A plan to protect Yellowstone's natural landscapes and native plant diversity from the spread of invasive plants has been released for public review.
The 2013 Invasive Vegetation Management Plan/Environmental Assessment (EA) would provide a park-wide comprehensive approach toward invasive vegetation management to preserve, protect and restore the diversity, ecological integrity, and processes associated with native plant communities in Yellowstone. If left unchecked, invasive nonnative plants could cause long-term harm to the park's natural and cultural resources.
The plan proposes to expand current invasive plant management efforts and implement a park-wide Integrated Weed Management (IWM) strategy to include:
• Preventing the entry and establishment of new invasive plants
• Controlling existing populations of invasive plants by eradicating them, reducing their abundance and density, and containing their spread
• Restoring native plant communities when they have been disrupted or replaced by invasive nonnative plant populations
The EA and an electronic form to submit comments on the internet can be found on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/YELLInvVeg. A hard copy or CD of the EA is available by calling (307) 344-2515, or by writing to the Invasive Vegetation Plan EA, National Park Service, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190.
Respondents are encouraged to submit their comments through the PEPC website. Comments may also be mailed to the address above or hand-delivered during normal business hours to the Mailroom in the park's Administration Building in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming. Comments will not be accepted by fax, e-mail, or in any other way than those specified above. Bulk comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted. Comments must be received by midnight MST, March 22, 2013.
Once comments are analyzed, the National Park Service will make a decision on the final plan. The Regional Director of the Intermountain Region of the National Park Service will then sign a decision document, which is anticipated to occur in time to allow the park to move forward with conservation efforts this coming summer.
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