The Franklin County Noxious Weed Control Board of Directors consists of five voluntary voting members representing five areas of the county.
County Commissioners appoint the Directors. At least four must be engaged in the primary production of agricultural products. The members serve four year terms.
The Board of Directors holds a public meeting once a month. Responsibilities include adopting county noxious weed lists, determining policies and goals, and giving direction to the Program Coordinator who manages the staff.
Board members are an integral and valued part of the FCNWCB. If you are interested in volunteering as a board member, or know someone who is, please contact the office.
Bill Middleton is an irrigated crop farmer from District 1, southern Franklin County. He has served on the board since March 1999. His current term expires March 1, 2019.
Martin Pierret is a dryland farmer from District 2, central Franklin County. He has served on the board since March 2016. His current term expires March 1, 2020.
Paul Herrman is an irrigated crop farmer from District 3, northwest Franklin County. He has served on the board since May 1993. His current term expires March 1, 2020.
Terry Utecht is a dryland farmer from District 4, north-central Franklin County. He has served on the board since March 2007. His current term expires March 1, 2019.
Marv Grassl is a dryland farmer from Distict 5, northeastern Franklin County. He has served on the board since September 1986. His current term expires March 1, 2019.
A. General Philosophy
The Franklin County Noxious Weed Control Board (FCNWCB) shall promote weed control by personal contact with landowners and through appropriate public media. The FCNWCB has elected to emphasize an educational control program that will assist landowners in weed identification and proper control with emphasis placed on weeds on the control list. The FCNWCB will provide a trained field staff to assist the landowners. The field staff are regulatory inspectors and if needed will require control of weeds on the weed control list. The FCNWCB will promote weed control through public seminars, newsletters, displays, and regular board meetings. Landowners are responsible for controlling noxious weeds on their property and the spread to other areas.
B. Course of Action
1) The FCNWCB will employ a Weed Control Coordinator, and a field staff. The Coordinator and field staff should have both educational background in, and hands on experience with weeds. The staff should be familiar with both chemical and cultural weed control practices. They should also be familiar with agricultural chemicals, their application, and have the appropriate pesticide licenses. The staff must work well with the public and use a diplomatic approach. Wage and benefits will be commensurate with experience and comparable to other similar positions. Office and telephone access as well as Weed Board vehicles will be provided.
2) It is the policy of the FCNWCB to work closely with all public agencies, municipalities, and landowners to control their noxious weeds by whatever means they have at their disposal. The FCNWCB believes that the most effective spirit with which to approach weed control is one of cooperation. The spread of weeds causes economic losses for the entire community and creates a hardship on the producer. Stopping propagation and spread of noxious weeds is the goal of the FCNWCB. Reasonable alternatives will be pursued on a given case before enforcement proceedings are taken.
If the property owner does not take actions to control the noxious weeds in accordance with Chapter 17.10, Revised Code of Washington (RCW), the FCNWCB shall cause their being controlled at the expense of the landowner as per RCW 17.10.170. Charges for the regulatory work shall be incurred on the basis of a cost of application plus labor and material. The amount of such expense shall constitute a lien against the property after a hearing has been held on such expense and approved by the FCNWCB.
For those who have a severe infestation, an approved, reasonable, continuous effort will be considered in compliance with our goals. The Weed Board staff will be available to assist in formulating an approved control plan. A strong emphasis will be made to prevent new weeds from establishing. It will take help from everyone in locating and reporting noxious weed infestations to the FCNWCB. We intend to reserve our cost share dollars, should they become available, to target and eliminate these new invaders.
The FCNWCB recognizes that situations may arise where the Coordinator or staff may, in the pursuance of their duties, find it necessary to enter private property. The FCNWCB or duly authorized personnel has the authority to enter all property for the purposes of enforcing the weed laws of the State of Washington under RCW 17.10.160. Reasonable efforts will be made to gain the landowner’s permission and cooperation before doing so.
3) The FCNWCB has designated three separate classes of land: Irrigated farmland; dryland farm land; and range which will include rights-of-way and other undeveloped land. Each classification will be assessed separately, and will be treated as having its own problems and economics.
4) The FCNWCB will address specific complaints on a case by case basis. These complaints will be addressed at regularly scheduled Board Meetings. The Board will have regular meetings the third Monday of each month at 1:00 p.m. October through February and 7:00 p.m. March through September. If the meeting falls on a holiday, it will be held the following Tuesday. Meetings shall be open to the public and held in the Board Room of the Franklin County Noxious Weed Control Board Building located at 502 Boeing Street, Pasco, Washington.
5) The FCNWCB will hold a public hearing and solicit public input in regard to the formation of a noxious weed list for control within Franklin County. The following Noxious Weeds have been selected from the State Noxious Weed List for control within the county.
The Franklin County Noxious Weed Control Board is funded by the residents of Franklin County to survey, identify and assist with the management of noxious weeds. Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 17.10 defines all matters concerning Weed Boards from activation to the enforcement of State Law.
The policy of the Franklin Co. Weed Board has always been to work with growers, land owners and agencies to develop practical plans for noxious weed control. RCW 17.10.140 thru 17.10.235 describes in detail the legal enforcement available to the Franklin Co. Weed Board when landowners fail to control after notification. These include fines, liens and quarantine of land. Noxious weeds of greatest concern include, but are not limited to, Rush Skeletonweed, Diffuse Knapweed, Yellow Starthistle, Kochia, Scotch Thistle and Cereal Rye.
It is the Franklin County Weed Board’s primary desire to assist and encourage every land owner to do their part to control noxious weeds. However we intend to be clear that we will not be ignored when we send out a notice to control. So, please note that civil infractions can add up to a burdensome amount. Washington State RCW 16.750 allows monetary penalties to be assessed per parcel, per noxious weed species, per day after expiration of the notice to control.
The time dedicated to sending out notices takes the staff away from the things that we would prefer to be doing such as helping you the landowner develop a viable management plan.
Timing is primary for control, so when we send out a notice of weed infestation a prompt response is requested. This will allow the best opportunity for success. The staff of the Franklin County Noxious Weed Control Board would prefer to speak with each individual to help develop a plan to fit their needs.
Irrigated and Dryland farms have their own unique problems with noxious weeds, but the end result remains the same. Noxious weeds need to be controlled. Likewise, if you own rangeland you are required to control the noxious weeds and prevent their spread to neighboring properties. Regulatory mechanisms are available to the Franklin County Weed Board for those that do not comply with notification.
Taking on a large application area can be a very daunting task. However with a defined area of work each year and neighbors that are equally participating to manage noxious weeds; progress can be made to reduce the invasion of these detrimental species. This process enables the establishment of desirable vegetation that will compete with noxious weeds. We are willing to make ourselves available to help you reach that end.
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