order to manage invasive plants on parklands, 16 Exotic Plant
Management Teams (EPMTs) have been deployed throughout the country.
The teams, modeled after the coordinated rapid response approach used
in wildland fire
fighting, are a new weapon to combat invasive plants. The
success of the EPMT derives from its ability to adapt to local
conditions and needs, using weed science expertise and partnerships.
The Alaska EPMT was founded in 2003 and has become a model early
detection and rapid response program for Alaska and its National
Each season, field employees work across Alaskan
parks, mapping thousands of invasive plant infestations, eradicating
small patches, and organizing volunteer events to control larger
ones. The EPMT program provides many benefits to Alaska beyond its
parklands. EPMTs work successfully with landowners near each park to
foster local invasive plant management. The EPMT program contributed
to the first examinations of the wildfire-invasive plant connection
in Alaska. In cooperation with the US Forest Service and the Alaska
Natural Heritage Program, over 100 species were systematically ranked
for their invasiveness threat and workshops were provided for their
identification. Altogether, the Alaska EPMT makes the most of its
support through an integrated, collaborative approach to maintain
Alaska's unique position: ahead of the invasive species curve.