News Release

Grand Canyon National Park Resource Management Staff to Apply Herbicide to Invasive Plants in Developed Areas of North Rim

Description: a thicket of tall green grass going to seed and taking over an area by a footpath. Photo courtesy of Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut,
Bulbous bluegrass (Poa bulbosa)

Photo courtesy of Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut,

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News Release Date: May 10, 2019

Contact: Public Affairs Office, 928-638-7779

Contact: Cameron Prophet, 928-638-7734

From Tuesday, May 16 to Wednesday, May 17 the Grand Canyon National Park Division of Science and Resource Management (SRM) will apply minor spot spray treatments of herbicide around the Grand Canyon Lodge and campground in the North Rim Developed Area to aid in the control of an especially invasive grass species for which mechanical removal is ineffective.

Science and Resource Management staff will target small, isolated patches of bulbous bluegrass (Poa bulbosa) around the lodge and campground in an effort to control its spread into the surrounding natural areas. Park facilitators have determined this non-native species to be aggressively invasive and a major threat to native vegetation as it has the potential to outcompete native plants in the surrounding meadows and forested areas. While the current populations are small and manageable, bulbous bluegrass has the potential to colonize larger disturbed areas, especially in locations such as the North Rim that are moist during winter and early spring.

Weather conditions permitting, Science and Resource Management staff will be using a low concentration glyphosate-based herbicide that is approved for use in and around residential and recreational areas by the Department of the Interior's Pesticide Use Proposal System (PUPS). Applicators will consider visitor and staff safety while treating and will not apply herbicide in the immediate vicinity of occupied campsites. Treated areas will be marked with flagging which will be removed when the area is safe to enter.

In spring 2009, an Environmental Assessment (EA) was prepared for implementation of Grand Canyon National Park's Exotic Plant Management Plan that identifies the need to use an integrated approach to exotic plant management, including the use of herbicides. The EA was conducted in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and generated a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). The FONSI, signed by the Regional Director in July 2009, states that expansion of chemical pest control in the Park was a reasonable alternative to no action and would have no significant negative impact on the Park's ecology.

For more information, please contact Cam Prophet, Grand Canyon National Park Invasive Plants Crew Lead at 928-638-7734.


Last updated: May 13, 2019

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