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montana requirements for weed seed free hay

Montana requirements for weed seed free hay

Kootenai National Forest

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Kootenai National Forest
Supervisor's Office

31374 US Highway 2
Libby, MT 59923-3022
(406) 293-6211
Fire Dispatch: (406) 283-7740

Office Hours:
Monday thru Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

Rexford Ranger District
949 US Hwy 93 N
Eureka, MT 59917-9550
(406) 296-2536

Three Rivers Ranger District
12858 US Hwy 2
Troy, MT. 59935-8750
(406) 295-4693

Libby Ranger District
12557 MT Hwy 37
Libby, MT 59923- 8212
(406) 293-7773

Cabinet Ranger District
2693 MT Hwy 200
Trout Creek, MT 59874-9503
(406) 827-3533

Weed Free Forage

Some hay and straw contains harmful weed seeds that can be introduced in to vulnerable National Forest ecosystems. They displace native vegetation and severely reduce the productivity and health of natural resources. Water quality, wildlife habitat, forage production and recreational opportunities are negatively impacted by the spread of noxious weeds.

The Forest Service and State of Montana requires all hay, straw or mulch used on National Forest System lands to be certified as noxious weed-free. This requirement affects persons who use pack and saddle stock, outfitters, ranchers with grazing permits, ski areas and certain contractors.

Applicable Laws

National Forest System lands are “closed” to use of forage and/or mulch materials containing noxious weed seed per the attached closure orders. It is a violation of rule (FS) and law (State of Montana) to utilize forage or mulch materials that contain the seeds of noxious weeds.

Weed Free Forage Producers

The Montana and Idaho Departments of Agriculture maintain lists of producers of certified noxious weed free forage materials and their contact information to assist in applying with these rules/laws. These producer lists are located at the links below.

Alerts & Notices

Prohibited by Region 1 Forest Service Special Order: Possessing, storing, and transporting straw, hay, grain, seed, or other forage or mulch product without:

1. Documentation that it is certified as weed free by a State certification process that meets or exceeds the North American Weed Free Forage standards, or comparable standard; and
2. Tags, twine, or other weed free certification marking on all individual bales, containers, sacks, etc., as required by the product’s State of origin.

In Montana, Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage is required on all Public Lands. You can find out more about certification, finding producers that are certified, and tips on preventing further spread of noxious weeds on our public lands at the Montana Department of Agriculture Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage program page.