Governor signs Dent legislation that will improve noxious weed boards and districts

Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation Monday that will make a number of changes to noxious weed control boards in an effort to protect Washington state lands from toxic and noxious weeds.

House Bill 1355, sponsored by Rep. Tom Dent, would change the composition and priorities of the state Noxious Weed Control Board and county weed control boards. It also makes other changes to state noxious weed laws.

“Our weed boards and districts are instrumental in protecting our state's agricultural lands, natural resources, salmon habitat and other important pieces of land from noxious weed degradation,” said Dent, R-Moses Lake. “It also is critical to protect our livestock. Some of these plants can retain their toxic properties, even when they are dried, and can be devastating if they get in a farmer's crop or hay. Washington is the most trade dependent state in the nation. We must protect our ag producers' ability to market their products overseas. Keeping these products noxious-weed free is vital in that effort.”

The legislation will:

  • make various changes to the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board composition and term of office;
  • make various changes to county noxious weed control board provisions;
  • require the State Noxious Weed Control Board to convene a stakeholder process to develop a system by which parcels owned or held by the Department of Transportation may be identified and billed for special benefits received from county noxious weed control boards;
  • require forestland owners to control and prevent the spread of Class C noxious weeds within specified distances of adjacent lands, roads, navigable rivers, and certain other areas; and
  • add weed boards and weed districts to the class of assessing districts that may levy assessments to state lands.

“This legislation will allow counties to more effectively carry out the protection of our natural resources with local control and oversight,” said Dent.

The bill passed both the House and Senate unanimously. The measure will take effect in late July.


Washington State House Republican Communications