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Contact: Eileen Andes, 701-623-4466
Aerial spraying of herbicide to control Canadathistle and leafy spurge in backcountry areas is expected to begin in TheodoreRoosevelt National Park on Wednesday, June 24.Spraying will continue for two to three days, weather permitting, or untilapproximately 700 acres have been treated. Spraying operations will take place onlyin the North Unit of the park.
Canada thistle and Leafy spurge are non-native,highly invasive, state-listed noxious weeds which, left untreated, would rapidlyincrease and interfere with the natural ecology of the park.They could also spread to non-infested landadjacent to the park.
The National Park Service has contracted with anexperienced helicopter companyto do the application. Aerial spraying is thepreferred method for applying herbicide to large areas and previous helicopterapplications in the park have been very successful.The herbicide which will be used for theproject has been proven to be effective against both leafy spurge and Canadathistle while not harming native vegetation or wildlife.
No portion of the park will be closed duringthe spraying operations.However,visitors should avoid areas which are actively being sprayed.
"Some visitors may find the low flyinghelicopter to be an intrusion," said Superintendent Valerie Naylor."We never want to intrude upon the visitors'enjoyment of the park, even for a day.However, the need to control leafy spurge and Canada thistle and reduce theirimpact on the park's native vegetation makes this short-term inconvenience anecessity."
Visitors who have questions about the aerialspraying should contact the park at 701-623-4466.