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Contact: Kyle Patterson, Public Affairs Officer, (970) 586-1363
Contact: Park Information, (970) 586-1206
The National Park Service has released the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Exotic Plant Management Plan at Rocky Mountain National Park. This decision document enables the park to improve management of invasive exotic plants by using the most effective available control methods. The park will adopt an adaptive Integrated Pest Management (IPM) decision-making framework that incorporates the best available science, expert knowledge, site assessments, and monitoring to determine the extent of exotic species infestations, determine if management is necessary, and determine the most effective methods. Management actions will be prioritized based on the level of threat to park resources, the size and extent of species infestations, and the park’s ability to control those infestations.
The number of invasive exotic plant species in the park has grown over the years despite control efforts. Invasive exotic plants are capable of spreading rapidly, outcompeting native plants, and drastically altering ecosystem conditions and processes. Non-native invasive plants are appearing at increasing elevations in the park, as well. Cheatgrass, which was limited to the lowest elevations of the park twenty years ago, is now spreading to areas above 9,500 feet in elevation.
An Environmental Assessment was prepared in November, 2018, to examine alternative actions and environmental impacts associated with the Exotic Plant Management Plan. Initial public scoping for the project began in October 2016, and 3 public meetings followed in November 2016.
For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park, please visit www.nps.gov/romo or call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.
Last updated: April 3, 2019