Montana Administrative Register Notice 4-16-235 No. 23   12/09/2016    
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In the matter of the amendment of ARM 4.5.206, 4.5.207, and 4.5.208 pertaining to the state noxious weed list






TO: All Concerned Persons


          1. On January 5, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. the Department of Agriculture will hold a public hearing in Room 225 of the Scott Hart Building at 302 N. Roberts, Helena, Montana, to consider the proposed amendment of the above-stated rules.


2. The Department of Agriculture will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rulemaking process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact Department of Agriculture no later than 5:00 p.m. on January 2, 2017, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Cort Jensen, Department of Agriculture, 302 N. Roberts, Helena, Montana, 59601; telephone (406) 444-3144; fax (406) 444-5409; or e-mail agr@mt.gov.


3. The rules as proposed to be amended provide as follows, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:


4.5.206 PRIORITY 1A (1) These weeds are not present or have a very limited presence in Montana. Management criteria will require eradication if detected, education, and prevention:

          (a)  Yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis)ˌ;

          (b)  Dyer’s woad (Isatis tinctoria), and;

          (c)  Common reed (Phragmites australis ssp. Australis).; and

          (d)  Medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae).


AUTH: 80-7-802, MCA

IMP: 7-22-2101, MCA


REASON: The Noxious Weed Listing workgroup has recommended that medusahead be added as a Priority 1A Noxious Weed. Medusahead is an aggressive winter annual grass with prolific seed production that spreads at an average rate of 12% a year, outcompeting native vegetation and other invasive plants, even cheatgrass. It tends to occupy disturbed sites, wetlands, grasslands, agronomic fields, and rangeland. Clay soils and soil moisture available late in the growing season favor establishment of medusahead. Like cheatgrass, medusahead is also known to increase the frequency and intensity of wildfires. This Mediterranean native was introduced into the U.S. as a seed contaminant in the late 1880s. Confirmed infestation occurs in Sanders County, Montana.


ECONOMIC IMPACT: Medusahead eradication and containment efforts are ongoing. There should not be any additional costs over the existing costs of eradication and containment. The Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund and the Salish Kootenai Tribe are covering medusahead eradication and containment efforts costs. 


          4.5.207 PRIORITY 1B (1)  These weeds have limited presence in Montana. Management criteria will require eradication or containment and education:

     (a)  Knotweed complex (Polygonum cuspidatumˌ P. sachalinenseˌ P. × bohemicumˌ Fallopia japonicaˌ F. sachalinensisˌ F. × bohemicaˌ Reynoutria japonicaˌ R. sachalinensisˌ and R.× bohemica);

     (b)  Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria);

     (c)  Rush skeletonweed (Chondrilla juncea); and

     (d)  Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius).; and

     (e)  Blueweed (Echium vulgare).


AUTH: 80-7-802, MCA

IMP: 7-22-2101, MCA


REASON: The Weed Listing Workgroup recommended reprioritizing blueweed from a Priority 2A to a Priority 1B weed. Eradication and containment efforts have been successful in containing this weed to limited areas in Sanders County in Montana.


ECONOMIC IMPACT: Change in blueweed prioritization on the noxious weed list will not have a fiscal impact because weed districts with known infestations manage this weed species now.


          4.5.208 PRIORITY 2A (1) These weeds are common in isolated areas of Montana.  Management criteria will require eradication or containment of these weeds where less abundant.  Management shall be prioritized by local weed districts:

          (a)  Tansy ragwort (Senecio jacobaeaˌ Jacobaea vulgaris);

(b)  Meadow hawkweed complex (Hieracium caespitosumˌ H. praealtumˌ H. floridundumˌ and Pilosella caespitosa);

(c)  Orange hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacumˌ Pilosella aurantiaca);

     (d)  Tall buttercup (Ranunculus acris);

          (e)  Perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium);

          (f)  Yellowflag iris (Iris pseudacorus);

(g)  Blueweed (Echium vulgare);

(hg)  Eurasian watermilfoil complex (Myriophyllum spicatum and M. sibericum); and

(ih)  Flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus).; and

(i)  Common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica).


AUTH: 80-7-802, MCA

IMP: 7-22-2101, MCA


REASON: The Noxious Weed Listing workgroup recommended changing the noxious weed listing for blueweed from Priority 2A to Priority 1B. The current Priority 2A designation does not reflect the current weed infestations and blueweed is more appropriately listed as a Priority 1B noxious weed. The change will give county weed districts greater flexibility in addressing control of this weed species.


The Noxious Weed Listing workgroup also recommended listing both species of non-native watermilfoil to the noxious weed list and listing them as a complex. 


Common buckthorn is a native to Europe and Western Asia. Common buckthorn came into the U.S. as an ornamental hedge and shelterbelt plant. Common buckthorn forms dense stands capable of crowding and shading out native understory plants. It is allelopathic, inhibiting germination and growth of other plants. This invasive can outcompete other plants for available nutrients, light, and moisture. Common buckthorn is a prolific seed producer, is adaptable to a wide variety of habitats and thrives in a variety of soil types (well drained sandy soil, clay soils, and poorly drained calcareous and alkaline soils), and is particularly aggressive in wet or moist soils. This plant is an alternative host for oat crown or leaf rust caused by Puccinia coronate. Puccinia coronate also is responsible for crown rust found in barley and forage grasses. Soybean aphids, a vector source of Potato Virus Y, use common buckthorn as an overwintering host. The bark, leaves, and fruit produce a strong laxative effort when eaten and can cause poisoning in cattle and impact both milk production and milk quality. Common buckthorn infests in nine counties in Montana. 


ECONOMIC IMPACT: Change in blueweed prioritization on the noxious weed list will not have a fiscal impact because weed districts with known infestations manage this weed species now. The fiscal impact of adding common buckthorn to the noxious weed list is unknown at this time. Counties need to conduct surveys for this weed species to better understand the extent of infestation and the management efforts (and cost) of managing this species. Missoula Parks and Recreation indicated control is time consuming and expensive.


          4. Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments either orally or in writing at the hearing. Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to: Cort Jensen, Department of Agriculture, 302 N. Roberts, P.O. Box 200201, Helena, Montana, 59620-0201; telephone (406) 444-3144; fax (406) 444-5409; or e-mail agr@mt.gov, and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., January 9, 2017.


5. Cort Jensen, Department of Agriculture, has been designated to preside over and conduct this hearing.


6. The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency. Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request that includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person to receive notices and specifies for which program the person wishes to receive notices. Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request. Such written request may be mailed or delivered to the contact person in 4 above or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the department.


7. An electronic copy of this proposal notice is available through the Secretary of State's web site at http://sos.mt.gov/ARM/Register.  The Secretary of State strives to make the electronic copy of the notice conform to the official version of the notice, as printed in the Montana Administrative Register, but advises all concerned persons that in the event of a discrepancy between the official printed text of the notice and the electronic version of the notice, only the official printed text will be considered.  In addition, although the Secretary of State works to keep its web site accessible at all times, concerned persons should be aware that the web site may be unavailable during some periods, due to system maintenance or technical problems.


8. The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.


9. With regard to the requirements of 2-4-111, MCA, the department has determined that the amendment of the above-referenced rules will not significantly and directly impact small businesses.



/s/ Cort Jensen                                    /s/ Ron de Yong              

Cort Jensen                                          Ron de Yong

Rule Reviewer                                      Director



Certified to the Secretary of State November 28, 2016.


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