County describes “no-spray” weed options

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Lanark County Public Works has developed “no-spray” options related to control of noxious and invasive plant control and urges interested residents to review the options and submit any requests by May 18.

To help meet its legislative requirements under the Weed Control Act to control noxious weeds such as wild parsnip, the county has adopted a new Vegetation Management Plan that uses various methods to control invasive species and takes a long-term, multi-faceted and holistic approach.

Part of this has included selective broadleaf weed herbicide spraying. Most of this year’s contract is targeted spot spraying and it is set to take place between May 23 and June 30, weather permitting. Spraying occurs on county road allowances from the edge of the gravel shoulder to the property limit and is conducted by fully licensed contractors. Areas not sprayed include roadside ditches maintained by property owners, a 10-metre buffer from freshwater habitats, and as per label restrictions. Sprayers are turned off at mailboxes or whenever a pedestrian is nearby.

“We want to work with landowners to come up with solutions to control wild parsnip and other noxious weeds,” says Terry McCann, public works director. “It’s important to have full participation to control the invasive plants so the integrity of the Vegetation Management Program does not collapse.”

Consequently, there are options for landowners who do not want spraying within the county road allowance adjacent to their lands.

The county has enhanced its Adopt-a-Road litter-pick-up program to include certain invasive plant and noxious weed management activities. The program requires groups of at least three individuals to enter into an agreement with the county to adopt a section of road, usually two kilometres, for two years. It has been extended to include spotting and reporting invasive plants and noxious weeds, and can include hand pulling/spading of those plants, conducting accelerated mowing and landscape planting. No spraying would occur in adopted sections.

A second option for landowners seeking a renewable year-to-year solution is to enter into a No-Spray Agreement with the county indicating they will take alternative vegetation control actions to control noxious weeds within the road allowance adjacent to their lands. The county would not spray that zone as part of the agreement. Landscape planting may also be included, depending on available budgets.

If there are extenuating circumstances preventing an individual from taking alternative vegetation control actions, requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

All requests for no spraying should be submitted to the public works department by Thursday, May 18. Any received after this date will only be accommodated if possible, taking the contractor’s schedule and spray work already completed into account. No-spray requests are not guaranteed until a review process is completed and approval is granted by the director.

Information about the spraying program, including locations to be sprayed, Adopt-a-Road and no-spray options with related forms/agreements can be found at http://lanarkcounty.ca/Page1875.aspx or call 613-267-1353.