ROW Management

ROW Management
Our Roadside Management Program will continue to implement a long-term, integrated management program that promotes desirable and self-sustaining plant communities that are native through preservation of existing roadside vegetation and re-establishment of native vegetation whenever applicable. Stabilize road construction projects by seeding and providing adequate erosion control. Reduce the visibility hazards created by trees and brush on county highways, road intersections, and other areas through selective brush control and stump treatment. Use herbicide efficiently as a control method for undesirable brush and plants. Work towards using prescribed fire as an alternative treatment to chemicals in native prairie plant communities where it is safe and applicable. Native prairie plantings not only convey our care for the environment but it perpetually does so by reducing our reliance on mowing brush and weeds, reduces the need for large scale broadcast chemical applications of pesticides to simply and effectively target spot applications of weeds, and allows us to use cultural methods such as burning as a means to control noxious weeds and undesirable species.
Tallgrass Prairie Center Roadside Management Pamphlet series

Our Roadside Management program continues to recognize and address the spread of newly introduced invasive plant species in our ROWs countywide by controlling expansion when feasible. Currently our department is trying to address known invasive species locations in our ROW and we are trying to limit our ROWs to act as harbors for these species to stem further expansion. Additional Species of concern for our Roadside Management that will be addressed if feasible or required:

  • Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum)
  •  Pampas Grass (Miscanthus spp.)
  • Garlic Mustard (Allaria petiolata)
  •  Crown Vetch (Coronilla varia)
  •  Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)
  •  Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida)
  •  Palmar Amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri)

Ultimately, we are enhancing the scenic qualities of the roadsides and their value as roadside habitat when practical with education and marketing principals of IRVM for now and into the future.

Iowa’s ROW Mowing Law
Iowa law prohibits mowing of roadside vegetation in the right of way or medians of any primary highway, interstate highway or secondary road prior to July 15, except:

  • Within 200 yards of an inhabited dwelling.
  •  On right of way within one mile of the corporate limits of a city.
  • To promote native species of vegetation or other long-lived and adaptable vegetation.
  •  To establish control of damaging insect populations, noxious weeds and invasive plant species.
  • For visibility and safety reasons.
  •  Within rest areas, weigh stations and wayside parks.
  •  Within 50 feet of a drainage tile or tile intake.
  • For access to a mailbox or for other accessibility purposes.
  • On right of way adjacent to agricultural demonstration or research plots.