Students: Kasey Heath, Matthew Bannon, Jeff Thurston, Joey Shotton
Teacher: Clinton Kennedy

What are Noxious Weeds?

Noxious weeds are plant species that have been designated “noxious” by law. The word “noxious” simply means Harmful. In other words noxious weeds are weeds that are not good and can be very harmful to a certain environment. Noxious weeds have been known to become so thick that they completely choke out every other living type of plant in an area of land so that the land can not be used by grazing cows, farmers, hikers, campers, bikers, and people just like you. Some key criteria to be a noxious weed or not are:

  1. A noxious weed must be present in, but not native to an area. (Native weeds originate in a certain area and there might be a natural method of control such as a certain bug.)
  2. It must be potentially more harmful than beneficial to the area.
  3. Eradication must be economically and physically feasible.
  4. The potential adverse impact of a noxious weed must exceed the cost of control.

Weed Law

What is the purpose of the noxious weed law? The purpose of the Idaho Noxious Weed Law is to protect lands within the state from invasion by noxious weeds. The Noxious Weed Law requires landowners, to eradicate noxious weeds on their land, except in special management zones. Counties are required by law to make sure they enforce this law. There are many other provisions of the Idaho Noxious Weed law which you can easily located on the internet or at libraries, city and county courthouses, and the Idaho department of Agriculture, and from the county weed superintendents.

Why Map Noxious Weeds???

Noxious weeds cost the State of Idaho millions of dollars to control. They are quickly spreading through much of Idaho’s agricultural, recreational, and environmentally protected land. Maps help weed control agents develop effective strategies to eliminate these biological invaders.

What Maps Noxious Weeds???

The common tools used to map weeds are the Global Positioning System (GPS), ArcView GIS, Pathfinder, and digital cameras. GPS receivers are used to “mark” the locations of the weeds, digital cameras are used to photograph the site, then all the data is downloaded into Pathfinder and ArcView then high-quality maps are generated.

Who Maps Noxious Weeds???

A new program is being created across the State of Idaho where high school students partner with weed control agents to map the noxious weeds in their county. Four progressive high schools in Idaho are learning how to map noxious weeds. These schools are; Shelly High School, Clark Fork Jr/Sr High School, Cascade High School, and New Horizon High School. Students have the opportunity to work with advanced technology as they provide their community with a valuable service.

How it Started ???

How was this project all started? Mike Winston of Shelly High School had the idea with grazing goats on areas of noxious weeds as a way to control the weeds. During this project it was found that the goats liked the weeds better than other grasses in the area so it helped in controlling the weeds. The goat idea was just the start of the “Noxious Weed Project.”

Purpose of Project

  1. Map weeds by using the Global Position System (GPS).
  2. Keeping records and location of noxious weed areas.
  3. Treating the noxious weeds.
  4. Go back to the noxious weed site, at a later date, and compare the effectiveness of treatments that were used.

Community Awareness

Community Awareness is a very big part of our project. Most people are not aware he effect that noxious weeds have on land and how devastating they can be. One of the purposes of our project is to alert people that there is a problem at hand and inform them of what they can do to help.

What We are Doing ???

Right now we're doing the ground work on this project. Receiving knowledge and training from our own research and time. The Noxious Weed Project for us has been based on learning and experiencing things as we go. We picked up the idea of the project and went from there. Everyday we learn something new.

Skills Needed

Project Steps

  1. Create a base map
    A base map defines and organizes the boundaries of the project
  2. Create a field map
    This is to record and organize all areas surveyed for weeds.
  3. Map weeds with GPS
    Noxious weed areas will be mapped with the GPS. Hard copies must be kept in a journal.
  4. Correct data with Pathfinder Office
    Pathfinder software to correct all GPS data and export it in a usable format.
  5. Develop and use ArcView
    ArcView software to generate electronic maps and databases displaying electronic weed data.
  6. Submit all quality weed data to the state
    Weed data needs to be renamed and exported in a format compatible with the state office

Brought to You by the Advanced Biology Class at Cascade High School

Advanced Biology Home Page

Thanks for Visiting!!!