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Yosemite National Park Superintendent Michael J. Tollefson announced the signing of the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on September 19, 2008 for the Invasive Plant Management Plan for Yosemite National Park Environmental Assessment (EA).
This FONSI documents the decision of the National Park Service to adopt a plan to manage invasive plants in Yosemite National Park. Additionally, this plan will help with the determination that no significant impacts on the human environment are associated with such decisions.
The purpose of the plan is to protect the natural, cultural, and scenic resources of the park by preventing the establishment and spread of invasive plants into unaffected areas. This plan will also help to quickly and effectively eradicate new infestations.
The Invasive Plant Management Plan EA was released for a 30-day public review period on June 13, 2008, subsequently closing July 13, 2008. Yosemite received 46 comment letters during the public scoping process, including 29 from individuals and 17 from organizations. In addition, Yosemite also received 8 comment letters specifically related to the environmental assessment.
The Invasive Management Plan:
Prevents new invasions of plants through systematic early detection and prevention.
Prioritizes existing populations and sites for control. Top priorities include removal of 60 acres of non-native blackberry ( Rubus discolor , R. laciniatus ) from Yosemite Valley meadows and removal of yellow star-thistle ( Centaurea solstitialis ) from foothill woodlands.
Preserves plants and sites valued by Native Americans.
Provides annual work plans to the public through the park’s website that describe when, where and how control efforts will take place, before work takes place.
Uses hand-pulling and mechanical tools to control the vast majority of non-native invasive plants. The judicious use of the herbicides glyphosate and aminopyralid is approved in specific situations for selected invasive plants, where it is not possible to meet management objectives using hand-pulling or mechanical techniques.
Ensures that the invasive plant program is regularly monitored and improved, environmentally safe, and supported by science and research.
Implementation of the plan will begin immediately.