Invasive Plant Control Program For Highland County

This is Kari Sponaugle, your Virginia Cooperative Extension Agent for Bath and Highland counties and today I’d like to speak to you about the Invasive Plant Control Program for Highland County.

The Highland County Board of Supervisors approved an invasive plant control program for the county for 2024. Under this program, Highland county landowners with at least 50 acres with 10% infestation of three main species of invasive plants can apply for an incentive payment to offset herbicide cost to target these specific invasives. Landowners can receive up to 50% cost share on herbicides approved under the program.

Invasives targeted are Multiflora rose, Japanese barberry and Autumn Olive. These species establish themselves on poor soils, crowding out native plants and are spread by birds.

Application and information packets are being sent via paper mail and email listings from the Highland Extension office. To participate, landowners must complete the application and return to the Highland Extension office through April 30. Following application review, approved applicants will be sent a letter indicating the maximum payment for which they would qualify. Approved applicants must use listed herbicides in the program guidelines. Original pesticide purchase receipts must be submitted to the Highland Extension office by the last business day in September. Herbicide applications must be completed by the end of September. Treated areas may be subject to spot checks.

Qualifying program participants will receive their incentive payment from Highland County in October. The cost share payment is for purchases of herbicide only, not to include equipment or application costs. Payment received for herbicides will be lesser of one, the amount stated in the approval letter, or two, 50% of the cost of the herbicide.

This is a first come, first served basis program in Highland County. A waiting list will be maintained to accommodate landowners that sign up after all the funds are allocated. For more information, please contact Virginia Cooperative Extension Highland County at 540-468-2225, or email myself, Kari Sponaugle at

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Current Weather