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(1) The lessee is responsible for weed control on leased state land. However, weed control cost share funds designated pursuant to (2) are available to lessees from the recreational use account for control of noxious weed infestations caused by general recreational use after February 29, 1992. "Noxious weeds" are those weeds designated as noxious weeds by the Montana department of agriculture.

(2) The department shall, on or before July 1 of each fiscal year, designate a portion of the general recreational use account for weed control.

(3) A lessee may apply in writing for weed control funds, equipment, assistance or supplies to treat a weed infestation caused by general recreational use. The application must:

(a) describe the location and size of the infestation and type of weed;

(b) demonstrate that the infestation was caused by general recreational use of the tract; and

(c) contain a weed management plan, including the cost of carrying out the plan. The plan may propose any combination of recognized weed management techniques which will deal effectively with the weed problem.

(4) The area land office shall process applications in the order received and shall approve an application if it finds that the application reasonably proves that the infestation was caused by general recreational use of state lands, that the plan provides an effective method of control, and that cost of the plan is reasonable. In its approval, the area office shall designate the amount of funding approved. That amount may be less than the amount applied for. Before providing funding, supplies, assistance, or materials, the department shall enter into a written agreement with the lessee specifying how the funding, supplies, assistance, or materials must be used. The assistance may be provided through the county weed board.

(5) Projects remain eligible for funding for the fiscal year in which the approval was granted and for 2 additional fiscal years. At the end of this period, the department may terminate the approval if it determines that the project no longer meets the criteria in (4) .

History: 77-1-209 and 77-1-810, MCA; IMP, 77-1-810, MCA; NEW, 1992 MAR p. 568, Eff. 3/27/92; TRANS, 1996 MAR p. 2384.

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