Washington State Department of Agriculture
21 North First Avenue #103
Yakima, WA 98902
Noxious Weeds are non-native plants introduced to Washington State that can be highly destructive, competitive, and difficult to control. These plants invade our croplands, rangelands, forests, parks, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and estuaries, causing both ecological and economical damage that affects us all as they:
lower crop yields
reduce forage quality
destroy plant and animal habitat
displace native plants
reduce recreational opportunities (e.g., fishing, hunting, swimming, and hiking)
decrease land values
increase erosion and wildfire risk
and some are toxic to humans and livestock.
To help protect the State’s resources and economy, the Washington State Legislature adopts a State Noxious Weed List each year (WAC 16-750). This list classifies weeds into three major classes – A, B, and C – based on the stage of invasion of each species and the seriousness of the threat they pose to Washington State. This classification system is designed to:
prevent small infestations from expanding by eradicating them when they are first detected.
restrict already established weed populations to regions of the state where they occur and prevent their movement to uninfested areas.
allow flexibility of weed control at the local level for weeds that are already widespread.