South Dakota could swap weeds on noxious list

Capitol News Bureau
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PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Absinth wormwood would be added to South Dakota’s statewide list of noxious weeds, while Russian knapweed would be dropped, under possible changes that are scheduled for a public hearing later this month.

The South Dakota Weed and Pest Control Commission has determined absinth wormwood is sufficiently detrimental to the state to warrant enforcement control measures, according to the official public notice.

“Adding absinth wormwood to the statewide noxious weed list would allow South Dakota counties to require landowners to control the weed and, if the landowners failed to do so, take enforcement actions against them,” the notice says.

Ron Thyen of Hayti, a long-time member who’s no longer on the commission, proposed the changes during the commission’s September meeting in Rapid City. Neil VonEschen of Wagner, who represents county commissioners, seconded it and the commission agreed to move forward.

County boards reported they had difficulty finding Russian knapweed in 2019. Some counties still had infestations in 2018.

Palmer ameranth also would be designated a locally noxious weed under another part of the state commission proposal.

Each county’s board could then decide whether palmer amaranth should be considered noxious for that local area.

Counties would be allowed to take enforcement actions against landowners who chose not to control palmer amaranth.

The state commission plans a public hearing by teleconference April 30 at 1 p.m. CT.

Written comments must be received by April 29 by the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, Division of Agricultural Services, 523 East Capitol, Pierre, South Dakota 57501.

Persons wanting to provide oral comments must contact the commission’s secretary, Brenda Sievers, no later than 1 p.m. CT on April 29 at (605) 280-4463 to arrange call-in information for the teleconference.

People also can email comments to no later than 1:00 p.m. CT on April 30. The commission will consider all comments and will include them in the hearing record. Sievers manages the department’s plant industry program.

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