The noxious weed control law establishes weed management districts throughout the state. These management districts are commonly called county weed control districts and are defined by the boundaries of the county. In some cases, a weed management district may include more than one county through an agreement made by the county commissioners of the neighboring counties. Currently, there are 56 weed control districts within Montana. After the establishment of a county weed management district, a county weed board is appointed by the county commissioners of each district to oversee responsibilities established by the noxious weed control law. A county weed board must consist of at least three members and no more than nine members, a majority of whom must be agricultural landowners. County weed board members are considered public officers of the county, and may call upon the county attorney for legal advice and services.
The County Noxious Weed Control Law commissions the county weed boards with three main responsibilities:
- to develop and administer the district's noxious weed program,
- to establish management criteria for noxious weeds on all lands within the district,
- to make all efforts to develop and implement a noxious weed program covering all land within the district owned or administered by a federal agency.
Along with these responsibilities, the Montana County Noxious Weed Control Law empowers county weed boards to:
- employ a supervisor and other employees as necessary and provide for their compensation
- purchase chemicals, materials, and equipment, plus pay other operational costs as necessary to implement an effective weed management program,
- determine what chemicals, materials, or equipment may be made available to persons controlling weeds on their own lands,
- enter into agreements with the Department of Agriculture for the control and/or eradication of any new exotic plant species not previously established in the state,
- perform other activities relating to weed management, such as mapping and educational programs.