County roadside herbicide program to begin soon

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Whatcom County Public Works officials say they will soon begin their annual Road Shoulder Herbicide Program. According to a recent announcement, “Approximately 250 miles of roads are scheduled for treatment. Lawns and yard areas may have a minimum 12” wide strip treated to aid drainage and minimize pavement damage.”

The herbicide program is part of the Whatcom County Public Works Maintenance and Operations Department’s roadside vegetation management plan. The goals of vegetation management include

  • Safety of the traveling public
  • Preservation of road infrastructure
  • Control of legally designated noxious weeds where they occur on the right of way
  • Protection and preservation of natural environment
  • Preserving and enhancing the natural scenic quality of the roadside
  • Being a good neighbor to the many adjoining property owners

Herbicide program crews includes two state-certified applicators according to the County. Treatments include

  • Strip next to the pavement is treated for erosion control of the road surface by preventing encroachment of grasses and weeds.
  • Low-growing brush and noxious weeds are treated without removing the grass, which serves as a filter for road surface water runoff.
  • The dormant brush winter program keeps small trees and blackberries back from the road edge.
  • Applications also include signpost treatment, guardrail treatment and noxious weeds.

County officials say property owners who do not wish to have their adjoining right-of-way treated have the option of maintaining the right-of-way abutting their property. Owners wishing to choose this option are required to complete and sign an agreement to maintain.

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The form is available from the Maintenance and Operations office located at 901 W Smith Road between the hours of 8am and 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. “Owner Will Maintain” signs will be available to owners once the signed form has been received. There is no charge for this service.


    • But they don’t care about public health, it’s not convenient. Speaking as a leukemia patient who has eaten organically for 40 years, but am exposed to sprays and exhaust fumes and other noxious chemicals in our world. Monsanto’s Glyphosate is now a known human carcinogen.