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Frequently Asked Questions

Program Contact: Heidi Steinbach, Noxious Weed Coordinator
(360) 427-9670 ext. 592 •

What are noxious weeds?

“Noxious weed” is the traditional, legal term for invasive, non-native plants that are highly destructive, competitive, and difficult to control or eliminate. Noxious weeds can include non-native grasses, flowering plants, shrubs, and even trees. Noxious weeds can also include aquatic plants. Many noxious weeds started out as ornamental plants that eventually escaped the garden setting, while others were accidentally introduced through human travel and trade. Regardless of how they got to Washington State, all noxious weeds pose a serious threat to our economy, agriculture, local ecosystems, and wildlife habitats. Some noxious weeds are toxic to humans and livestock. They can reduce crop yields, destroy beneficial native habitat, damage recreational opportunities, clog waterways, and diminish land values.

Not sure if plants on your property are considered noxious? Bring a sample specimen of the whole fresh plant to our office for identification or utilize the WA State Noxious Weed Control Board’s weed search tool for a comprehensive search by habitat, color or name. If you have questions or need assistance, feel free to give us a call or email us at

How is a plant designated as a noxious weed?

The logo of the WA State Noxious Weed Control Board, which is a grey and orange leaf next to their agency's name.Every year, the Washington State Noxious Weed Board, a group of citizen volunteers representing all areas of the state, adopts a new Noxious Weed List (WAC 16-750).

Weed species may be added or removed, the Class (AB, or C) can be changed, or the required control area of a Class B Designate may be changed. The Noxious Weed Committee meets several times a year to review and discuss proposed changes, and they present their recommendations so at the November Board meeting the Board can make a well-informed decision.

Anyone in Washington state can request that a plant species be added or removed from the Washington State Noxious Weed List.

Visit the WA State Noxious Weed Board’s website to learn more about participating in the noxious weed listing process.

The Mason County Noxious Weed Control Board develops an annual Mason County Noxious Weed List from the State Class A and B designates and then chooses from the rest of the State B & C lists with public input at an annual public hearing. Contact the Mason County Noxious Weed Control Board to learn more about how to participate in the adoption of the Mason County Noxious Weed List.

How do I report a noxious weed infestation?

Please send us an email at . Reports that include suspected plant species, abundance level, photos, and geographic location details including GPS coordinates will be responded to quickly. We may follow up for additional details.

You can also utilize a variety of apps to report noxious weed sightings, including the WA Invasive Species Council’s WA Invasive app or iNaturalist.

Will the program control weeds on my property?

No. The Mason County Noxious Weed Control Program is not the primary entity for weed control throughout the County. The Program relies upon landowners to take responsibility for their weed management, along with other agencies taking charge to control weeds on city, county, and state right of ways and the lands they manage. Noxious weed control is a community-wide effort that requires all Mason County residents participate and work together. Remember, there are way more of them than there are of us!