Invasive plants (weeds) can threaten biodiversity, ecological health, agricultural production and human and animal health. Foothills County Agricultural Service Board is responsible for enforcing the Alberta Weed Control Act both on County property and private land.
Noxious and Prohibited Noxious Weeds
Regulated weeds in Alberta are designated as Noxious or Prohibited Noxious. Noxious weeds are introduced plant species that are found in Alberta but need to be controlled to limit their spread. As a landowner you are responsible for controlling Noxious weeds, meaning the plant must be prevented from growing and spreading. Prohibited Noxious weeds are species that are not yet found in Alberta or found in small, localized areas. As a landowner you are required to destroy Prohibited Noxious weeds, meaning all parts of the plant must be killed.
If you require assistance in the identification or control of weeds, please contact the Agricultural Fieldman at 403-603-5423.
Regulated Weeds Found in Foothills County
Weed Inspections and Notices
County appointed Weed Inspectors are granted the authority under the Weed Control Act to enter land at a reasonable time. If an inspector finds regulated weeds on your property you will be issued a Weed Notice. The notice will specify control measures that must be completed within a date specified on the notice. Failure to comply with a notice will result in the County hiring a contractor to control the weeds at the landowner’s expense.
Municipal Weed Control
Agricultural Services conducts a weed control program by mowing, hand picking and applying herbicides to county roadsides and municipal properties. We aim to spray every road at least once per year if weather allows. All county sprayers are Certified Pesticide Applicators and follow all provincial regulations and codes of practice.
Roadside Vegetation Management
Foothills County will remove the vegetation along all Foothills County roads in order to:
- Improve sight distance at intersections and curves
- Restore proper drainage in ditches
- Reduce snow drifting problems
- Allow for dissipation of dust clouds, created by traffic on gravel roads
- Allow for safety from wildlife
- Protect Foothills County from any liability should the ditches not be cleared and
- Enforce the Weed Control Act of Alberta
Vegetation Control on Roadside Policy
The County reserves the right to maintain its right of ways from property line to property line in regards to vegetation management and to comply with the enforcement of the Weed Control Act of Alberta. For example, but not limited to vegetation includes grass, weeds, brush, etc.
- Vegetation control on roadsides is imperative to improving site distances at intersections and curvatures in the road system for the safety of the motoring public.
- By removing the existing and dead vegetation the County is able to restore and maintain proper drainage in the roadside ditch system. Standing water in the roadside ditch system leads to higher maintenance costs and dangerous soft spots.
- Further to removing standing and dead vegetation, in the right of ways, we are able to reduce and in some instances eliminate snow drifting problems which plague our roadways during the winter months. Also, through removal of trees and brush, the heat of the sun can reach the road surface allowing for quicker dissipation of ice and/or snow on the right of ways.
- Vegetation control also allows for the dissipation of dust clouds created by vehicular traffic on the gravel roads. This again provides the situation whereby the County can improve on traffic safety.
- Wildlife has always been a major concern of the motoring public and by controlling and removing vegetation the public is able to be more aware of wildlife sooner and avoid colliding with same thereby reducing possible vehicle damage and injuries.
- This Roadside Policy is also pertinent to protecting the County from liabilities should a vehicular accident occur, as a result of the ditches not being cleared of vegetation.
- Under the Weed Control Act of Alberta, it is the responsibility of the County to control and eliminate the growth of noxious weeds on their right of ways. If these weeds are left unchecked they would create a myriad of problems for the County's ratepayers and the motoring public.
Vegetation control will be carried out as per guidelines set out by the Province of Alberta under Section 1-Highway Maintenance Guidelines - Subsection 4.7 Brush Control and reviewed annually by the M.D. of Foothills No. 31 Council.
Alberta Invasive Species Council
Alberta Weed Control Act