New Backcountry Camping procedures
Reservations for required permits must be obtained through Recreation.gov. Due to the breach at Old Inlet, access to both east and west wilderness camping zones must now be from Davis Park or access points west, and involve a 2½ to 10 mile hike. More »
Fire Island National Seashore is a complex park with a number of historic and modern structures, landscapes, and natural areas, including wilderness and dynamic coastal dunes with accompanying vegetation. Beyond the usual assortment of urban and rural pest issues, extensive populations of exotic invasive plants present an additional challenge. Invasive plants and animals often find their way into the park through neighboring non-federal lands.
An invasive plant mapping project in 2002 found fifteen invasive plant species on Fire Island. Weeds were found predominantly in disturbed areas, such as along boardwalks, around buildings, and wherever there is vehicular or pedestrian traffic. The barrier island's nutrient-poor soils, desert-like conditions and salt spray prevent many weeds from gaining a strong foothold on Fire Island.
The most prominent invasive plant species on Fire Island is the common reed, or Phragmites australis. This plant, which can grow up to 20 feet high, forms dense stands by a network of roots and rhizomes. One plant can spread more than 10 feet in a single growing season.
Fire Island's most abundant weeds include the autumn olive (Eleagnus umbellata), nodding thistle (Carduus nutans) and spotted knapweed (Centaurea aculosa).
The National Park Service implements a nationwide Integrated Pest Management Program to reduce risks to the public, park resources, and the environment from pests and pest-related management strategies.
An IPM Plan for Fire Island National Seashore was prepared in 2006. The report may be available as a downloadable portable document format (PDF) file from the Internet at http://www.nps.gov/nero/science/.
Did You Know?
The first Fire Island Lighthouse was built at the end of Fire Island in 1826. Today, the Fire Island Inlet is more than five miles west of this foundation. You can see the remnants of the first structure when you visit the present lighthouse, constructed in 1858. More...