Rural landscapes are increasingly diverse and heterogeneous, involving a mix of small and large parcels, amenity and agricultural properties, and resident and absentee owners. Managing invasive plants in landscapes with changing ownership requires understanding the views and practices of different landowners. We surveyed landowners in two rural valleys with 26% absentee ownership and a large number of small parcels in Missoula County, Montana. Landowners indicated a high level of awareness and concern about weeds; more than 80% agreed that weeds are a problem in their valley. Seventy-eight percent of landowners managed weeds, but only 63% were effective at weed management. Absentee owners were far less likely to manage weeds on their properties and less likely to utilize herbicides, as compared with resident landowners. Landowners reported that seeds coming from adjacent properties were the most significant barrier to effective weed control. Many landowners manage weeds to be a good neighbor and believe that cooperation between neighbors is critical to weed management.
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