sometimes you have to look at other features, including their leaf structure. Visit the Montana Weed Control Association website for information and photos to help you identify Montana's noxious weeds.


Noxious Weed
from MWCA


Noxious Weed Videos

The Ravalli County Weed District, Montana Department of Agriculture, and the Montana Weed Control Association sponsored a series of educational noxious weed awareness videos. All videos are available on the MDA YouTube Channel, or use the links below to view specific videos:


Noxious Weed Education

The Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign aims outreach efforts toward educating Montana residents to become proactive in the prevention, eradication and containment of noxious weeds through ecologically based integrated weed management.


Access the Official
Montana Noxious Weed
Education Campaign Website


Shantell Frame-Martin
Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign Coordinator

Phone: (406) 328-4785
15 N. Woodard
Absarokee, MT 59001

The State Noxious Weed Coordinator submits regular Noxious Weed Coordination Reports to the Montana Environmental Quality Council (EQC). Recent reports are available to download below.

Aquatic Noxious Weed Program

Invasive weeds threaten the ecological integrity of aquatic environments in Montana. Eurasian watermilfoil, curly-leaf pondweed and flowering rush have become established in the state, and there is a high risk of invasion by other non-native aquatic plants.

These plants are highly competitive and affect fisheries, native plants, waterworks, power generation and irrigation. Increased aquatic plant biomass also impacts water quality and recreational resources.

Invasive aquatic plants are transported by hitching a ride on animals, watercraft and recreational vehicles, as well as scuba, fishing and hunting equipment.

Click Here for
the FWP
Aquatic Invasive
Species Website


How can you help?


Before launching and before leaving:

  • Inspect boat, trailer, and equipment.
  • Remove aquatic plants, animals, and mud.
  • Drain water from boat, motor, bilge, live wells, and bait containers.
  • Spray/rinse boats and recreational equipment with high pressure, and/or water above 140 degrees, or let recreational equipment dry for at least five days.
  • Clean waders and boots.
  • Drain water from bait containers.
Hunting & Other Outdoor Activity
  • Inspect equipment, decoy lines, anchors, waders and pets.
  • Remove weeds/seeds by washing equipment and brushing or cleaning animals.

Montana Aquatic Noxious Weeds

Other Aquatic Plants of Concern in Montana

Guide to Montana's Freshwater Aquatic Plants

Click on the items below to download the complete guide or parts, meant to help with identification of Montana's freshwater aquatic plants.

Montana Pollutant Discharge Elimination System

State requirements regarding discharge permits have changed. Please visit the Montana Department of Environmental Quality website for information.

Aquatic Pesticide License

Application of aquatic herbicides in Montana requires a special-use license. The Montana Department of Agriculture oversees the licensing and training of aquatic pesticide applicators. Applicators who intend to treat waters with state restricted-use aquatic herbicides (xylene or acrolein) must attend a special aquatic training session and pass an Aquatic Pest Control Exam for initial certification. Training and testing is offered once a year by the Department.

The Department conducts aquatic herbicide applicator recertification training sessions periodically. These are listed with other applicator training opportunities on the Pesticides page.

More Information
About Pesticide Licensing

Biological Weed Control

Biological weed control is a long-term management technique that involves releasing natural enemies to control non-native species. Typically, insects are imported from continents where the noxious weeds originated. Insect predators are carefully tested to be sure they only attack a specific weed and are safe to release in North America.

The most successful method of weed control is an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach. IPM consists of using herbicides, biological weed control agents, grazing, mowing and other mechanical methods.

Acquiring Biological Control Insects

In Montana, several biological control agents have been successfully used to reduce infestations of noxious weeds such as leafy spurge and spotted knapweed. County weed coordinators can provide information on implementing biological control methods, and acquiring insects. See the links below for more information.

Other Contacts for Biological Weed Control

Noxious Weed Mapping

Click Here for
Noxious Weed
Mapping System


Noxious Weed News

Montana Noxious Weed Biennial Report for 2016-2017 Now Available

Montana Noxious Weed Biennial Report for 2016-2017 Now Available

The Montana Noxious Weed Biennial Report for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 is now available online. Click here to view/download the Summary Report in PDF format, or click here to view the full interactive report.

Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage Advisory Council Openings

Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage Advisory Council Openings

The Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage (NWSFF) Advisory Council is currently accepting applications. Click here to download the application form. Send questions or completed application forms to

Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council Business Meeting: Jan. 16, 2019

Conference Call

Click to learn more about the Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council.  An Agenda will be posted soon. 

Montana Noxious Weed Program
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601


Dave Burch
Weed Program Manager

Phone: (406) 444-3140
Fax: (406) 444-9493


Carol Bearden
Weed Program Specialist

Phone: (406) 444-7880
Fax: (406) 444-9493


Rory Ruffner
Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage Program Coordinator

Phone: (406) 444-7819


Jasmine Reimer
NWTF Grant Coordinator

Phone: (406) 444-7882
Fax: (406) 444-9493


Noxious Weed Program Forms & Files

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