‘Weed free’ certification now required for forage and mulch products
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: October 23, 2020

Missoula, Mont. – The USDA Forest Service’s Northern Region has imposed new restrictions on the possession
and use of forage and mulch products on National Forest System lands in order to help curb the spread of noxious
weeds.
As of October 8, it is illegal to possess, store or transport straw, hay, grain, seed or other forage or mulch products
on Forest Service lands without documentation that the product is certified as “weed free” by a state certification
process that meets or exceeds the North American Weed Free Forage standards. The order remains in effect until
August 31, 2022.
In addition, tags, twine or other weed free certification marking must be displayed and visible on all individual
bales, containers, sacks, etc., as required by the product’s state of origin.
The following persons are exempt from the prohibitions:
• Persons with a special use authorization or other Forest Service authorization that specifically exempts
them from the restrictions.
• Any Federal, State or Local Law Enforcement Officer or member of an organized rescue or fire fighting
force in the performance of an official duty.
• Persons transporting forage or mulch products across restricted areas without unloading or using the
products on National Forest System lands, roads or trails.
Violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an
organization, or imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, or both.
More information about weed free certification standards can be found at https://www.naisma.org/wpcontent/uploads/2020/04/NAISMA-WFF-Minimum-Standards-Final4-16-20.pdf.