• Photo of park visitors enjoying sunset from the Alpine Ridge Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park.

    Rocky Mountain

    National Park Colorado

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  • Impacts from September 2013 Flood - Old Fall River Road, Alluvial Fan and Trails

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Nonnative Species

The National Park Service defines a non-native species as one that occurs as a result of direct or indirect, deliberate, or accidental actions by humans. This definition recognizes that parks are places intended to preserve natural, ecologically balanced communities. Often non-natives disrupt this balance.

Mountain Goats

Mountain goats, introduced by the state of Colorado's Division of Wildlife to the Mount Evans area, occasionally make their way north to the park. Because these animals carry diseases that can infect bighorn sheep, and also compete with the native sheep for food, the park has taken active measures to remove goats that enter the park. Usually the goats are captured and taken back to Mount Evans. However, park policy permits shooting of goats if they cannot be trapped.

Non-Native Plants

Non-native plant species may dramatically change a visual landscape by completely dominating an area that once held a mix of native species. Leafy spurge, a plant that has been found in Rocky Mountain National Park, is an example of a species that has had this type of impact where it has been left uncontrolled. Another non-native plant of concern, common burdock, has been documented to fatally trap hummingbirds with its sticky sap.

At the present time, treatment for non-native species includes the full range of IPM techniques, including the use of synthetic herbicides. The complet plan can be read at the following here..

 

Non-Native Plants Reported from Rocky Mountain National Park

Common Name

Scientific Name

Abundance

Crested Wheatgrass

Agropyron cristatum

Unknown

Quackgrass

Agropyron repens

Uncommon

Redtop

Agrostis gigantea

Uncommon

Pale alyssum

Alyssum alyssoides

Common

Amaranth

Amaranthus retroflexus

Common

Rag-weed, Skeletonleaf bursage

Ambrosia tomentosa

Uncommon

Fiddleneck

Amsinckia menziesii

Common

Mayweed Chamomile

Anthemis cotula

Common

Common Burdock

Arctium minus

Uncommon

Asparagus

Asparagus officinalis

Rare

Yellow Rocket

Barbarea vulgaris

Uncommon

Hoary Alyssum

Berteroa incana

Common

Smooth Brome

Bromopsis inermis

Common

Cheat Grass

Bromus tectorum

Common

Smallseed Falseflax

Camelina microcarpa

Common

Shepherd's Purse

Capsella bursa-pastoris

Common

Musk Thistle

Carduus nutans ssp. macrolepis

Abundant

Caraway

Carum carvi

Common

Diffuse Knapweed

Centaurea diffusa

Uncommon

Spotted Knapweed

Centaurea maculosa

Uncommon

Mouseear chickweed

Cerastium fontanum

Unknown

Ox-eye Daisy

Chrysanthemum leucanthemum

Rare

Canada Thistle

Cirsium arvense

Common

Bull Thistle

Cirsium vulgare

Rare

Poison Hemlock

Conium maculatum

Uncommon

Bindweed

Convolvulus arvensis

Rare

Horseweed

Conyza canadensis

Common

None

Conyza schiedeana

Uncommon

Marsh Elder

Cyclachaena xanthifolia

Unknown

Houndstongue

Cynoglossum officinale

Common

Orchard Grass

Dactylis glomerata

Uncommon

Tansy Mustard

Descurainia sophia

Common

Deptford Pink

Dianthus armeria

Rare

Yellow Whitlowort

Draba nemorosa

Common

Filaree

Erodium cicutarium

Unknown

Wormseed mustard

Erysimum cheiranthoides ssp. altum

Unknown

Leafy spurge

Euphorbia esula

Uncommon

Thyme leafed spurge

Euphorbia serpyllifolia

Unknown

Sheep Fescue

Festuca ovina

Uncommon

Baby's Breath

Gypsophila paniculata

Rare

Dame's Rocket

Hesperis matronalis

No data

Orange Hawkweed

Hieracium aurantiacum

Rare

St. John's Wort

Hypericum perforatum

Unknown

Beggar's-tick

Lappula redowskii

Unknown

Peppergrass

Lepidium densiflorum

Uncommon

Clasping Peppergrass

Lepidium perfoliatum

Uncommon

Colorado Wild Rye

Leymus cinereus

Rare

Dalmation Toadflax

Linaria genistifolia ssp. dalmatica

Common

Butter-and-eggs, Yellow Toadflax

Linaria vulgaris

Abundant

Tarweed

Madia glomerata

Common

Scentless Chamomile

Matricaria perforata

Unknown

Red Catch Fly,White Cockle

Melandrium dioicum

Uncommon

White Sweet-clover

Melilotus alba

Common

Yellow Sweet-clover

Melilotus officinalis

Common

Field peppergrass

Neolepia campestris

Unknown

Scotch thistle

Onopordum tauricum

Rare

Reed Canary Grass

Phalaroides arundinacea

Uncommon

Timothy

Phleum pratense

Common

Annual Bluegrass

Poa annua

Unknown

Bulbous Bluegrass

Poa bulbosa

Unknown

Kentucky Bluegrass

Poa pratensis

Common

Sulphur Cinquefoil

Potentilla recta

Uncommon

Curly Dock

Rumex crispus

Common

Russian-thistle

Salsola australis

Common

Russian Thistle,Tumbleweed

Salsola collina

Common

Giant salvinia

Salvinia molesta

Unknown

Bouncingbet

Saponaria officinalis

Unknown

Jim Hill Mustard

Sisymbrium altissimum

Common

Marsh sowthistle,Swamp sow-thistle

Sonchus uliginosus

Uncommon

Sand Spurry

Spergularia rubra

Unknown

Common Dandelion

Taraxacum officinale

Abundant

Fanweed

Thlaspi arvense

Unknown

Salsify

Tragopogon dubius

Uncommon

Wheat

Triticum aestivum

Unknown

Great Mullein, Wooly Mullein

Verbascum thapsus

Common



Did You Know?

Mama Cabin in the Holzwarth Historic District

The Holzwarth Historic District is a former guest ranch on the Colorado River. Open to visitors during the summer, the property features a dozen small cabins including the Mama cabin, named after Sophia Holzwarth, who ran the rustic resort.