Landowners' Perspectives on Weed Control Across Montana

Invasive plants, often called “weeds,” are a problem for landowners across MT. To better understand landowner perspectives on invasive plants and what factors are associated with weed control, we conducted a statewide survey of Montana’s small to medium landowners (those owning .5 acres up to 6,000 acres) in early 2017. Since landowners, and weeds, are different across the state, we stratified our sample within three sub-state regions (see map below). We found agreement across the state that weeds are a problem, and that landowner actions are dependent on a combination of individual and collective elements.

Across the state, we identified five types of landowners who approach weed control from distinct perspectives, including those who were “doing it all” and others who “can’t do much” (see pg. 6 for more detail). Not surprisingly, we found that time and money were significant constraints for many landowners across the state. Even for landowners with these traditional constraints, social pressures and connections with neighbors were both associated with more frequent weed control behavior. Interestingly, the more satisfied landowners were with weed control efforts in their area, the less likely they were to have controlled weeds themselves. Combined, these findings demonstrate the importance of cross-boundary considerations for efforts seeking to inspire weed control efforts, even on private land. Summary results are presented on the following pages with region-specific graphs provided when landowners’ responses differed significantly among the three regions.

Download and view our full report (pdf)