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Whatcom weed seed

The county shall be divided into five sections, designated as noxious weed control districts 1 through 5, as follows:

That area bounded on the north by the U.S./Canadian border, on the west by Georgia Strait, on the east by the Whatcom/Okanogan County boundary and on the south extending from the intersection of the shoreline with the western boundary of Section 30, T 40 N, R 1 E, northwards to the northwesterly corner of Section 30, T 40 N, R 1 E, east to the northeasterly corner of Section 25, T 40 N, R 2 E, south to the southwesterly corner of Section 30, T 40 N, R 3 E, east to the southeasterly corner of Section 29, T 40 N, R 3 E, north to the northwesterly corner of Section 28, T 40 N, R 3 E, east to the southeasterly corner of Section 24, T 40 N, R 3 E, northerly to the northwest corner of Section 19, T 40 N, R 4 E, easterly to the northeast corner of Section 21, T 40 N, R 4 E, southerly to the southwest corner of Section 22, T 40 N, R 4 E, easterly to the intersection with the Whatcom/Okanogan County boundary; also district No. 1 includes all that portion of land lying in T 40 and 41 N, R 3 W, of the Willamette Meridian, commonly known as Point Roberts.

That area bounded on the north by the geographic area described as noxious weed control district No. 1, on the west by Georgia Strait, on the east by the Whatcom/Okanogan County boundary, and on the south extending from the intersection of the shoreline with the southern boundary of Section 13, T 39 N, R 1 W, eastwards to the southeasterly corner of Section 17, T 39 N, R 1 E, northwards to the northwesterly corner of Section 16, T 39 N, R 1 E, eastwards to the northeasterly corner of Section 17, T 39 N, R 2 E, southerly to the southwesterly corner of Section 16, T 39 N, R 2 E, easterly to the intersection with the Whatcom/Okanogan County boundary.

That area bounded on the north by the geographic area described as noxious weed control district No. 2, on the west by Georgia Strait, on the east by the Whatcom/Okanogan County boundary, and on the south extending from the intersection of the shoreline with the southern boundary of Section 32, T 39 N, R 1 E, eastwards to the intersection with the centerline of Interstate Highway 5, southeasterly to the Interstate’s intersection with the southern boundary of Section 11, T 38 N, R 2 E, easterly to the intersection with the Whatcom/Okanogan County boundary.

That area bounded on the north by the geographic area described as noxious weed control district No. 3, on the east by the Whatcom/Okanogan County boundary, and on the south by a line extending easterly from the southwestern corner of Section 13, T 37 N, R 2 E, easterly to the southeasterly corner of Section 17, T 37 N, R 3 E, northerly to the northwesterly corner of Section 9, T 37 N, R 3 E, easterly to the intersection with the Whatcom/Okanogan County boundary, and by a line extending westerly from the southwestern corner of Section 13, T 37 N, R 2 E, across Bellingham Bay, northwesterly through Hale’s Passage, around the northernmost tip of Lummi Island, and westerly to the intersection with the San Juan/Whatcom County boundary, in the most direct line possible.

That area bounded on the north by the geographic area described as noxious weed control district No. 4, on the west by San Juan County boundary, on the east by the Whatcom/Okanogan County boundary, and on the south by the Whatcom/Skagit County boundary.

2.27.020 Definitions.

Unless a different meaning is plainly required by the context, the following words and phrases as hereinafter used in this chapter shall have the following meanings:

A. “Agent” means any occupant or any other person acting for the owner and working or in charge of the land.

B. “Agricultural purposes” are those which are intended to provide for the growth and harvest of food and fiber.

C. “Board” means the county noxious weed control board.

D. “Director” means the director of the department of agriculture or the director’s appointed representative.

E. “Noxious weed” means any plant which when established is highly destructive, competitive, or difficult to control by cultural or chemical practices.

F. “Owner” means the person in actual control of property, or his agent, whether such control is based on legal or equitable title or on any other interest entitling the holder to possession and, for purposes of liability, pursuant to RCW 17.10.170 or 17.10.210, means the possessor of legal or equitable title or the possessor of an easement; provided, that when the possessor of an easement has the right to control or limit the growth of vegetation within the boundaries of an easement, only the possessor of such easement shall be deemed, for the purpose of this chapter, an “owner” of the property within the boundaries of such easement.

G. “Person” means any individual, partnership, corporation, firm, the state or any department, agency, or subdivision thereof, or any other entity.

H. “State noxious weed list” means a list of noxious weeds adopted by the state noxious weed control board which list is divided into three classes:

1. Class A shall consist of those noxious weeds not native to the state that are of limited distribution or are unrecorded in the state and that pose a serious threat to the state;

2. Class B shall consist of those noxious weeds not native to the state that are of limited distribution or are unrecorded in a region of the state and that pose a serious threat to that region;

3. Class C shall consist of any other noxious weeds.

I. As pertains to the duty of an owner, the words “control,” “contain,” “eradicate,” and the term “prevent the spread of noxious weeds” means conforming to the standards of noxious weed control or prevention adopted by rule or regulation by the state noxious weed control board and the county weed control board. (Ord. 92-009 § 1 (part); Ord. 81-61 § 2).

2.27.030 Reactivation of board.

At any time after deactivation of the board, the board may be activated by any one of the following methods:

A. Either within 60 days after a petition is filed by 100 registered voters within the county, or on its own motion, the county council shall hold a hearing to determine whether there is a need, due to a damaging infestation of noxious weeds, to activate the board. If such a need is found to exist, then the county council shall, in the manner provided by RCW 17.10.050, appoint five persons to hold seats on the board.

B. Upon an order to activate from the state noxious weed control board pursuant to RCW 17.10.040, the county council shall activate the board and appoint members to such board in the manner provided by RCW 17.10.050.

C. Upon an order to activate from the director pursuant to RCW 17.10.040 when an infestation of the class A or class B noxious weed designated for control within the region wherein the county lies is confirmed in the county. The county council may, as an alternative to activating the board, combat the class A noxious weed or class B noxious weed with county resources and personnel operating with the authorities and responsibilities imposed by this chapter on the board. The county may not continue without a noxious weed control board for a second consecutive year if the class A noxious weed or class B noxious weed designated for control within the region wherein the county lies has not be eradicated. (Ord. 92-009 § 1 (part); Ord. 81-61 § 3).

2.27.040 Composition.

The board shall consist of five voting members, one from each section/district. The board shall be appointed as provided in RCW 17.10.050. (Ord. 92-009 § 1 (part); Ord. 81-61 § 4).

2.27.050 Appointment of chief county extension agent.

There is appointed one nonvoting member of the board who shall be the chief county extension agent or an extension agent appointed by the chief extension agent. (Ord. 92-009 § 1 (part); Ord. 81-61 § 5).

2.27.060 Terms of members.

Each voting member of the board shall serve a term of four years. (Ord. 92-009 § 1 (part); Ord. 81-61 § 6).

2.27.070 Funding.

At the option of the county council, the board may be funded under any means set forth in RCW 17.10.240 and RCW 17.10.250. (Ord. 92-009 § 1 (part); Ord. 81-68 (part); Ord. 81-61 § 7).

2.27.080 Annual report.

The board shall submit a report to the county council upon an annual basis summarizing the board’s goals, actions taken, financial condition and other matters pertinent to the operation and control of the board. (Ord. 92-009 § 1 (part); Ord. 81-61 § 8).

2.27.090 Records.

The board shall maintain its records so that they will be readily open and available to the public. (Ord. 92-009 § 1 (part); Ord. 81-61 § 9).

2.27.100 Establishment of policy of integrated pest management.

The board shall establish as a major policy the adoption of the concept of integrated pest management. (Ord. 92-009 § 1 (part); Ord. 81-61 § 10).

2.27.110 Notice of board activities.

The board shall serve timely notice on the general public with regard to all board activities including, but not limited to, elections, meetings and chemical spraying. (Ord. 92-009 § 1 (part); Ord. 81-61 § 11).

2.27.120 Report to council on specific control measures.

The county council may require a report from the board on any specific control measures that have been taken or are being considered. (Ord. 92-009 § 1 (part); Ord. 81-61 § 12).

2.27.130 Reauthorization of board.

The Whatcom County noxious weed control board shall continue to exist after December 31, 1991, unless deactivated pursuant to Section 2.27.340. (Ord. 92-009 § 1 (part); Ord. 86-68 (part); Ord. 81-61 § 13).

2.27.140 Conduct of business in accordance with state provisions.

In all other respects the board shall operate and conduct its business in accordance with the provisions of RCW 17.10.050. (Ord. 92-009 § 1 (part); Ord. 81-61 § 14).

2.27.150 Weed control board – Weed coordinator – Authority – Rules and regulations.

A. The board may employ a weed coordinator whose duties shall be fixed by the board but which shall include inspecting land to determine the presence of noxious weeds. Within 60 days from initial employment the weed coordinator shall obtain a pest control consultant license, a pesticide operator license, and the necessary endorsements on the licenses as required by law. The board may purchase, rent or lease such equipment, facilities or products and may hire such additional persons as it deems necessary for the administration of the county’s noxious weed control program.

B. The board shall have the power to adopt such rules and regulations, subject to notice and hearing as provided in RCW Chapters 42.30 and 42.32 as now or hereafter amended, as are necessary for an effective county weed control or eradication program.

C. While employed by the board, the weed coordinator is considered a county employee with the privileges and responsibilities thereof and shall be subject to day-to-day supervision and support through cooperative extension.

D. All expenditures of weed board appropriations shall be approved by the chairman of the weed board, or designee, before being authorized by the cooperative extension office.

E. The administration shall insure that copies of all administrative rules, procedures, budget submission requirements, and other such operating procedures of requirements shall also be sent to the chairman of the weed board and the coordinator in addition to copies being sent to the cooperative extension office. (Ord. 96-001; Ord. 92-009 § 1 (part); Ord. 86-68 (part); Ord. 83-22 (part); Ord. 81-61 § 15).

2.27.160 State noxious weed list – Selection of weeds for control by board.

The board shall, within 30 days of the receipt of the state noxious weed list from the state noxious weed control board and following a hearing, select those weeds from the class C list and those weeds from the class B list not designated for control in the noxious weed control region in which the county lies which it finds necessary to be controlled in the county. The weeds thus selected and all class A weeds and those class B weeds that have been designated for control in the noxious weed control region in which the county lies shall be classified as noxious weeds, and those weeds shall comprise the county noxious weed list. The county will include other noxious weeds on the state noxious weed list when so ordered by the state board pursuant to RCW 17.10.100. (Ord. 92-009 § 1 (part); Ord. 86-68 (part); Ord. 83-22 (part); Ord. 81-61 § 16).

2.27.170 Liability of county and board.

Obligations or liabilities incurred by the county or any claims against the board shall be governed by RCW Chapter 4.96 or RCW 4.08.120; provided, that individual members or employees of the board shall be personally immune from civil liability for damages arising from actions performed within the scope of their official duties or employment. (Ord. 92-009 § 1 (part); Ord. 83-22 (part); Ord. 81-61 § 17).

2.27.180 Owner’s duty to control spread of noxious weeds.

Except as is provided under RCW 17.10.150, every owner shall perform, or cause to be performed such acts as may be necessary to control and to prevent the spread of noxious weeds from his property. (Ord. 92-009 § 1).

2.27.190 Owner’s duty on nonagricultural land – Buffer strip defined – Limitation.

A. The board may classify lands for the purposes of this chapter. In regard to any land which is classified by the board as not being used for agricultural purposes, the owner thereof shall have the following limited duty to control noxious weeds present on such land:

1. The owner shall eradicate all class A noxious weeds and shall control and prevent the spread of class B noxious weeds designated for control within the region in which such land lies. The owner shall also control and prevent the spread of class C noxious weeds on any portion of such land which is within the buffer strip around land used for agriculture purposes. The buffer strip shall be all land which is within 1,000 feet of land used for agricultural purposes.

2. In any case of a serious infestation of a particular noxious weed which infestation exists within the buffer strip of land described in paragraph 1 of subsection A of this section, and which extends beyond said buffer strip of land, the board may require that the owner of such buffer strip of land take such measures, both within said buffer strip of land as well as on other land owned by said owner contiguous to said buffer strip of land on which such serious infestation has spread as are necessary to control and prevent the spread of such particular noxious weed.

3. Forest lands classified pursuant to RCW 17.10.240(3) shall be subject to the weed control requirements established in subsection (A)(1) and (2) of this section at all times whether such lands are used for agricultural purposes or are not used for such purposes. In addition, forest lands shall be subject to Section 2.27.180 and all other provisions of this chapter for a single five-year period designated by the board following the harvesting of trees for timber.

B. In regard to any land which is classified by the board as scab or range land, the board may limit the duty of the owner thereof to control class C noxious weeds present on such land. The board may share the cost of controlling such weeds, may provide for a buffer strip around the perimeter of such land or may take any other reasonable measures to control or contain noxious weeds on such land at an equitable cost to the owner. The board shall classify as range or scab land all that land within the county for which the board finds that the cost of controlling all of the noxious weeds present would be disproportionately high when compared to the benefits derived from noxious weed control on such land. (Ord. 92-009 § 1).

2.27.200 Owner’s agreements with the board – Terms – Enforcement.

It is recognized that the prevention, control, and eradication of noxious weeds present a problem for immediate as well as for future action. It is further recognized that immediate prevention, control, and eradication is practicable on some lands and that prevention, control, and eradication on other lands should be extended over a period of time. Therefore, it is the intent of this chapter that the board may use its discretion and, by agreement with the owners of land, may propose and accept plans for prevention, control, and eradication which may be extended over a period of years. The board may make an agreement with the owner of any parcel of land by contract and the board shall enforce the terms of any agreement. The board may make any terms which will best serve the interests of the owners of the parcel of land and the common welfare which comply with this chapter and the rules adopted thereunder. (Ord. 92-009 § 1).

2.27.210 Right of entry – Warrant for noxious weed search – Civil liability – Penalty for Preventing entry.

Any authorized agent or employee of the board where not otherwise proscribed by law may enter upon any property for the purpose of administering this chapter and any power exercisable pursuant thereto, including the taking of specimens of weeds or other materials, general inspection, and the performance of eradication or control work. Prior to carrying out the purposes for which the entry is made, the official making such entry or someone in his or her behalf, shall have first made a reasonable attempt to notify the owner of the property as to the purpose or need for the entry.

A. When there is probable cause to believe that there is property within this state not otherwise exempt from process or execution upon which noxious weeds are standing or growing and the owner thereof refuses permission to inspect the property, a judge of the superior court or district court in the county in which such property is located may, upon the request of the board or its agent, issue a warrant directed to such board or agent authorizing the search for the noxious weeds described in the request for the warrant.

B. Application for issuance and execution and return of the warrant authorized by this section shall be in accordance with the applicable rules of the superior court or the district courts.

C. Nothing in this section requires the application for an issuance of any warrant not otherwise required by law; provided, that civil liability for negligence shall lie in any case in which entry and any of the activities connected therewith are not undertaken with reasonable care.

D. Any person who improperly prevents or threatens to prevent entry upon land as authorized in this section or any person who interferes with the carrying out of this chapter shall be upon conviction guilty of a misdemeanor. (Ord. 92-009 § 1).

2.27.220 Notice – Property owners – Action by county.

A. Whenever the weed control board finds that noxious weeds are present on any parcel of land, and that the owner there is not taking prompt and sufficient action to abate and control the same, pursuant to the provisions of Sections 2.27.180 and 2.27.190, it shall notify such owner that a violation of this chapter exists. Such notice shall be in writing and sent by certified mail, and shall identify the noxious weeds found to be present, order prompt control action, and specify the time, of at least 10 days from issuance of the notice, within which the prescribed action must be taken.

B. Upon deposit of the certified letter of notice, the noxious weed control authority shall make an affidavit of mailing which shall be prima facie evidence that proper notice was given. If seed dispersion is imminent, immediate control action may be taken 48 hours following the time that notification is reasonably expected to have been received by the owner or agent by certified mail or personal service.

C. The county noxious weed control board or its authorized agents may issue a notice of civil infraction as provided for in RCW 17.10.230 and 17.10.310 through 17.10.350 to owners who do not take action to control noxious weeds in accordance with the notice.

D. If the owner does not take action to control the noxious weeds in accordance with the notice, the county board may control them, or cause their being controlled, at the expense of the owner. The amount of such expense shall constitute a lien against the property. Each such lien created may be collected by the treasurer in the same manner as a delinquent real property tax, if within 30 days from the date the owner is sent notice of the lien, including the amount thereof, the lien remains unpaid and an appeal has not been made pursuant to Section 2.27.230.

E. Written notice of said lien shall be sent to the property owner in the manner set forth in RCW 17.10.290 and shall include notice of the right to appeal provided by Section 2.27.230.

F. The county auditor shall record in his office any lien created under this chapter, and any such lien shall bear interest at the rate of 12 percent per year and such interest shall accrue as of the date notice of the lien is sent to the owner.

G. The owner shall be liable for payment of the expense of controlling the weed, and nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent collection of any judgment on account thereof by any means available pursuant to law, in substitution for enforcement of the lien. Funds received in payment for the expense of controlling noxious weeds shall be transferred to the board to be expended as required to carry out the purposes of this chapter. (Ord. 92-009 § 1).

2.27.230 Hearing on costs.

A. Any owner, upon request made within 30 days of the date of mailing of the notice required under Section 2.27.220(A), shall be entitled to a hearing before the board on any charge or cost for which such owner is alleged to be liable. The board shall send notice by certified mail, to each owner at the owner’s last known address, as to any such charge or cost and as to his right of a hearing.

B. The board shall schedule a public hearing within 30 days of its receipt of a valid request for hearing. At such hearing the board shall receive evidence and take testimony on the following issues:

1. Was the action to control or abate a noxious weed on the appellant’s property necessary under the terms of RCW Chapter 17.10?

2. Was the cost and scope of the action taken reasonably in relation to the severity of the problem?

3. Was the action done in a negligent manner such that the appellant is entitled to offset the costs charged with the losses suffered as a result of such negligence?

C. The findings of the board shall be in writing, and its final decision shall be issued within 20 days of the close of the public hearing. Final decisions and action of the board shall be subject to judicial review as provided by RCW 17.10.180. (Ord. 92-009 § 1).

2.27.240 Lien for labor, material, equipment used in controlling noxious weeds.

Whenever the board performs labor, furnishes material, or rents, leases or otherwise supplies equipment, to be used in the control of noxious weeds, or in causing control of noxious weeds, upon such property pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, it shall have a lien upon such property for the labor performed, material furnished, or equipment supplied whether performed, furnished, or supplied with the consent of said owner or agent. (Ord. 92-009 § 1).

2.27.250 Liens.

Any lien for labor, materials, or equipment supplied in controlling noxious weeds shall be created in accordance with the requirements of RCW Chapter 17.10 including, but not limited to, Sections 17.10.290 and 17.10.300. (Ord. 92-009 § 1).

2.27.260 Notice and information as to noxious weed control.

When activated, the board shall cause to be published annually and at such other times as may be appropriate in at least one newspaper of general circulation within its area a general notice. The notice shall direct attention to the need for noxious weed control and shall give such other information with respect thereto as may be appropriate, or shall indicate where such information may be secured. In addition to the general notice required hereby, the board may use any appropriate media for the dissemination of information to the public as may be calculated to bring the need for noxious weed control to the attention of owners. The board may consult with individual owners concerning their problems of noxious weed control and may provide them with information and advice, including giving specific instructions and methods when and how certain named weeds are to be controlled. Such methods may include definite systems of tillage, cropping, management, or use of livestock. Publication of a notice as required by this section shall not be a condition precedent to the enforcement of this chapter. (Ord. 92-009 § 1).

2.27.270 Agreements with landowners.

Upon approval of the county executive or his or her designee, the board may enter into agreements with the owners of land, including lands owned by the United States, for the control of noxious weeds as provided in RCW 17.10.154 and RCW 17.10.200. (Ord. 92-009 § 1).

2.27.280 Control of noxious weeds in open areas.

Open areas subject to the spread of noxious weeds, other than crop land, including but not limited to subdivisions, school grounds, playgrounds, parks, and rights-of-way shall be subject to regulation by the board in the same manner and to the same extent as is provided for agricultural lands. (Ord. 92-009 § 1).

2.27.290 Quarantine of land – Order – Expense.

A. Whenever the board finds that a parcel of land is so seriously infested with class A or class B noxious weeds that control measures cannot be undertaken thereon without quarantining the land and restricting or denying access thereto or use thereof, the board, with the approval of the director, may issue an order for such quarantine and restriction or denial of access or use. Upon issuance of the order, the board shall commence necessary control measures and shall prosecute them with due diligence.

B. An order of quarantine shall be served, by any method sufficient for the service of civil process, on all persons known to qualify as owners of the land within the meaning of this chapter. (Ord. 92-009 § 1).

2.27.300 Violations – Penalty.

Any owner knowing of the existence of any noxious weeds on the owner’s land who fails to control such weeds in accordance with this chapter and rules and regulations in force pursuant thereto; or any person who enters upon any land in violation of an order in force pursuant to Section 2.27.290; or any person who interferes with the carrying out of the provisions of this chapter has committed a civil infraction. (Ord. 92-009 § 1).

2.27.310 Selling product, article, or feed containing noxious weed seeds or toxic weeds – Penalty.

Any person who knowingly or negligently sells a product, article, or feed stuff containing noxious weed seeds or toxic weeds in violation of rules promulgated by the director of agriculture under RCW 17.10.235, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. (Ord. 92-009 § 1).

2.27.320 Board – Authority to obtain insurance or surety bond.

The board may obtain such insurance or surety bonds, or both with such limits as they may deem reasonable for the purpose of protecting its officials and employees against liability for personal or bodily injuries and property damage arising from their acts or omissions while performing or in good faith purporting to perform their official duties. (Ord. 92-009 § 1).

2.27.330 Notice of infraction – Issuance – Refusal to identify self or respond to notice a misdemeanor.

The board may issue a notice of civil infraction if after investigation it has reasonable cause to believe an infraction has been committed. It shall be a misdemeanor for any person to refuse to identify himself or herself properly for the purpose of issuance of a notice of infraction. Any person wilfully violating a written and signed promise to respond to a notice of infraction shall be guilty of a misdemeanor regardless of the disposition of the notice of infraction. Rules governing notice, response, hearings, appeals and penalties for civil infractions shall be as set forth in RCW 17.10.320, 17.10.330, 17.10.340 and 17.10.350. (Ord. 92-009 § 1).

2.27.340 Deactivation of board – Hearing.

The following procedures shall be followed to deactivate the board:

A. The county council shall hold a hearing to determine whether there continues to be a need for an activated county noxious weed control board if:

1. A petition is filed by 100 registered voters within the county;

2. A petition is filed by the board as provided in RCW 17.10.240; or

3. The county council passes a motion to hold such a hearing.

B. Except as provided in subsection D of this section, the hearing shall be held within 60 days of final action taken under subsection A of this section.

C. If, after hearing, the county council determines that no need exists for a weed control board, the county council shall deactivate the board.

D. The county council shall not convene a hearing as provided for in subsection A of this section more frequently than once a year. (Ord. 92-009 § 1).

2.27.350 Severability.

If any provision of this chapter or its application to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the remainder of this act, or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected. (Ord. 92-009 § 1).

Noxious Weed Education

Although the foliage dies back by June, a dense network of underground roots and tubers remain, continuing to inhibit the growth of other plants. Lesser Celandine reproduces by seed, bulblets and underground tubers. These bulblets and tubers can easily be spread when soil is disturbed or moved, so any control using digging by hand must be done very carefully. Plants or soil must never go into the backyard compost. The bulblets can also be easily spread by mud stuck to boots and tools, so be sure to clean these off before you leave a celandine site. On creek banks the plants are spread whenever floodwaters rise.When celandine is present in lawn areas, it may be spread by mowing equipment.

Lesser Celandine is related to buttercups (Ranunculus sp.). The plant has shiny, dark green leaves that are heart-shaped and up to 1.5 inches long. The plants are low growing, less than 1 foot high, and sprout very early in the spring. Where they are well established, the plants form a green carpet. Bright yellow flowers, about an inch in diameter, usually with about 8 petals, are produced in March or April. The plants produce light colored bulbs along the above ground portions of the stem. The root system is composed of small fibrous tubers. By June, the above ground portions of the plant dies back, leaving bare ground.

Many varieties of lesser celandine have been sold in the past as garden ornamentals, but this plant was banned from sale in 2016 in Washington State. While these plants may offer an enticing first burst of spring color, please do not bring them home with you or share them with others. They are likely to go beyond any boundaries on your property and become an invasive problem which is very tough to reverse.

Though Lesser Celandine is related to buttercups, the control methods are different for Lesser Celandine. Information on how to manage Lesser Celandine can be found here. Please be on the lookout for this plant, as it will be in bloom starting in March. If you find it growing on your property or elsewhere, please contact the Weed Board at 360-778-6234.

New noxious weed identified in Whatcom County

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — There’s a new invasive weed in Whatcom County called Goatsrue and it is currently found in only three counties in Washington State.

Whatcom County Noxious Weed Control Board has issued an alert advising Whatcom County residents to check their property for the presence of Goatsrue and, if found, report it.

Goatsrue contains an alkaloid which is poisonous to sheep, cattle and humans. It is capable of displacing native and beneficial plants and destroying wildlife habitat. The plants have been known to overtake wetlands and marshy areas and are also found in open fields and along roadsides.

Each plant can produce up to 15,000 seedpods and seeds which can remain viable in the soil for 5 to 10 years.

Goatsrue is identified by the following.

  • Herbaceous perennial plant
  • Pea-like flowers in pink, purple, and white from June to October
  • Grows up to 4-6 feet tall
  • Upright stems are hollow with a deep taproot
  • Alternate leaves with 6-10 pairs of leaflets

County residents are asked to report locations of Goatsrue to the Whatcom County Noxious Weed Program by calling 360-778-6234.