With about 140 plants listed on Washington state's list of noxious weeds, Alison Halpern is working to revise the list and make it easier to work with.

Halpern, executive secretary of the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board, outlined her plans during a meeting of the board on Sept. 14.

"We can take listed species of lower priority off the list to raise awareness of the more important ones," she told the board members. She said perhaps counties could be asked to identify their top 50 weeds.

"It's always been a challenge to remove species from the list," she said later. "There always seems to be at least one county actively controlling each species. ... If I can get just five species off in one year, I'll consider it a success."

Halpern also described a plan to make the board's website more user-friendly for identifying listed plants. Such an online resource would include images and listings by color, appearance and toxicity.

-- Steve Brown

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