News May 9, 2018

Grand Teton National Park Develops Invasive Vegetation Plan

by Jackson Hole. Media

Grand Teton National Park is encouraging public comment on the development of a park-wide invasive vegetation management plan and environmental assessment. The plan intends to improve the park’s current invasive plant management efforts into a more integrated approach, including prevention, control and restoration. A scoping document on this plan is available at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/grte-ivmp. Public comments should be submitted to the park by June 8.

The National Park Service has a responsibility to manage invasive nonnative plants that have, or potentially could have, a substantial impact on park resources, as well as retain the integrity of ecological communities and park landscapes.

The invasive vegetation management plan includes the following objectives:

  • Prevent further spread of nonnative plant species such as spotted knapweed, houndstongue, and musk thistle already present in the park, and prevent establishment of new invasive plant introductions.
  • Control existing populations of invasive plants by eradicating them, reducing their size and density, or containing their spread.
  • Restore native plant communities when they have been disrupted or replaced by nonnative plant populations.

Actions to be considered in this integrated management plan could include development of:

    • A prevention and education program focused on reducing the risk of new introductions.
    • An inventory and monitoring and early detection/rapid response protocol.
    • A suite of treatment methods including manual, mechanical, chemical, biological control, and cultural techniques such as revegetation.
    • Decision tools for choosing the appropriate combination of treatments and how to prioritize areas for treatment and restoration
    • Safe practices for treatment applications.
    • Additional interpretation on the importance of native vegetation communities.
    • Restore disturbed areas to native plant communities.

During the scoping period for this environmental assessment, the National Park Service seeks input from the public on relevant issues, potential alternatives, concerns, opportunities, or topics that should be addressed during the planning effort. An additional opportunity for public involvement will be provided later in the planning process.

Comments on the invasive vegetation management plan can be submitted online at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/grte-ivmp, or mailed to the park.

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