SALEM, OR -- A new report outlines just how much noxious weeds cost the state. The new study from the Oregon Department of Agriculture found these weeds have a negative environmental impact on the state's native plants, water quality and fish and wildlife. But, Tim Butler, manager of ODA's Noxious Weed Control Program says the dollar figure is staggering. "The current study found an estimated annual loss of about $83.5 million annually in personal income from 25 selected noxious weeds that were analyzed in the study."
The study also showed things would be much worse without current programs. "We did predictive modeling showing if these weeds were left to go everywhere they might. According to the model, we could have a potential annual loss to the state of about $1.8 billion in personal income," said Butler. Two weeds with the biggest impact, Scotch Broom and Armenian Blackberry, are mainly found in the western part of the state.