Noxious Weeds


Noxious weeds impact native ecosystems by: 
• Reducing biodiversity 
• Altering hydrologic conditions 
• Altering soil characteristics 
• Altering fire intensity and frequency 
• Modifying successional pathways 
• Competing for pollinators 
• Displacing rare plant species 
• Serving as reservoirs of plant pathogens 
• Replacing complex communities with simple communities 

Noxious Weeds:


A Growing Concern 

The Centennial Valley and Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge has a low density, manageable weed problem.  Unlike many parts of the state and country, we are able to still utilize the Early Detection Rapid Response program.  In other words, we are still ahead of the curve and treat on a plant by plant basis to prevent establishment and colonization.  The refuge works hand in hand with The Nature Conservancy, the Beaverhead County Weed Department, and local landowners. However, in recent years with the continued development around Island Park, ID and the Henry's Lake area, increased traffic and use has increased the number of weeds we are detecting--and trying to control--coming over Red Rock Pass.  Please do your part in preventing the spread of noxious and invasive plants and animals.

What You Can Do

  • Drive only on established roads and trails away from weed-infested areas.  
  • Thoroughly clean and wash ORUVs and vehicles after off-road use to prevent spread.
  • When using pack animals, carry only feed that is certified weed-free. Within 96 hours before entering backcountry areas, feed pack animals only food that is certified weed-free.  Certified weed-free feed is required on all public lands in Montana and is strictly enforced on the refuge.  
  • If you find a few weeds without flowers or seeds, pull them and leave them where found. If flowers or seeds are present, place the weeds in a plastic bag or similar container and burn them in a safe place.
  • If you find a weed-infested area, let the landowner or land management agency know so they can take steps to control the weed
  • Avoid the use of felt soled waders, seeds and other invasive species can become embedded in the sole and unknowingly transported to a new area.
  • Inspect, clean, and dry canoes, kayaks, and other boats following these guidelines provided by the Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks.
  • Pets can often transport seeds caught in their hair. Comb and wash animals after an outing.
  • What You Shouldn’t Do

  • Don’t pick flowers of noxious weeds and take them home.
  • Don't pick and transport wild flowers.
  • Don’t camp or drive in weed-infested areas.

    Other information about Noxious Weeds on the refuge: 

    Noxious Weeds in Beaverhead County, Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, and Local Community Action 




    Bureau of Land Management Includes downloadable documents, contact information for BLM state weed coordinators, BLM state web pages (AK, CA, CO, NV, UT, and WY), and other links. 

     Idaho State Noxious Weeds An online version of Idaho's Noxious Weeds (by Robert H. Callihan and Timothy W. Mille) that provides detailed descriptions of the 35 different species of weeds which are designated noxious by Idaho state law. Includes information for ordering a copy of the booklet. 

     Montana Weed Control Association 

     Montana Department of Agriculture - Weeds and Pests 

     Center for Invasive Plant Management 

    Recommended Reading on Noxious Weeds 

    *Stalling, David. 1998. An Exotic Invasion of Elk Country. Bugle 15(4):16-27. 

    *Royer, France & Dickinson, Richard. Weeds of the Northern U.S. and Canada. 1999

    *Whitson, T. D., L. C. Burrill, S. A. Dewey, D. W. Cudney, B. E. Nelson, R. D. Lee, and R. Parker (eds.). 1991. Weeds of the West. Laramie, Wyoming: Western Society of Weed Science.