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Contact: Mignonne Bivin, (360) 854-7335
Contact: Roy Zipp, (360) 854-7313
Public Comments Sought for Invasive, Non-native Plant Management Plan
North Cascades National Park Service Complex is seeking public input on a proposal to implement an integrated weed management program that controls invasive, non-native plants, restores impacted areas, and detects and prevents new infestations. The purpose of the proposal is to protect the resources and values of the North Cascades ecosystem from the adverse impacts of invasive, non-native plants.
The park complex has almost 300 non-native plant species documented within its boundaries; however, not every species is invasive. For the purpose of this planning effort, an invasive plant is defined as a non-native species whose introduction does or is likely to cause environmental or economic harm, or harm to human, animal, or plant health. There are several non-native plant species that are particularly invasive, such as knapweed, English ivy, Himalayan blackberry, bull thistle, Canada thistle, and Japanese knotweed. These are just a few of the invasive, non-native plants that occur within the park complex for which a management plan will be developed.
Public scoping to address the invasive plant issue was begun several years ago. Unfortunately, due to the floods of 2003 and 2006, and several wildfires in between, resource management efforts were redirected to more urgent issues. This planning effort has been reinstated because current approved invasive plant control options limit the ability to mount an effective weed management program. For example, certain highly invasive species such as Japanese knotweed are extremely difficult if not impossible to control without the use of herbicides; however, park resource managers are currently limited in their authority to control species such as knotweed with herbicides because the potential impacts of herbicide use as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) have not been fully evaluated, or publicly disclosed for comment.
The National Park Service is currently seeking input on this proposal in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. The purpose of this scoping process is to further identify issues and management alternatives to be addressed in an Environmental Assessment. Comments must be postmarked or submitted via the internet, fax or hand delivery no later than January 30, 2008. Questions regarding this proposal should be directed to Mignonne Bivin, Park Botanist at (360) 854-7335 or Roy Zipp, Environmental Protection Specialist at (360) 854-7313.
Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:
Online: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/noca (Select "Invasive Plant Management")
Mail or hand-delivery: Superintendent, North Cascades National Park Service Complex
810 State Route 20
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284-1239
Fax: (360) 856-1934