House Bill No. 226
Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________
A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act requiring that weed control be addressed as an element of the off-highway vehicle trail and national recreation trail grant programs; requiring development by the department of fish, wildlife, and parks of a weed control plan for off-highway vehicle trails and national recreation trails and coordination of the plan with the department of agriculture and county weed boards; providing that grants for off-highway vehicle trails and national recreation trails may not be implemented until the requisite weed control plan is in place; clarifying required components of a weed control plan; and requiring certain recordkeeping and a report on program progress to the 56th legislature."
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Comprehensive weed control plan required -- grant funding contingent on weed control plan -- components of plan. (1) A comprehensive plan for state and local control of noxious weeds is required to be in place prior to the allocation of funding:
(a) from the account created in 23-2-804(3) for any grant for development of trails for off-highway vehicle recreation use pursuant to 23-2-804(3)(b); and
(b) for any grant for development of a national recreation trail with funds allocated to the department pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 1241, et seq.
(2) The department of fish, wildlife, and parks shall develop the weed control plan for the off-highway vehicle trail grant program and the national recreation trail grant program. The plan must be in a form that addresses weed control measures on department-owned lands and other lands that are likely to be affected by the department's actions under the off-highway vehicle trail grant program and the national recreation trail grant program.
(3) Each off-highway vehicle trail grant application and national recreation trail grant application must contain an explanation of how the applicant intends to address the control of noxious weeds, including:
(a) existing noxious weed infestations in or adjacent to the grant area;
(b) identification of current noxious weed control efforts in the grant area and of any entities involved in those efforts;
(c) a long-range plan for the control of noxious weeds in the grant area and an estimate of costs necessary to implement the plan;
(d) the nature of control efforts that will be applied in the grant area, which may include chemical control, biological control, and mechanical or hand-pulling techniques;
(e) a mechanism for keeping records of noxious weed control activities, expenditures made in weed control efforts, and tracking of results of weed control efforts, including a record of complaints or new infestations subsequent to issuance of the grant.
NEW SECTION. Section 2. Coordination of weed control measures between agencies -- categorical exemption of grant prohibited. (1) The department of fish, wildlife, and parks shall coordinate noxious weed control plans under [section 1] with the department of agriculture and affected county weed boards to ensure compatibility of all weed control efforts and to avoid duplication of services.
(2) An off-highway vehicle trail grant or a national recreation trail grant may not be categorically or otherwise exempted from the requirements of [section 1].
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Report to legislature. The department of fish, wildlife, and parks shall report to the 56th legislature regarding:
(1) adoption and implementation of a noxious weed control plan pursuant to [section 1]; and
(2) the success and future needs of noxious weed control under the off-highway vehicle trail grant program and the national recreation trail grant program.
NEW SECTION. Section 4. Codification instruction. [Sections 1 and 2] are intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 23, chapter 2, part 8, and the provisions of Title 23, chapter 2, part 8, apply to [sections 1 and 2].