In 1990, the Colorado Legislature passed the “Undesirable Plant Management Act” (UPMA). Essentially, the UPMA is a law for controlling weeds, which requires all counties to write a weed management plan and all landowners to manage undesirable plants. This has been most recently updated with the Colorado Noxious Weed Act of 2003.
The undesirable plants (weeds) named in Routt County are:
- Leafy spurge
- Yellow toadflax
- Dalmatian toadflax
- Russian knapweed
- Spotted knapweed
- Orange hawkweed
- Purple loosestrife
- Cypress spurge
- Myrtle spurge
- Meadow knapweed
- Diffuse knapweed
Stipulations of the Colorado Weed Law:
- Requires control of Routt County’s named undesirable plants (listed above) along the right-of-ways, easements, public roads, etc.
- Gives local governments authority to require the control of undesirable plants by state boards,departments, or agencies that control or supervise state lands.
- Gives local governments authority to require landowners to manage undesirable plants, provide for arbitration procedures, and due process.
Routt County’s Weed Management Plan Includes:
- Educating the public about county weed problems,
- Controlling weeds on county right-of-ways,
- Informing landowners about existing weeds,
- Monitoring the county for new weed infestations,
- Requiring landowners to manage the weeds listed above in an integrated manner whenever those weeds are threatening neighboring lands, and
- Requiring developers to integrate weed management into their covenants.
The Routt County Board of County Commissioners and Weed Advisory Board are responsible for enforcement of the weed management plan. Although the Routt County CSU Extension Office is not responsible for the enforcement of the weed law, we will assist landowners with integrated weed control recommendations.
Appropriate integrated weed management tools include the use of one or more methods of control (chemical, cultural, biological, or mechanical) that prevent or slow seed production on annual or biennial weeds. For perennial weeds, integrated weed management tools are chemical, biological, mechanical, or cultural practices that prevent or slow seed production and prevent, slow, or reduce vegetative growth. Any control method listed above can be used as long as it is known to be effective in managing a particular weed; people cannot be forced to use chemical herbicides.
Examples of appropriate control methods for the specific weeds are:
- Leafy spurge-residual herbicides alone or in combination with grazing by goats or sheep, and beneficial insect release.
- Toadflax(es)–residual herbicides, sulfonylurea herbicides. Bio-controls are available.
- Knapweed(s)-a combination of contact and residual herbicides, continuous mowing, grazing by sheep, continuous cultivation. Aminopyralid herbicide is especially effective. Some bio-controls are available.
- Whitetop-sulfonylurea selective herbicides, in combination with MCPA or 2,4-D.
- Houndstongue-MCPA or 2,4-D in combination with sulfonylurea herbicides.
Routt County maintains a list of licensed contractors for weed control on private land . If you choose to control the weeds yourself, the Routt County Weed Program is available to provide inspections and sprayer calibration as well as site specific management direction. The Routt County Weed Program and the Extension Office rent backpack sprayers and an ATV sprayer. Stay involved with your homeowner’s association and coordinate weed control measures on your lot with measures taken throughout your neighborhood.
The Extension Office, Routt County Weed Program, Weed Board Members, CSU Master Gardeners, and county spray crews can help you with weed identification.
For additional information, contact the CSU Extension office or the
Routt County Weed Program
136 6th Street, Routt County Courthouse Annex, First Floor
Phone: (970) 870-5246