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NPS Seeks Comments on Exotic Plant Management Plan

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Date: February 3, 2009
Contact: Sabrina Henry, 435-719-2135

The National Park Service (NPS) is soliciting public input for an environmental assessment on an Exotic Plant Management Plan that encompasses all four parks of the Southeast Utah Group of National Parks. The Southeast Utah Group consists of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, and Hovenweep and Natural Bridges National Monuments.

NPS policy directs park managers to take actions to ensure that non-native plants that invade parklands are inventoried, and to limit the potential damage these plants could cause. Many exotic plants are ecologically harmful. Invading species can often overwhelm native plant communities, alter the natural and/or historic scene, and impair the natural functions of native ecosystems. Exotic plant management is a necessary part of each park's responsibility to protect natural resources and to help retain their inherent integrity.

The plan is available on-line at http://parkplanning.nps.gov under Canyonlands NP/Southeast Utah Group. Hardcopies will be available for review at the Grand and San Juan County libraries as well as at the Southeast Utah Group headquarters building in Moab. The public review period is open for 30 days and comments are due by March 6, 2009. Comments may be made online or by letter to the Superintendent, Attention: Exotic Plant Management Plan, 2282 S. West Resource Blvd., Moab, UT 84532.

Did You Know?

Collared Lizard

Lizards, including the colorful collared lizard, are one of the most frequently seen animals in Canyonlands. When not chasing flies or basking in the sun, they are often seen doing what appears to be push-ups. Scientists believe this and other behaviors signal dominance and facilitate courtship.