Weed Free Forage
Some hay and straw contains harmful weed seeds that can be introduced in to vulnerable National Forest ecosystems. They displace native vegetation and severely reduce the productivity and health of natural resources. Water quality, wildlife habitat, forage production and recreational opportunities are negatively impacted by the spread of noxious weeds.
The Forest Service and State of Montana requires all hay, straw or mulch used on National Forest System lands to be certified as noxious weed-free. This requirement affects persons who use pack and saddle stock, outfitters, ranchers with grazing permits, ski areas and certain contractors.
National Forest System lands are “closed” to use of forage and/or mulch materials containing noxious weed seed per the attached closure orders. It is a violation of rule (FS) and law (State of Montana) to utilize forage or mulch materials that contain the seeds of noxious weeds.
Weed Free Forage Producers
The Montana and Idaho Departments of Agriculture maintain lists of producers of certified noxious weed free forage materials and their contact information to assist in applying with these rules/laws. These producer lists are located at the links below.