Comments Sought on Invasive Weed Removal Project

Release Date: Feb 1, 2018  

Contact(s): Blake Engelhardt 760-873-2495


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Comments Sought on Invasive Weed Removal Project

 

The Inyo National Forest is seeking comments on a weed removal project on Mono Lake islands. The forest is proposing to conduct wildlife habitat improvement work by removing an invasive plant from several small islands in Mono Lake.

 

These islets of Mono Lake are crucial nesting habitat for one of the largest colonies of California Gulls.  In 2017, an extremely rapid invasion of the islets by Bassia hyssopifolia (a non-native plant) resulted in at least 70% of the nesting habitat being covered with a thick mat of dead vegetation.  As gulls select bare ground for nesting, the thick mat of weeds will prevent most gulls from nesting at Mono Lake in 2018 and future years unless action is taken.

 

A variety of potential methods are being proposed, including prescribed fire and hand removal.  Broadcast burning would be utilized in areas where continuous mats of vegetation occur.  The weeds could also be pulled by hand or cut with a string trimmer and subsequently piled and burned.  Burning would only proceed when weather and air quality conditions permit.  It is anticipated that the project would proceed intermittently during fall, winter and early spring months for several years until the infestation is reduced or eliminated.

 

For more information regarding this project or if you wish to comment on this proposal, please contact Blake Engelhardt 760-873-2495 (bmengelhardt@ fs.fed.us) or Richard Perloff, 760-924-5508 rperloff@fs.fed.us.  Comments on this proposal would be most useful if received by Feb. 20, 2018.

 

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