History of the Campaign
In 1948 the first Montana weed law was enacted. In 1949 the Montana Weed Control Association was formed with the mission of, “Working together to strengthen and support noxious weed management efforts in Montana.” It was in 1983 that the MWCA was opened up to other organizations and an education committee was formed to provide outreach and educational efforts to teach Montanans how to stop the spread of noxious weeds.
The Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign was organized as a as a sub-committee of the MWCA. In 1994 a statewide independent survey was conducted to gain insight into the public’s awareness and knowledge level of noxious weeds. It was concluded that without the support of the people of Montana, a statewide effort would fail. With the information from the 1994 survey, it was decided in 1995 by the Noxious Weed Trust Fund Advisory Council that there was a need for statewide educational outreach with information about the impacts of noxious weeds on the state.
Mirroring the national public awareness campaign, “Pulling Together against Noxious Weeds” became the motto for the Statewide Noxious Weed Awareness and Education Campaign Task Force in 1998. This campaign brought together stakeholders and unified the message across the state of Montana and the United States. The ‘hands shaking’ logo was indicative of the Statewide Noxious Weed Education & Awareness Campaign until September of 2012 when the campaign was renamed and a new logo was created. The spotted knapweed flower was chosen to appear on the Montana logo because it occurs in all 56 counties and has been a nuisance since it was first reported in Montana in the early 1920’s.
Along with a new logo, the campaign has been renamed, the Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign (MNWE). The campaign continues to provide informative educational materials, programs and noxious weed outreach efforts to federal, state, county, city, and tribal weed coordinators as well as supporting educational outreach efforts of several non-governmental organizations.
The Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign Executive Committee has representatives from partner agencies and organizations who serve as the voice for weed awareness efforts throughout Montana. The executive committee usually meets once a month to discuss the direction of the campaign and educational materials they would like to see the campaign coordinator produce. The MNWEC Executive Committee operates under a memorandum of understanding or MOU that outlines the duties, mission, and organization of the executive committee.
Carol Bell Randall