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In answer to resident questions about this year’s “Spray Days” County Weed Manager Jeremey Varley told the Lemhi County Commissioners, there won’t be any.

At the Monday June 26 meeting of the commissioners he said that as it stands now no spray days are scheduled, only Work Days which concentrate on specifically targeted noxious weed species. Varley told the board the Weed Department is picking one species of concern in specific areas and everyone in that area is welcome to participate in the work day.

He said many areas of work belong to absentee owners, and the county ordinance requiring property owners to eliminate any noxious weeds on their land, will be enforced. If the county has to do it the property owner will be billed for the work. Varley said that over the years local property owners have come to expect the county to supply the spray free of charge as well as to do the work.

As to why the Spray Days program was eliminated by the state it is because it was abused. Varley said the abuse was on a statewide basis with homeowners picking up the free herbicide and using it to spray driveways instead of actually targeting weeds on the noxious species list. He said the state needs to be accountable for every drop of herbicide put on the ground and needs a way to verify the spray is being used on noxious weeds.

The Work Day program is based on accountability of local weed departments which pinpoint the specific areas needing to be treated. Prior to the date selected, neighbors in the designated area are notified by mail about the scheduled Work Day and if they wish to participate they will be supplied with the spray and the instructions. If people who have property containing noxious weed species choose not to help with the Work Day, the noxious weed ordinance will be enforced and the property owner will be billed.

As to the noxious offenders, the weed White Top is high on the list of weeds in the Sunset Heights and Elk Bend areas. Dalmatian Toad Flax will be targeted in the Pahsimeroi area along with Scotch Thistle.

Varley also told the commissioners that efforts are being made to ensure Idaho Outfitters and Guides a smooth passage through state-border watercraft inspection stations. The stations are under the auspices of the Idaho State Department of Agriculture which is endeavoring to prevent the entrance of mussel infestations from other states.

Varley said all boats are required to stop at the stations. Special passports are being issued to Idaho guides who have not had their boats in waters beyond state boundaries and there is a list of all the registered guides in this area. He said the inspection station stops will be very brief for passport holders and that keeping the invaders out of state waters is of great benefit to outfitters.

Idaho has had the watercraft inspection station program since 2009 and has inspected nearly 200,000 boats. Over 100 mussel-fouled boats have been intercepted and decontaminated thereby preventing the mussels from entering Northwestern waters.

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