Exotic Plant Management Teams

Exotic Plant Management Team member pulls an invasive plant from the banks of Lake Mead
An EPMT member of the Lake Mead region pulls invasive tamarisk from the banks near Muddy River, Nevada. The Lake Mead EPMT was the first team formed in 2000.

NPS Photo.

Who are the EPMTs?

One of the many ways the National Park Service (NPS) is combating invasive plants is through the Exotic Plant Management Team (EPMT) program, whose work provides support to approximately 290 national park units. For the past 18 years, teams have provided professional assistance directly to the parks, filling a much-needed gap in park expertise and assisting parks in preventing introductions of new species, reducing existing infestations, and restoring native plant communities and ecosystem functions.

The Biological Resources Division supports 15 EPMTs from coast to coast. Two more teams are funded through park base funding. EPMT liasons (team coordinators), EPMT data managers, EPMT field crew leaders, and EPMT field staff provide specialized scientific and technical assistance to and across all organizational levels of the NPS.

What do the EPMTs do?

Using multiple strategies, each team creates a work plan tailored to the needs of their partner parks, which may include:

  • Cooperation and collaboration,
  • Inventory and monitoring,
  • Prevention,
  • Early Detection and rapid response (EDRR)
  • Treatment and control, and
  • Restoration.

EPMTs work in a wide variety of ecosystems to target over 700 invasive plant species nationwide. The EPMT’s work in both urban and natural environments, ranging from park units within Washington DC to the Alaskan backcountry.

The EPMT Regions

Alaska EPMT | California EPMT | Florida/Caribbean EPMT | Gulf Coast EPMT | Great Lakes EPMT | Heartland EPMT | Lake Mead EPMT | Mid-Atlantic EPMT | National Capital Region EPMT | Northeast EPMT | North Coast/Cascades EPMT | North Great Plains EPMT | North Rocky Mountain EPMT | Pacific Islands EPMT | Southeast EPMT | Southeast Coast EPMT | Southwest EPMT

More details about how the teams implement the above strategies can be found in the annual reports, accessed through the NPS database. To view the 2016 annual report, visit the database here.

Exotic Plant Management Teams in Action

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    Last updated: May 22, 2018