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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Fairbanks District Office
 
Release Date: 04/21/10
Contacts: Ruth Gronquist , 907-474-2377 , ruth_gronquist@blm.gov
News Release No. FDO-042010

BLM Announces Public Scoping For Invasive Plant (weed) Management Strategy


FAIRBANKS, AK — The Bureau of Land Management’s Central Yukon Field Office is seeking public input on their draft Dalton Management Area (DMA) Invasive Plant Management Strategic Plan (Plan) and will conduct public scoping to develop an environmental assessment (EA) that will analyze the potential impacts of invasive plant (weed) management strategies and alternatives. The scoping period will be conducted during April and May 2010. The draft Plan and analysis covers the BLM-managed lands between the Yukon River Bridge and Galbraith Lake (Map 1).
 
The draft Plan includes public education, monitoring and an Early Detection Rapid Response program as part of the overall strategy. 
 
“Early Detection Rapid Response is a process for detecting weeds, rapidly assessing the infestation and taking control measures. In the best cases, weeds are detected before they have spread very far, and we can control them by pulling or digging plants,” explains Ruth Gronquist, a BLM wildlife biologist. “Past efforts to halt the spread of weeds within the DMA have included volunteer weed-pulling and trimming crews to remove white sweetclover, oxeye daisy, yellow toadflax, bird vetch, and common tansy.”
 
Gronquist says some of the control methods have proven to be inadequate, particularly in the case of the dense, continuous infestations of some weeds along the Dalton Highway. The weeds are starting to move away from the highway into other areas. The BLM and neighboring land owners and managers want to keep weeds from traveling onto their lands from the highway. The draft Plan includes alternative strategies for weed control when pulling and digging plants isn’t enough.
 
It is important to control the introduction and spread of weeds because weeds can out-compete native vegetation and have the potential to seriously affect natural ecosystem processes and functions, including changing soil condition and nutrients. Some weeds even produce chemicals that inhibit the germination and growth of other plants.
 
A public scoping meeting will be held at the Bureau of Land Management’s Fairbanks District Office located at 1150 University Avenue, on Wednesday, April 28, 2010. An informal open house will begin at 4:00 p.m. followed by a presentation on weed management concerns and opportunities to provide input on alternative development for the EA.
 
Once the BLM completes its draft EA, the agency will hold a 30-day public comment period before making a decision to implement the proposed action or alternatives.
 
More information about the plan and upcoming scoping meetings in rural communities can be found on-line at:
 
http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/fo/fdo/central_yukon_field/dalton_invasives.html
 
or by calling Ruth Gronquist at (907) 474-2377.


The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.
--BLM--

Last updated: 09-26-2011