Noxious weeds are non-native, invasive plants that displace desirable native and agricultural plants. It is estimated that noxious weeds cost the North American economy $150 billion per year and that noxious weeds infest over 100 million acres.
Noxious weeds disrupt ecosystems by altering the movement of soil, water and sometimes fire. They displace the native plants that birds, animals, fish, and insects need for food and shelter. Many times noxious weeds form large patches that do not allow other plants to grow resulting in less species and less individual plants.
Many times when a noxious weed takes over, the wildlife that need native plants to survive will leave an area.
Noxious weeds invade rangeland and pastures reducing the amount of forage that a site may produce. They compete with crops for water, sunlight, and space. They contaminate hay. Some are toxic to livestock.
Noxious weeds move in to landscaped areas and compete with desirable plants for resources.
Noxious weeds infest water bodies and along the edges of lakes, streams, and water ditches. They change the movement, clarity, and chemistry of the water which changes what animals, fish, and invertebrates can live in an area. The weeds also may alter the temperature of the water. This occurs when invasive weeds crowd out the native plants that create the canopy that provides shade.
Noxious weeds take over areas next to our highways, roads, and trails. Some weeds are more flammable and can form a higher fire risk next to road and railroad rights-of-way.
Weeds can also affect how animals shelter next to and cross roadways, often creating higher risks to motorists.
Noxious weeds affect recreational lands by creating barriers, changing the aesthetics, and impacting plants and wildlife.