• View from Sourdough Mountain Overlook  A view looking down onto Diablo Lake. Photo Credit: NPS/Michael Silverman, 2010.

    North Cascades

    National Park Washington

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  • Highway 20 Will Be Closed East of the Park For Culvert Repairs On Oct 21 & 22.

    Highway 20 will be completely closed between mileposts 147 & 157 (Granite Creek to Rainy Pass) from 6 a.m. Oct. 21 to 4 p.m. Oct. 22. The Easy Pass trailhead will be inaccessible during this time. More »

  • Diablo Lake To Be Drawn Down Three Feet in Oct., Trailer-Launched Boats Affected

    Diablo Lake will be drawn down 3 vertical feet for facility repairs from October 8-17. During the drawdown, boats with trailers will not be able to launch or take boats off the water. Hand-launched vessels will still be able to launch. More »

  • Cascade River Road will be open as normal through fall/winter 2014

    Cascade River Rd. will be open in 2014 until snow conditions make it impassable to vehicles, as normal. The road closure that was planned to begin September 8 has been postponed beyond 2014 due to unforeseen circumstances. More »

Nonnative Species

The North Cascades are witness to an epic struggle. On one side are native plants such as vine maple, bracken fern, and thimbleberry which have made their home in this ecosystem for thousands of years, adapting to thrive in this unique climate and terrain. On the other side are non-native plants such as English ivy, scotch broom, and spotted knapweed which have settled into this ecosystem within the last two hundred years. The non-natives are looking to displace the natives and claim the habitat as their own.

Many non-native plants were introduced to the North Cascades ecosystem by humans seeking to beautify areas or to revegetate disturbed land resulting from construction projects. Others were introduced by accident, brought in as seeds attached to vehicles, animals, and cargo. Whether valued for their beauty or for their rapid growth, these non-natives have been successful in their new environment and threaten to completely displace the ecosystem’s original inhabitants.

What will the future look like? The natives will reclaim the habitat lost to the non-natives. This is, if resource managers at North Cascades National Park Complex get their way. Non-native species are sought out and eradicated through a variety of techniques. Some plants are removed by hand; others are attacked by biological controls, insects that eat plant-specific seeds. Even herbicides are being used where necessary as a last resort to give the natives the upper hand in their struggle against the non-natives.

Did You Know?

Grizzly bear track in North Cascades National Park (1989). Photo Credit: NPS/NOCA/Roger Christophersen

Grizzly bear tracks can be a reliable indicator of species? Grizzly bear and black bear forepaw tracks are distinct from one another and often times better than a photo of the bear to confirm an observation. So don't just look up, look down.