Senate approves legislation to control noxious weeds

Senate approves legislation to control noxious weeds Sen. Tom Daschle announced March 5 that legislation to control the spread of noxious weeds throughout South Dakota and the west has been approved by the Senate.

The legislation would provide local agencies the resources needed to reduce the spread of non-native weeds that choke crops and destroy grazing land in South Dakota and across the country.

The bill was passed by unanimous consent late March 4 on the floor of the Senate.

The Nonnative Weed Control Act was sponsored by Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) and Sen. Daschle. The bill would authorize the Department of the Interior to provide grants to states, which in turn would provide funding to local weed boards to implement weed control projects on private and public lands.

The bill establishes a 10-person federal advisory board to identify where the problem is most serious and to dole out the funding.

Daschle said he hopes the House will act quickly and pass the legislation so that local governments can be provided with the resources necessary to combat noxious weeds.

"Public and private lands in the west have seen a startling increase in the spread of harmful, non-native weeds," Daschle said. "These weeds are choking out native species and destroying good grazing land throughout South Dakota.

"Local boards and managers are working hard to deal with this situation, but the spread of the weeds has outpaced the ability to control them. This legislation will provide much-needed funding to help local authorities solve this difficult problem," he added.

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