April 20, 2010
Yosemite National Park announces the extension of the public scoping period for the park’s Invasive Plant Management Plan. The scoping period is extended until May 15, 2010. The public is invited to submit written ideas regarding this planning effort.
Yosemite is home to about 1400 native plant species, over 400 of which are endemic to the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. Non-native invasive plants fundamentally threaten natural systems and wildlife not only within the park, but throughout the national parks throughout the United States .
In 2008, an Invasive Plant Management Plan (2008 IPMP) was created to provide for a comprehensive, prioritized program of invasive plant prevention, early detection, control, systematic monitoring, and research. The 2008 IPMP took a conservative approach since it was one of the first plan/compliance documents completed for invasive plant management in the Pacific West Region. The 2009 Big Meadow Fire, and issues related to managing Himalayan Blackberry (Rubus armeniacus) and other plants highlighted the need for a more adaptive, programmatic plan that offers the additional tools necessary to address the threat that invasive plants pose to park resources.
Goals for this plan include:
- Create a more adaptive plan in order to give resource managers the ability to eradicate existing weed infestations in order to minimize threats to Yosemite ’s natural, cultural and scenic values.
Establish a protocol for assessing the efficacy and risk of herbicides considered for use in the park.
- Preserve native plants and sites valued by American Indians.
- Implement the most appropriate control technique for each species and site.
- Ensure that the invasive plant program is regularly monitored and improved, environmentally safe, and is supported by science and research.
- Address the language in specific sections of the plan, for example, language which prohibits herbicide application within the bed and banks of Wild and Scenic Rivers and within 10 feet of flowing and moving water.
- Ensure that we cooperate with park partners and property inholders to control invasive plants.
Public participation is integral for the success of this plan. The public comment period for Invasive Plant Management Plan Environmental Assessment has been extended to run from April 15 to May 15, 2010.
Visitors wanting to know more about this plan, as well as other park plans, are urged to attend an open house in Yosemite Valley on April 28, 2010 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. A walk with a park botanist will also take place in order to better identify some of the challenges and successes in the battle to protect Yosemite ’s biodiversity and discuss recent developments driving the need for an update. The walk with depart from the open house from behind the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center at 2:30 p.m.
The public is encouraged to submit written ideas and comments for this planning effort, electronically (preferred) through the National Park Service Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) System at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/yose , or, by mail, to the Superintendent, Yosemite National Park , Attn: IPMP Update EA, PO Box 577 , Yosemite , CA 95389 .
For more information on managing invasive plants, visit our program webpage: http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/invasive.htm