BEND, Ore. -

Deschutes County commissioners addressed questions and concerns from a previous public meeting on a proposed noxious weed ordinance during a work session Wednesday afternoon.

The discussion came exactly a month after a packed commission hearing brought criticism over the rules, which carry a potential $2,000 fine for those who refuse to work with the county to clear the invasive weeds that can choke off native vegetation.

There were seven issues outlined by staff in advance of Wednesday's discussion:

  • Who issues citations?
  • How to define "thoroughly cleaned" equipment
  • How many days to allow for compliance
  • Should it ordinance only apply to agricultural lands
  • Incorporate education assistance into ordinance
  • Give alternatives to using chemicals
  • The ordinance should apply to county property

In the end, commissioners decided the sheriff's office will issue citations. The definition of "thoroughly cleaned" would be changed to "removing all seeds."

The compliance window would be anywhere from 2 to 20 days. Both private and agricultural land will be included in the ordinance, and alternative ideas to chemicals will be provided.

This ordinance was written based on state regulations. The next step includes making the relatively minor changes and bringing the ordinance back to the county commissioners office for final approval.

For details about the weed control ordinance, go to www.deschutes.org/weeds