(1) The advisory council shall review and rank all projects as high, medium or low and by majority vote recommend to the department those projects which meet appropriate criteria for the project and the program.
(2) The advisory council shall consider the following criteria in recommending projects for funding:
(a) Projects which meet requirements specified in 80-7-814 , MCA, of the Noxious Weed Trust Fund Act.
(b) Projects that involve community groups, weed districts, reservations or conservation districts.
(c) Projects which can be utilized statewide and will provide the most tangible returns to the county or state.
(d) Projects in areas where county weed district funding sources for noxious weed control are limited.
(e) Projects which include educational programs to increase weed awareness and improve weed control techniques.
(f) Projects which involve an integrated weed management plan including biological, cultural, and chemical control.
(g) Projects which will enhance the renewable resources.
(h) Projects which include matching funds (including in-kind services) from private, state, and/or federal entities.
(i) Projects which have not previously received funds from the program.
(j) Projects whose results will provide public benefits.
(k) Projects with a long term effect on natural resources.
(l) Projects which involve noxious weed emergencies.
(3) The advisory council evaluations and recommendations will be submitted to the department for final review and determination of funding for grant requests.