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Plan to protect YNP’s native vegetation approved

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YELLOWSTONE N.P. – A plan to help protect Yellowstone’s natural landscapes and native plant diversity from the spread of invasive plants has been approved.

John Wessels, the Director of the Intermountain Region of the National Park Service, on June 19 signed a Finding of No Significant Impact allowing the NPS to implement a management plan preventing the establishment and spread of terrestrial invasive plants and to restore, as needed, native plant communities within the park. The Environmental Assessment that analyzed two alternatives was released for public comment Feb. 22, 2013.

The Invasive Vegetation Management Plan provides 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. The plan expands current invasive plant management efforts and implements a park-wide Integrated Weed Management strategy that aims to:

• Prevent the entry and establishment of new invasive plants

• Control existing populations of invasive plants by eradicating them, reducing their abundance and density and containing their spread

• Restore native plant communities when they have been disrupted or replaced by invasive nonnative plant populations

Under the approved plan, Yellowstone will use a wide-ranging combination of techniques and tools to manage invasive terrestrial vegetation. The overall goal of the invasive vegetation management program will be to preserve the biological diversity of native flora through prevention, containment, and control of invasive plants.

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