Invasive Plants

The spread of invasive species is a major factor contributing to undesirable landscape level change and ecosystem instability in national parks. The National Park Service (NPS) is working to manage invasive species in park units through a suite of national and local programs.

As of 2017, there were over 1.4 million acres of national park units infested with invasive plants, of which only approximately 43,000 acres are controlled, in which invasive plant infestations have been reduced to a level that can be maintained by park staff.

A park ranger standing in shoulder height invasive weeds A park ranger standing in shoulder height invasive weeds

Left image
Reed canarygrass in Bradley Meadow in June 2001, before treatment.

Right image
Bradley Meadow in 2013, after 12 years of treatment.

What a difference management makes! The California Invasive Plant Management Teams treated Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks for invasive Reed canarygrass in Bradley Meadows until 2013 when diverse native vegetation once again dominated the site.

close up of hand holding seeds

Managing Invasive Plants

The National Park Service uses a variety of strategies to manage invasive plants.

dense stand of invasive buffelgrass in desert with saguaro cacti

Invasive Plants of Concern

Learn about priority invasive plants in national parks.

group of workers examine equipment next to a pick up truck

Invasive Plant Management Teams

Since 2000, Invasive Plant Management Teams have managed invasive plants in national parks.

mass of invasive ants floats on shallow water

Work in Parks

The best strategies for treating invasive plants depend on the ecosystem they're in.

Last updated: May 11, 2021