Billings County 2016
Weed Control Management Plan
Description of the County:
Billings County is located in the south-west part of North Dakota. It covers an estimated area of 737,280 acres or 1,152 square miles. Medora is the county seat and is located in the central part of the county.
The county is within the Missouri River Basin and the neighbored to the north by McKenzie County, on the west by Golden Valley County, on the south by Slope County and the east by Stark County and Dunn County.
Billings County includes about 367,615 acres of National Grasslands. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, administers this land. The South Unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park is located in central Billings County.
The Little Missouri River enters Billings County from its southern border and flows in a northerly direction and exits on the northwestern border of Billings County. Other significant streams include Davis Creek, in the southern part of county, Green River and Heart River in the central part, White tail and Magpie creek in the northern part.
Billings County is covered partly by Badlands, rolling hills and some flatland. Wind, erosion, soft clay, silts and sands have produced the pinnacles, dome, canyons, gorges, ravines, and gullies that characterize the Badlands area, which occurs as a syncline in the Missouri Plateau.
Summer in Billings County is usually warm and is marked by frequent hot days. In the winter very cold periods occur when Artic air moves in from the north or northwest. Precipitation generally falls as rain during the warmer part of the year and is normally the heaviest in late spring and early summer. Winter snowfalls are frequent, but the snow cover usually disappears during mild periods. The total annual precipitation is about15 inches. Of this, 12 inches, or about 80 percent, usually falls in April through September. The average seasonal snowfall is about 30 inches. The average relative humidity in mid-afternoon is about 55 percent. Humidity is higher at night, and the average at dawn is 80 percent. The prevailing winds are from the west-northwest and the east-southeast. Average wind speed is highest, 12 miles per hour, in the spring.
Total Miles of Highway:
USI-94 24 Miles
US Highway85 24 Miles
County Roads 740 Miles
Total Miles of Railroad:
From Stark County west border to Golden Valley east border is 24 miles. Great Northern has
added an additional rail spur adding about 5 more miles.
Forest Service Maps
ND State Agriculture Maps
** Maps are located in County NDSU Extension Office and County Auditor Office.
North Dakota and Billings County Noxious Weed List:
Spotted Knapweed Canada Thistle Common Burdock
Diffuse Knapweed Musk Thistle Salt cedar
Russian Knapweed Leafy Spurge Hounds tongue
Dalmatian Toadflax Purple Loosestrife Black Henbane
Absinth Wormwood Hoary Cress Yellow Toadflax
** North Dakota law (NDCC 63-01.1-01) requires North Dakota landowners and other persons in charge of land to eradicate or control the spread of noxious weeds.
THE MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR BILLINGS COUNTY
WILL INCLUDE PROVISIONS FOR THE FOLLOWING
ACTIVITIES AND REQUIREMENTS
II. EARLY DETECTION AND PREVENTION
III. EDUCATION AND AWARNESS
IV. CONTROL METHODS
V. EVALUATION AND MONITORING
VI. FUNDING ACTIVITIES
The Billings County Weed Control Board, Weed Board Officer, and ND State Agriculture Department will develop a master map showing all the noxious weeds and their location. The County Weed Officer and Weed Board Members will report any and all infestations that they know of. The County road and bridge crew will assist to locate Right of Way infestations.
Landowners and land managers will be responsible for mapping or using a GPS to identify infested acres they are responsible for. This will include location, acres infested and method of treatment.
- is defined as the actual acres of noxious weeds in a given legal description of land. Example: On a quarter there are two large areas infested and three small patches. All five would be added together for a total of 20 acres of infestations. Do not consider the entire quarter infested.
- is the actual number of acres treated through any management practice and cannot exceed the total acres infested.
Low = occasional plant per acre, less than 25% canopy cover.
Moderate = widely scattered plants,25-50% canopy cover.
High = more dense, 51-100% canopy cover.
Once a year the master map will be updated using input from private landowners and managers, county weed control officer, and others. This will try to be done year end.
All participants in the landowners assistance program (LAP)will be required to supply 1, 2, and 3 above, before they can be eligible for any funding.
Government agencies managing land within the county will be asked to participate in the mapping process. This will aid in evaluating the problem and development of short and long term goals.
The County Weed Control Officer will keep copies of these maps. These maps may include ASCS (NRS) Soil Survey maps, Atlas maps, GPS Coordinates, and aerial photos or computer generated maps.
II. EARLY DETECTION AND PRVENTION
Practices that lead to prevention of new noxious weed infestations will include the following:
1. Weed free crop seed.
2. Weed free manure and hay.
3. Weed free fertilizer.
4. Weed free gravel, scoria, sand, clay and topsoil.
5. Weed free equipment.
B. Early Detection
1. The County Weed Control Officer will publicly advertise a request that all land managers and producers report any new weeds or weeds unknown identification to them or the County Extension Office.
2. The County road and bridge crew will be asked to assist in reporting new outbreaks of noxious weeds on road right of ways.
III. EDUCATION AND AWARNESS
A. Weed boards and their personnel
1. Weed Board members and their staff will be encouraged to attend meetings and workshops offering information on weed control.
2. The Weed Control Officer will be required to have the proper certification to purchase and apply the recommended chemicals.
3. County Weed Board and staff will be asked to become familiar with the IPM. They will receive information on mechanical biological and chemical concept control methods.
B. Government Agencies
1. Where applicable, County Weed Board will ask the land managers of any and all Government Agencies operating within the jurisdiction of the Weed Board to attend at least one meeting per year. This will help share common problems and work on an acceptable solution.
C. General Public
1. News articles will be published in a County Newspaper covering the Weed Board activities and the new programs as they come about.
2. One tour per year will be conducted covering at least one activity of top priority.
3. The County Weed Control Officer will work one on one with individuals or groups to help solve the noxious weed problem.
4. Develop an information letter and distribute to all landowners and land managers.
5. Work with the youth in Billings County to educate them about noxious weeds.
6. Ensure that brochures and fact sheets on noxious weeds are available to the public.
7. Assist organizations with developing an effective noxious weed management plan
(Oil companies, dirt contractors, TRMF and other organizations)
IV. MANGEMENT OF NOXIOUS WEEDS IN BILLINGS COUNTY
The management of noxious weeds is essential to all citizens of the county. Agriculture is our major industry in Billings County. There fore keeping our crops and our range land at its highest desirable yield production should be everyone’s goal. The presence of noxious weeds on our lands decreases the value of our county.
Billings County is a large producer of small grains. A large percentage of the county is cropland and almost all of the residents are either in farming or ranching or work in business related to agriculture.
Weed management in this county should be on a community basis. The Weed Board would like to work with the community in the control of noxious weeds. This type of a community project would work well as all entities work together to contain species in some areas and eradicate species in other areas.
Stewardship of the land is vital for the continued welfare of agriculture; we must all work to keep noxious weeds off our land. The Weed Board will enforce the control of noxious weeds by making the landowner comply with the plans for weed control set by the Billings Count Weed Control Board.
Control recommendations will vary depending on the location of the weeds.
The management plan will be divided into two district areas for control methods required by the district. Land will be classified as cropland and non-cropland.
Land that is cultivated on annual basis for production of an agriculture commodity and also hay and pasture land that is mechanically harvested are considered to be cropland.
Noxious weeds present on cropland must be under some form of acceptable control and the landowner must be in voluntary agreement with the District Land Management standards.
As mentioned earlier, several ways of controlling noxious weeds are acceptable. The District prefers to use a method where the weed supervisor meets with the landowner and they fill out a questionnaire with facts about the weed infestation. Recommendations will be given to the landowner and an agreement will be signed.
The Weed Board feels that if a landowner can cultivate and crop an area he should be able to control those noxious weeds present. The Weed District will start mapping the county for noxious weeds and cropland with known infestations. These landowners will be the first contacted to comply within the district standards. Other infestations found or reported will be mapped if weeds are present the landowner must comply with the district standards.
Non-cropland would include all other land use in the county. Management standards for this area would be on a community basis if a large area is infested and on a landowner agreement if the area is infested is limited. Example of non-cropland would be adjacent to rivers, forested areas, municipalities, drainage areas, mountains, and other natural formations. Range and pasture within these areas are required to comply with the standards of the area.
The Weed Board will meet with the landowners in a specific area and try to work out an acceptable set of management standards with the group or write an individual agreement with the landowner depending on the size of infestation.
The Weed District will determine the landowners of the area with the help of the assessor’s office and make a mailing list if several landowners are involved. Each landowner will be sent a letter with notification of the meeting.
V.EVALUATION AND MONITORING
A. Short Term
- Locate all infestations of Leafy Spurge, Salt cedar, Yellow Toadflax and Hounds tongue in the county and implement an appropriate management practice to contain, control or eradicate the specific infestation.
- Complete a noxious weed inventory for the county including all listed noxious weeds.
- Develop a closer working relationship with State and Federal agencies managing land within the county.
B. Long Term
- Complete and continually update a noxious weed inventory for Billings County.
- Eradication of Spotted Knapweed, Musk Thistle, Salt cedar, and Canada Thistle within Billings County.
- Decrease the acreage of Leafy Spurge and Canada Thistle infested land to an acceptable level for positive economic returns from these areas.
- The County Weed Board will ask the County Commissioners to levy the full amount allowable tax to support their activities.
- The County Weed Board will apply for (LAP) Landowners Assistance Program funds to help assist producers in their Weed Management Program.
- The County Weed Board will participate with the ND State Agriculture Department, ND DOT, ND State and Department and the US Forest Service with an agreement, grant or contract for funding.
4. Incentive activities planned
b. educational programs
c. early detection and prevention program
d. noxious weed management plans
e. biological control programs
f. employee training sessions
g. provide safety, training & equipment
VII. CALENDER OF DEADLINES
Most deadlines occur on the15.of the month and documents must be postmarked on or before that date. When the 15. Occurs on a Saturday or Sunday, the postmark must be on the last working day before the 15. The North Dakota Department of Agriculture may extend the deadlines if a written request is made.
A 1% penalty may be assessed for missed deadlines. Failure to submit the Voucher for payment(SFN 19633) by the June 30.deadline at the end of any biennium will result in at total loss of payment.
NOXIOUS WEED COST SHARE SURVEY (SFN-19631)
This form is mailed by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture to the county contact person by October 15 of each year. The survey must be returned to the Department of Agriculture no later than January 15.
SFN 19631 will serve as the request for Cost-Share for the up coming year. The survey form, verified as official and accurate with an authorized signature, includes for figures.
1. Number of mills levied for noxious weed control for the upcoming year.
2. The total weed control budget for the upcoming year.
3. The total budget committed by the County for the Landowner Assistance Program.
4. County contribution taken from Voucher for Payment (SFN 19633)
Noxious Weeds Voucher for Payment (SFN 19633)
This form is submitted by the County Weed Board to receive payment for the state’s share of the Landowner Assistant Program. It itemizes funding for the landowner’s cash or In-kind contribution and the county’s cash contribution to the Landowner Assistant Program. It itemizes, by narrative four items claimed for the incentive funding. This form:
1. maybe submitted up to four times in any biennium
2. no county may submit a voucher for work done in previous biennium
3. Must be submitted before November 15 and June 30each year
4. Failure to submit the voucher for Payment (SFN 19633) by June 30. The dead line at the end of the biennium results in a complete loss of payment by the state.
Noxious Weeds Annual Report – (SFN 19633)
This form is to be mailed by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture to the county contact person on November 15 each year. The annual report must be postmarked by February 1. each year and must include, as an attachment a copy of the Updated Noxious Weed Management Plan.
1. A county contact person for each county must be designated on the form each year. The county contact becomes responsible for all official mail and reporting forms for the ensuing year.
2. The County Weed Board may designate someone other than the county contact person to receive all biological control mail, but this person needs to be on the Annual Report.