Wyden, Merkley Urge Full Funding for Invasive Weed Program

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today urged federal officials to provide full funding for a successful 40-year program that conserves and restores healthy landscapes and waterways threatened by invasive weeds.

The Oregon senators’ letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke notes that full funding in 2018 for the decades-old Strategic Integrated Noxious Weed Management partnership between the Bureau of Land Management and Oregon Department of Agriculture would be $290,000.

Yet the current agreement calls for just $70,000 — less than one-quarter full funding for assistance with weed control on federal lands, including education and outreach, prevention, physical and mechanical treatments, biological agents, herbicides, cultural methods including targeted grazing, and replanting.

“Failure to continue a fully-funded agreement puts ranchers’ grazing allotments in jeopardy, could affect critical invasive plant work on federal lands in Oregon and protects adjoining private lands and our agricultural economy,” the senators wrote. “As you are well aware, failing to manage and control the spread of invasive, noxious weeds can lead to long-term economic and ecological losses.”

A copy of the entire letter is here.