National Park Service requests plant management comments

National Park Service requests plant management comments The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking comments for a Northern Great Plains Exotic Plant Management Plan/Environmental Assessment (NGP EPMP/EA) to control exotic (non-native) plants at 13 parks located in the NGP area. Parks included in this plan are Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Devils Tower National Monument, Fort Laramie National Historic Site, Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, Jewel Cave National Monument, Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, Missouri National Recreational River, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Niobrara National Scenic River, Scotts Bluff National Monument, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and Wind Cave National Park.

The NPS has contracted with Greystone Environmental Consultants, Inc. who has assisted in preparation of the NGP EPMP/EA. The intent of this plan is to manage exotic plants to reduce their negative effects on native plant communities and other natural and cultural resources within these parks. This plan uses an integrated pest management approach and considers many of the types of exotic plant management treatments available. Treatments considered include cultural, manual/mechanical, biological control, chemical, and prescribed fire. Individual treatments or combinations of these treatments would be implemented as appropriate to control exotic plants in the 13 parks.

The NGP EPMP/EA evaluates the potential impacts of exotic plant management actions that are currently used or could be used in the foreseeable future for any of the 13 parks. The EA analyzes two action alternatives: Integrated Pest Management Plan (preferred) and Continue with Current Management Programs (no action). Alternatives analyzed accomplish the project objectives and respond to issues raised during the January 2004 initial public scoping period.

Opportunities to Provide Comments

The NGP EPMP/EA document can be downloaded from the project Web page at: www.notherngreatplains-nps.com. Individuals wishing to obtain a hard copy of the NGP EPMP/EA should contact Chad Prosser at (701) 623-4730 x3578. Documents will also be available for public inspection during normal business hours at any of the 13 parks.

Written comments may be submitted by mail, fax, or e-mail and must be received by June 15. Written comments should be mailed to the following address: Greystone Environmental Consultants, Inc., Attention: Chris Rutledge, 5231 South Quebec Street, Greenwood Village, CO 80111.

Comments submitted by fax may be sent to: (303) 721-9298, Attention: Chris Rutledge. Comments submitted by e-mail may be sent to: northerngreatplains@greystone.us. Comments may also be submitted using the automated comment form at the project Web page: www.northerngreatplains-nps.com.

Names and addresses of people who comment become part of the public record. If you wish to withhold your name and or address, you must state your request prominently at the beginning of your comments.

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