Programs and Current Projects

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Backpack & Handheld Sprayers

The Kittitas County Noxious Weed Control Board has spray application equipment in the form of 3 – 5 gallon backpack sprayers and 1 gallon handheld sprayers available for the public to borrow for up to two weeks—free! All that is required from you is to fill out a quick form at the time of pick up and to triple rinse the equipment before returning it. During the busy months of June, July, and August it is a good idea to call ahead of time to see what equipment is currently available.

Field Inspections

The Kittitas County Noxious Weed Control Board staff is available year-round for requested walk through/inspections on private land for noxious/toxic weed related issues. Whether you are just interested in knowing what is growing on your land or would like to know what specific noxious weeds you are required to control, we are happy to come out and meet with you. Prospective land buyers are also encouraged to give our office a call to ensure that they are aware of what noxious weeds are present on the piece of land they are looking to purchase. Educational tours/walk throughs can also be arranged.

Education/Public Awareness

All our information is free. Education is the key to fighting the spread of noxious weeds and our staff is happy to provide all the necessary information we can provide to help make private landowners more aware of noxious weeds. Our office has many informational noxious weed handouts and brochures that are available as well as weed identification booklets and brochures. We also are available for requested noxious weed presentations or educational meetings. Stop by our office!

Biological Control Enhancement Project

The Washington State Invasive Weed Bioagent Enhancement Project is an effort to expand the knowledge and availability of biological agents for the suppression of non-native noxious weeds in our area. The project is managed by the WSU/Ferry County Cooperative Extension and jointly funded by that office in partnership with USFS, Colville, Okanogan, and Wenatchee National Forests, Colville Confederated Tribes, and many others in the project area. Currently there are two project areas. The Northern Quad County area includes Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens, and Pend Oreille counties and is being coordinated by Daro Palmer. The Central Quad County area includes Kittitas, Chelan, Yakima, and Klickitat counties and is being coordinated by Dale Whaley.

Biological control is the intentional use of living organisms to try to suppress the population of a pest to an acceptable or manageable level. In this case, the pests we are trying to suppress are noxious weeds and the living organisms that are used are generally insects. These insects are natural enemies of the targeted weeds from the plant's native ecosystems. Biological agents go through extensive testing to ensure that they will only attack the plant being targeted before being approved by the USDA. Some of the advantages of biological control are that they are host-specific, self-perpetuating, possess the mobility to spread into areas where it is difficult to use other control methods, and they can offer a reasonable control alternative to sensitive areas. The limitations of biological control would be that it is not a quick fix and should only be used as a long-term method for weed management, in addition to other methods. It generally takes 3-7 years before the agent reaches a density where it will cause a noticeable impact. They generally will never eradicate the weeds, but only reduce them to a level that is manageable.

Favorable conditions for a biological release are areas that are relatively undisturbed and have a sizeable weed infestation in the area (at least a few acres). The presence of livestock is fine, however, heavy grazing may stunt or slow down the impact. If you are interested in using biocontrol as a part of your integrated weed management program on your property, please contact our office or you can fill out this Washington State Invasive Weed Bioagent Enhancement Project Request Form 120 KB.

Cost Share Opportunities

There are times when the presence of certain noxious weed infestations on private land are such a high priority/threat to Kittitas County that our staff will offer free assistance in controlling the unwanted noxious weeds. Those weeds that fall under this category would be:

  • Any Washington State listed Class A noxious weed see Weed List
  • Any noxious weed that is listed as NOT known to exist in Kittitas County see Weed List
  • Tansy Ragwort
  • Yellow Starthistle
  • Purple Loosestrife (except for along or near Columbia River)
  • Common or Annual Bugloss
  • Japanese and Giant Knotweed
  • Babysbreath
  • Rush Skeletonweed
  • Scotch Thistle
  • Hoary Alyssum

These noxious weeds are required by state law to be controlled and the responsibility for that control falls entirely on the private landowner. The presence of the above-listed weeds by no means requires the Kittitas County Noxious Weed Control Board to offer assistance. If you are aware of the presence or likely presence of one or more of the above-listed weeds, please contact our office for cost share opportunities.

County Roadside Vegetation Management Program

Each year between March 1 and November 15, the Kittitas County Road Department performs weed spraying within county-owned rights-of-ways to control unwanted vegetation and noxious weeds. Although the Kittitas County Noxious Weed Control Board works closely and cooperatively with the County Road Department, this service is not provided through our office. Questions or concerns regarding this program should be directed towards the Kittitas County Public Works.

No Spray Program

Should a citizen choose not to have a county-owned right-of-way sprayed in a certain location, the Kittitas County Public Works has developed a No-Spray Program. By completing the Permit to Control Vegetation in County Road Right-of-Way application, the applicant assumes responsibility of controlling all required vegetation as listed on the application. Questions or concerns regarding this program should be directed towards the Kittitas County Public Works.

Pesticide Licensing

For those interested in obtaining their Private, Public, or Commercial applicator's license, study materials are available at the Kittitas County WSU Cooperative Extension office just down the hall from us. Many restricted use herbicides can offer longer and more effective control than over-the-counter products and we recommend that you look into getting your applicator's license if you are managing any extensive amount of land or hard-to-kill weeds.

Pesticide Recertification Training

The Kittitas County Noxious Weed Control Board and the Kittitas County WSU Cooperative Extension Office work cooperatively every year to try to provide an annual Pesticide Training seminar. This training is an opportunity that provides anywhere from 4-8 pesticide recertification credits for those already licensed, in addition to the helpful and informative information the guest speakers provide. For information or questions regarding pesticide licensing, please contact our office.