Stevens County Noxious Weed Control Board
This web site will help you identify & control noxious weed with information and photographs to aid you.


Weed Board Philosophy

The invasion, establishment and spread of noxious weeds is one of the most serious threats to our natural resources today. Our wildlife, native vegetation, water quality, aesthetics, agricultural production, forest production and recreation either have been or are at risk of being altered to unacceptable levels due to the spread of noxious weeds.

The Stevens County Noxious Weed Control Board strives to represent the interests of all landowners and land-users in Stevens County. We are working to establish and maintain an integrated vegetation management approach toward the control of noxious weeds within our boundaries. We value the diversity of the land as well as the diversity of the people who choose to make this county their home.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Stevens County Noxious Weed Control Board is to carry out the State Noxious Weed Law (RCW 17.10) in a manner which assists the land managers and land users of Stevens County be responsible stewards of the land and resources by protecting and conserving our agricultural lands, recreational areas and natural resources from the degrading impact of exotic, invasive noxious weeds.

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Who's Responsible

While the responsibility for controlling noxious weeds lies with each landowner, the Weed Board has the responsibility of seeing that the control work is carried out.  When a noxious weed infestation needing to be controlled comes to the attention of the Weed Board we will notify the landowner and make every effort to provide the information needed to manage the weed.  Unsatisfactory weed control, whether through outright refusal to take care of the problem, lack of response to our attempts at contact, or ineffectual control efforts  may result in our office initiating enforcement proceedings, pursuant to RCW 17.10  We will never carry out weed control measures as part of enforcement proceedings without making several written and verbal attempts to contact a landowner.

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Promoting Good Land Management

Owners must realize that simple removal of noxious weeds without a plan for follow-up action is short sighted and generally will not constitute weed control over the long term.  In fact, the simple removal of one weed species may create an ideal condition for another to establish.  The removal of noxious weeds is a necessary first step, but the Weed Board recommends the establishment of healthy stands of competitive vegetation by re-seeding, fertilization and other general "best practices" land management by all owners in Stevens County. Failure to follow an effective land management program can leave soils exposed and ripe for re-infestation by noxious weeds as well as soil erosion.

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Local Land Management Agencies

In addition to the Stevens County Noxious Weed Control Board office, the following local agencies are available to help you develop effective weed control measures and a general land management program for your property:

WSU Stevens County Extension:
Debra Hansen, Director (509) 684-2588;
986 South Main, Suite D, Colville, WA 99114  FAX (509) 684-9790

Natural Resources Conservation Service:
Karla Ware, District Conservationist (509) 685-0937;
232 Williams Lake Road, Colville, WA 99114  FAX (509) 684-1982

Farm Service Agency:
Lisa VanQuekelberg (509) 685-0858;
232 Williams Lake Road, Colville, WA 99114  FAX (509) 684-1982

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Services, Materials, & Information Provided

Many materials and sources of valuable information are available, free of charge, at the Stevens County Noxious Weed Control Board Office. We offer an array of weed and plant identification books, pictures, slides and actual plant samples for public use.  Copies of the state weed laws, industry studies, current research projects, news articles and periodicals can be picked up or viewed at the office.

Our staff can visit your property, or property you are thinking about purchasing, at your request to help you identify weeds or do a general inspection to advise if you have any weeds of concern.  We can make noxious weed control recommendations based on the use of your land, desired and existing vegetation, proximity to water sources, and more.  This inspection service is provided free of charge and on an as-time-permits basis.  Give us a call at 509.684.7590 (TTY: 800.833.6388) to set up an appointment.

We have some backpack sprayers as well as a few larger (15, 25 & 100 gallon) units for loan.  We administer an Owner Will Maintain program for landowners living along a county road and who wish to maintain noxious weed control in their right-of-way frontage themselves rather than have the Public Works Department do it.  And, for certain noxious weeds of limited distribution in the county, we have cost-share programs available. 

In the interest of keeping up to date with the changes and progresses in laws, products, management strategies and the like, the Board members, Coordinator and staff maintain membership in industry related organizations.  We strive to provide you with the knowledge you need to make informed, practical and effective management decisions.  If we donít have the answers or the materials you need, we will do our best to get them for you or refer you to who can help.

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Noxious Weed Assessment-Back in place, but greatly reduced

January 2016

As many of you know the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) suspended the noxious weed assessment collections for the 2015 tax year.  This means all our operations during 2015 were paid for out of our fund balance (savings).  Realize the weed assessment is our only source of funding for department programs such as, offering cost share programs, educational programs, sprayer loans, inspections, on-site visits, weed identification, biocontrol releases, notifying landowners with problem weeds and conducting enforcements when necessary.  Additionally, we pay for all equipment, office space, salaries, etc out of the assessment funds.  Nothing comes from the county general fund.

One reason the BOCC gave for suspending assessment collections for one year is that they felt our Weed Board fund balance was too high.  This is basically the difference between what we collect in assessments each year and what we spend each year.  Our budget the past few years has been less than our collections, leading to a fund balance that would help us continue to operate for several years without the need to ask for an increase in the weed assessment even though operating costs go up each year for our department just as they do for each of us personally.  In addition to the balance being too high in the opinion of the BOCC, they felt the means of applying the assessment to parcels in the county (the assessment categories) is unwieldy for the Assessor's office who must develop the programming to separate the parcels into the various categories.  They asked that we try to simplify the categories and to ensure that the assessment rates are fair for all.

The Weed Board of Directors developed a new rate system and rates and presented them to the BOCC in August.  Following two hearings, the BOCC modified the proposed assessment and passed a resolution setting much lower rates than those submitted by the Weed Board.  The new rates, effective with the 2016 tax collections are:

  • A. Urban (parcels in incorporated cities and parcels which have been long platted) will be assessed at $3.00 per parcel.

  • B. Rural (parcels which are in unincorporated areas and are not part of a long plat, except those meeting the definition of the timberland category) and Timberland (designated forest land in parcels equal to or greater than 160 acres) will be assessed at $0.10 per acre with a $3.00 minimum and a $16.00 maximum assessment per parcel.

  • Parcels with undivided interests, parcels which have no acreage (ex. mobile homes) and parcels which are mineral rights only are exempt.

These rates are expected to generate approximately $150,000 per year for our weed board operations, well below our annual expenses.

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Board Meetings

The public is invited and encouraged to attend our monthly board meetings and our annual weed list hearing. This is your chance to offer suggestions for changes to the county weed list.  Unless noted otherwise, all meetings are held in the conference room in our building, 230 Williams Lake Road, Colville. 

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Last Edit: March 25, 2015

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