Invasive species are those that have
been introduced to an area from other parts of the world; they have an
adverse affect on the habitats they invade economically and/or ecologically.
"Invasive" is not a legally defined classification. In comparison, noxious
weed is a legally defined term in Washington State. All noxious weeds are
invasive species, but not all invasive plant species are categorized as
noxious weeds. Noxious weeds are non-native, aggressive and invasive, but
have the potential to be eradicated or controlled within Washington.
For example, the Himalayan blackberry pictured on the left is an invasive
plant. However, it is so widespread that it can never be eradicated or
controlled within Washington – therefore, it is not classified as "noxious
The Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board determines which plants are
placed on the Washington State Noxious Weed List (WAC 16-750). The Board
adopts a State Noxious Weed List each year, categorizing weeds into three
major classes: A, B, and C, according to the threat they pose to the state
or a region of the state. Definitions of these classes can be found on
Washington State Noxious
Weed Control Board website.
The Whatcom County Noxious Weed Control Board then holds a public hearing
to adopt the county list. The
Whatcom County noxious weed list is made up of all Class A weeds, Class
B-designates, and any selections by the County Board from the Class B or
Class C weed list. Any Class A or Class B-designates on the Washington State
List are mandatory for adoption and control at the county level.
The City of Bellingham works toward controlling invasive species using a
variety of methods in an integrated pest management program. Salmon-friendly
invasive species control methods include:
- Mechanical ("by hand") tillage, using plows, disks, or cultivators.
Not to be done when plants are flowering or with Japanese Knotweed.
- Mowing, hoeing, hand digging and pulling.
- Mulch, plastic sheeting, and other physical barriers.
- Natural predators, use of shade, water logging, and vegetative
For More Information
There are many excellent resources on the Internet with detailed
information about noxious weeds. The
Whatcom County Noxious Weed Control Board website also has extensive
fact sheets on the noxious weeds identified in Whatcom County.