Every year the Agricultural Services Board receives hundreds of weed complaints. From the time the complaint is filed, until the weeds are controlled or eradicated, may take two weeks or more. The following is a summary of how a weed complaint is handled:
- Following a complaint, a weed inspector visits the identified area to conduct a thorough inspection. This includes walking the area to determine the presence of noxious weeds, the precise location, infestation level and the growth stage of the weeds. If the plant is not a noxious or prohibited noxious weed, no further action is taken.
- If the weed found is noxious or prohibited-noxious, the inspector then contacts the landowner to discuss control options, and to work out a date by which the work must be completed. Often, it takes more than one attempt to contact the landowner. If initial contact attempts fail, the inspector will send the landowner a letter outlining the weeds found and the need to discuss control methods.
- When developing a timeline for the landowner to complete the weed control, the inspector considers weed species, stage of growth, reproductive habits, weather, and time of year. If the landowner fails to voluntarily control the weeds on his/her property, the weed inspector or the Agricultural Fieldman will discuss with the landowner the reasons for non-compliance. Weather is often a factor.
- If the inspector or Fieldman is not satisfied with the reasons for non-compliance, the Fieldman may issue a Weed Notice. This notice clearly identifies the weed species, whether it is noxious or prohibited- noxious, the location of the weed, and may specifically identify the weed control options that must be used. A completion date is also clearly stated. Weed Notices are sent to the landowner by registered mail and posted on the land.
In most instances, landowners comply with the Weed Notice. However, landowners have the right to appeal the Weed Notice. To do so, the landowner must file a Notice of Appeal according to the directions outlined on the Weed Notice. Once an appeal is filed, no action can be taken against the landowner until the appeal is heard and ruled upon.
The Weed Notice Appeal Board is composed of up to five area producers familiar with weed issues. This Board hears appeals and makes rulings that are then binding on the Agriculture Department and the appellant.