The Minnesota Noxious Weed Law is a function of state, county and local governments. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is mandated by the state’s Legislature to administer and oversee the noxious weed statutes. However, enforcement is ultimately the responsibility of county and municipal governments. County and municipal governments are also mandated by law to fund all activities pertaining to noxious weed enforcement within their jurisdictions.
Each level of government has a separate and distinct role to perform in the enforcement of this law. The roles are suited to the strengths of each. The MDA’s role is to serve as a liaison between the Minnesota Legislature and county and local governments, provide training to inspectors and county designated employees, and oversee the process for determining what plants are listed as noxious weeds. The county’s role is to enforce and/or prosecute difficult cases and provide leadership and technical support to citizens and local inspectors. Local government’s role is to inspect for noxious weed problems and make the first contact requesting voluntary compliance from the landowner. In addition, county and local levels have the same authority for making cooperation possible in order to avoid difficult enforcement cases.
The County Agricultural Inspector (CAI) position was established in 1929 to provide leadership and supervision in the enforcement of the Noxious Weed Law in each county. By law they are responsible for seeing that the noxious weed law is carried-out within their jurisdiction. They serve as the primary technical support to local weed inspectors in the areas of enforcement procedures and public relations. Without their willing and able leadership, it is nearly impossible for local weed inspectors to fulfill their responsibilities. The duties of CAIs are covered in Minnesota Statutes 18.81.
Please click on the tabs below to view the list of CAIs by county, to download the enforcement forms, to visit the county noxious weed page, and to read the history of the CAI position.