Our national parks, like Turkey Run, Great Falls and Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve are riddled with non-native plants, most of which provide little support for birds and wildlife. Here's a chance for Auduboners to weigh in on healthier habitats in our region. The National Park Service is seeking comments on their Invasive Plant Management Plan/Environmental Assessment (IMP/EA) for Washington-area national parks athttp://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=55424. Comments are due by June 10.
The draft presents four alternatives. This is from the Park Service:
"The IPMP/EA will analyze a No Action Alternative and three Action Alternatives. Based on the analysis of impacts in the EA and other factors, one of the Action Alternatives will ultimately be chosen as the NPS Preferred Alternative for treating non-native invasive plants across the 15 NCR parks. Because the Action Alternatives are still being developed, they are referred to as 'Concept Alternatives' below.
"Under the No Action Alternative, the NPS would continue to treat non-native invasive plants across parks in the NCR as it currently does. Current management involves using a range of approaches being applied independently at each individual park. Invasive plant species and sites are targeted for treatment based upon the professional expertise of the separate park managers with case-by- case input from regional staff. The No Action Alternative is analyzed in the EA to provide a baseline against which impacts can be evaluated.
"For Concept Alternative 1, the treatment of non-native invasive plants would be prioritized by species within each park. The highest-priority species would then be grouped and treated wherever they are found in the park.
"Under Concept Alternative 2, non-native invasive plants would be treated
in specific sites or areas of each park identified by park managers as having the highest value. Depending on the park, the sites prioritized for treatment may consist of rare plants, rare plant communities, visitor facilities, historic resources or other resources. Non-native invasive species would then be treated at the highest priority sites first.
"Concept Alternative 3 would combine the site prioritization and species prioritization approaches. Non-native invasive plant species with the highest priority would be treated at the highest priority sites. Lower priority sites could receive treatment if high priority species are present, and lower priority species could receive treatment if they are present at a high priority site. "