Forty-five weed prevention signs reminding citizens to "Control Noxious Weeds, It's Your Responsibility," have been posted across Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson Counties.
The roadside signs, produced through grants from the US Forest Service, were developed to continue to bring awareness of the noxious weed problem in the County to citizens. What is a noxious weed? It is a non-native, aggressive plant brought from outside the United States. These weeds are primarily from Europe and Asia and are now growing rapidly in Deschutes County, due to the region's warm, winter weather.
Noxious weeds increase soil erosion, reduce habitat for wildlife, are potentially toxic to humans and animals, rob native plants of water, nutrients and light, and noxious weeds decrease natural livestock pastures. Most of all, it is very costly to remove these weeds from private and public lands and business properties.
The Forest Service grant in the amount of $13,000 provides for 45 of the signs to be maintained and posted among the three counties. 15 more are being reserved for maintenance purposes, replacing weathered signs as they fade. The grant money also provided matching funds for Tri-County staff to distribute the signs.
Deschutes County Vegetation and Road Department employees ordered the signs, hardware and wood material and built the sign frames. The signs have been posted for several weeks along high traffic roads.
For more information, citizens may call the Deschutes County Vegetation Manager at 322-7135.