FARGO, N.D. — The owner of a weed spraying company is facing misdemeanor charges for the killing of endangered flowers on the Sheyenne National Grasslands near Lisbon.
Federal court documents accuse Matthew Hanson of using pesticide on national grasslands without authorization and damaging threatened plants. He’s scheduled to make his first court appearance on Thursday.
Authorities say the Ransom County Weed Board hired Hanson’s company, Super Sprayers, to spray weeds in road side ditches within the county. Court documents say one of Hanson’s employees sprayed at least 197 federally threatened Western prairie fringed orchids sometime last summer.
Federal agents say Hanson was required to be within 30 miles of his employee when he was spraying. Hanson told investigators he was in Rapid City, S.D., at the time.