Noxious weeds are estimated to directly impact Idaho's lands by approximately $300 million annually, according to the Idaho Department of Agriculture. Identification and control of noxious weeds, particularly on private lands, has been an escalating concern with many Idaho landowners. Although the exact acreage is unknown, officials estimate that over 8 million acres of Idaho lands are severely infested by noxious weeds. Many noxious weeds have had decades of proliferation and could have easily been eradicated when first detected. For example, in 1963, one rangeland weed, Rush skeletonweed, occupied approximately 40 acres near Banks, Idaho. Today, it is found across 4 million acres and continues to spread by seed and the wind.Meridian, Idaho n Spring is on the horizon and now is the perfect time to get up to speed on how to identify and then address the challenges posed by Idaho's 64 different species of noxious weeds, according to officials with the Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign. "State and County government budgets have diminished due to the economy and that means fewer dollars to combat noxious and invasive weeds for 2011. Individual Idahoans are finding themselves as the State's first line of defense against noxious weeds. That means they need a tool to quickly identify and control noxious and invasive weed infestations and we have the perfect weapon to help them in this effort," said Roger Batt, Statewide Coordinator for the Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign.