National Park Service Seeks Public Input into Environmental Assessment for Invasive Non-native Plant Management
Contact: Charles Beall, 360-854-7306
Throughout North America, invasive non-native plant species threaten to outcompete and affect the survival of native plant species and the animals that depend on them for food and shelter. In response to the threats posed by invasive non-native plants on park lands, the National Park Service (NPS) has developed an Environmental Assessment (EA) for Invasive Non-native Plant Management. The EA proposes to implement an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program to control invasive, non-native plants, restore impacted areas, and detect and prevent new infestations in the North Cascades National Park Complex (park complex). The NPS has developed this EA to be consistent with the goals and approaches utilized by other federal land management agencies in the Pacific Northwest, including the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie and Okanogan-Wenatchee national forests that surround the park complex.
"One of the strengths of this proposed program is that it provides for consistent management ecosystem-wide between the NPS and the U.S. Forest Service to address invasive plants," explained park complex superintendent Chip Jenkins.
Approximately 225 non-native plant species exist within the park complex, 40 of which have been deemed invasive and are targeted for control. Some common treatment methods that would take place include hand-pulling, spot treatment with herbicides, and planting native plants to outcompete invasive plants.
Examples of priority invasive plants targeted for control are cheatgrass, knotweed, herb Robert, and reed canarygrass. More information about these common invasive species and a complete list of those required by Washington state law to be controlled by landowners, including the federal government, is available at the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board website at http://www.nwcb.wa.gov.
The complete EA is available for download at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/noca_invasive_plants. A limited number of hard copies are also available in Stehekin at the Golden West Visitor Center, in Sedro-Woolley at the Park and Forest Information Center, or upon request by contacting Shelley Kluz at (360) 854-7201.
Comments may be submitted in person during a public meeting, on-line through the project website, or via regular mail. To ensure the most accurate and timely processing of comments, submission through the project website (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/noca_invasive_plants) is preferred. Comments may also be submitted via regular mail: Superintendent, Attn: Invasive Plant Management EA, North Cascades National Park Complex, 810 State Route 20, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284. Comments must be postmarked or submitted on-line by January 11, 2012.