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Contact: Tawnya Schoewe, 218-283-6670
Contact: Bryce Olson, 218-283-6694
INTERNATIONAL FALLS, MN: Voyageurs National Park has completed the environmental review process for the control of invasive hybrid cattails on Rainy and Kabetogama Lakes. The final Environmental Assessment and the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) can be found on the NPS’s Planning, Environment and Public Comment website at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/VOYACattails and on the park’s website at https://www.nps.gov/voya/learn/management/publicinvolvement.htm. Copies can also be requested by calling the park at 218-283-6600.
Public scoping for this project began in June, 2015 and the Environmental Assessment was on review from November 4, 2016 through December 19, 2016. The park analyzed four alternatives and selected the alternative that will use a variety of cattail removal techniques, including mechanical harvest of hybrid cattails in selected areas. A combination of methods will be used to reestablish native vegetation following the removal of cattails. In addition, the effectiveness of enhancing muskrat populations will be assessed as a native biocontrol.
Hybrid cattails have invaded approximately 500 acres of wetlands in Voyageurs, displacing native communities of plants such as wild rice, sedges, rushes, and native cattail. This long-term project will improve habitat for wildlife, provide enhanced opportunities for fishing, and help restore wetlands to more diverse, natural states. Voyageurs National Park will begin removing exotic cattails and restoring natural wetlands starting in the Rainy Lake Visitor Center area this summer.
This project is funded by a variety of organizations including the Voyageurs National Park Association, Clean Air Act Settlement Fund, the National Park Service, and the Minnesota Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment administered through the Initiative Foundation.