Vegetation Management Program

The primary objectives for the maintenance of roadside vegetation within Whatcom County's maintenance area include:

  • Safety of the traveling public.
  • Preservation of the road infrastructure.
  • Control of legally designated noxious weeds where they occur on the right of way.
  • Protection and preservation of natural environment.
  • Preservation and enhancement of the natural scenic quality of the roadside.
  • Being a Good Neighbor to the many adjoining property owners.

Click HERE to view the Whatcom County Integrated Roadside Management Plan.


  • Mechanical brush cutting.
  • Roadside shoulder mowing during late spring and summer.
  • 1900 lane miles of maintained shoulder.

Brush Cutting Season

  • Fall, winter, and early spring are brush-cutting seasons. 
  • Mowers chop and cut the heavy brush along the right-of-way. 
  • Ditches and back slopes are brushed, trees are limbed and trimmed as needed. 
  • The program addresses "hazard trees" in and next to the right-of-ways for public safety.

Herbicide Program

  • Our crew is staffed with two state-certified applicators. 
  • The strip next to the pavement is treated for erosion control of the road surface by preventing the encroachment of grasses and weeds. 
  • Low-growing brush and noxious weeds are treated without removing the grass, which serves as a filter for road surface water runoff. 
  • The dormant brush winter program keeps small trees and blackberries back from the road edge.
  • Applications also include signpost treatment, guardrail treatment, and noxious weeds.

Owner Will Maintain

Property owners who do not wish to have their adjoining right-of-way treated have the option of maintaining the right-of-way abutting their property.  Agreements to this effect may be signed and "Owner Will Maintain" signs obtained from Maintenance and Operations, 901 West Smith Road between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  There is no charge for this service.