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Roadside Spraying

The Public Works Department has an active vegetation management program that includes ditch cleaning, mowing, brush cutting, and roadside spraying within county Right-of-Ways.  Although most methods are used throughout the year as time allows, spraying herbicides is typically limited to spring through fall and always subject to weather conditions.  The purpose of spraying is to control vegetation and noxious weeds within the Right-of-Way and, in most locations, will extend four to eight feet from the edge of pavement.  All chemical application is done by a licensed applicator.  Although the materials and equipment can be costly, the use of herbicides has been one of the more cost effective methods to reduce the spread of noxious weeds and prevent drainage issues from occurring throughout the year.  It is the goal of the Public Works Department to provide roadways that are safe and economical to maintain by using best management practices which are friendly to both the environment, and residents of the county.  Impacts to roadways without proper vegetation control include:

Poor visibility of signage, corners and intersections
Reduced safety in emergency stop areas
Restricted or uneven bike lane widths
Pavement deterioration and cracking
Flooding or other drainage problems
 

Although conditions may vary, the department generally limits its herbicide application to glyphosate (Wynca USA®, RoundUp®, etc.) or Esplande® 200sc, both of which are used in combination with a spray adjuvant or surfactant (drift agent) such as Liberate® or Crosshair®. Depending on the time of year, pre-emergent products such as Diuron® 4L may also be used.  Please review the Safety Data Sheets referenced below for products used by the Public Works Department.
 
"No-Spray" Permits
Property owners who do not want herbicide sprayed along their frontage property (within the Right-of-Way) can apply for a Private Maintenance Area Permit through the Public Works Department, which must be updated annually. The permit allows for a property owner to maintain their portion of the roadside, at the property owner’s expense, to county standards.  The permit fee of $135 is good for three (3) years and includes County provided signage; however permits do need to be renewed annually.  After three (3) consecutive renewals, a $45 permit reinstatement fee applies which allows for permits to be renewed annually an additional three times.  If you wish to apply for a Private Maintenance Area Permit, please visit the Public Works Office at 918 18th Street in Hood River or select the highlighted link. 
Please be advised that areas marked with "homemade" no-spray signs will still be sprayed, mowed, or otherwise maintained by the county as needed.  Areas covered by permits that are not renewed during the specified time (stated in permit) may also be sprayed as needed.
 
Tree Trimming
In addition to spraying, the department also mows and brushes along county roads as a method of maintaining vegetation.  Generally, in most cases vegetation will be managed to ensure a safe roadway experience and to eliminate site obstructions.  Trees along the right-of-way are typically the property of the adjacent landowner and need to be maintained.  Under Oregon Law, the County has the authority, and responsibility, to manage roadside trees when they present a danger to the traveling public.  However, trees that do not present a danger to the roadway remain the responsibility of the adjacent landowner.  For more information about tree trimming, tree removal or vegetation management standards, please review the Public Works Tree Trimming and Removal Policy.