Vegetation Management is necessary to maintain a safe right-of-way by providing clear sight distances, to clear signs and fixtures of vegetation for visibility and functionality, to provide adequate drainage in roadway ditches, to reduce fire hazard and provide snow drift control.

It is also necessary to protect the roadway surface from vegetation encroachment and to maintain drainage.

Vegetation control is also necessary to slow and/or prevent the spread of noxious weeds. Federal and State Executive orders require the Department to take steps to prevent the spread of invasive or noxious plants. Federal Executive Order 13751, signed by President Obama on December 5, 2016 requires “authorities to (i) prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species; (ii) support efforts to eradicate and control invasive species that are established.”

NMDOT is committed to provide timely Noxious Weed Management in our right-of-ways. Invasive plants and noxious weeds have been described as a raging biological wildfire out of control and spreading rapidly. The devastation from these alien plants includes enormous economic losses to agriculture and irreparable ecological damage to wild lands. These plants have negative direct and permanent impacts to almost all vegetative and wildlife habitats. They out compete native vegetation needed by wildlife for food, cover, or nesting. Millions of acres have been invaded or are at risk, including rangelands, forests, wilderness areas, national parks, recreation sites, and wildlife management. Invasive plants can even effect private property uses and economic values.

Kim Anaya, State Maintenance Bureau

Vegetation Management Schedule

Map of New Mexico showing the different districts

Noxious Weed Photo Gallery

Pictured below are several of the noxious weeds targeted by NMDOT’s Vegetation Management Program. Click on a thumbnail to view a full-sized picture of the weed and its description.

Camel Thorne

Photo of Camel Thorn

Leafy Spruge

Photo of Leafy Spruge

Canada Thistle

Photo of Canada Thistle

Russian Knappweed

Photo of Russian Knappweed

Yellow Toadflax

Hoary Cress

Photo of Hoary Cress

Yellow Starthistle