9/22/2000 letter to regional forest supervisors urging the use of native, rather than non-native, plants in revegetation efforts
9/6/2000 letter to David Gardner, Utah County Commissioner requesting that three species be added to the Utah County Noxious Weed list
(this is the text of a letter sent to the regional forest supervisors by Therese Meyer of UNPS; it was also published in the Sept/Oct 2000 issue of the Sego Lily)
September 22, 2000
Regional Forest Supervisors
We were glad to learn that the US Department of
Agriculture recently seeded 20,000 acres of the most
environmentally sensitive land burned in the Los Alamos
area from the Cerro Grande Fire in New Mexico with native
plant seed, in an attempt to restore the vegetation destroyed
by the fire and protect the land with ground cover. USDA's
Natural Resources Conservation Service provided $1.2
million in technical and financial assistance, including
750,000 pounds of native grass and small grain seeds,
while the Forest Service provided a helicopter and five
planes for the seeding.
The recent and ongoing forest fires throughout the west will
leave naked devastation in the forests and rangelands. We
hope that the Forest Service will use this opportunity to
foster and develop a vital native plant seed supply system,
so that in the future there will exist a stable, reliable supply
of native plant seed for revegetation.
Our organization supports the use of plants native to the
area, rather than non-natives, for revegetation efforts.
Native plants are more adapted to the vicissitudes of
climate change, and are more effective in soil protection.
Ecosystems sustaining diverse native species provide better
habitat for wildlife. Use of native species such as Indian
Ricegrass (Stipa hymenoidesElymus spicatus), and Great Basin Wildrye (E. cinereus),
as well as native shrubs and trees, would help restore our
rangelands to a more fire resistant condition. We hope that
the land and forest management agencies will discontinue
use of nonnative species such as Crested Wheatgrass
(Agropyron cristatum) and Smooth Brome (Bromus
inermis) in restoration programs.
There exist six Forest Service tree nurseries in the west that
could be converted over to grass and forb production.
Additionally, private seed collectors and producers should
have standing contracts to provide seeds, which could be
utilized in other weed control and revegetation efforts (such
as cheatgrass control in Nevada) when not needed for fire
restoration. Agricultural field production of locally native
plant species must be developed in order to produce the
quantities needed at an affordable cost.
We urge you to use this opportunity to support and foster
a native seed industry for revegetation across the west.
UNPS Conservation Committee
(this is the text of a letter sent to the Utah County Commissioner by Phil Allen of UNPS; it was also published in the Sept/Oct 2000 issue of the Sego Lily)
September 6, 2000
Utah County Commissioner
Re: Invasive Plants
The Utah Native Plant Society is dedicated to the
understanding, preservation, enjoyment, and responsible
use of Utah native plants. We fully endorse efforts to
control noxious weeds as well as other exotic invasive
plants. In general, our own weed control efforts are
coupled with restoration of native plant communities. For
example, planting projects in Rock Canyon and along the
Bonneville Shoreline Trail will provide enhanced
recreational opportunities, improve winter wildlife habitat,
and reduce the risks associated with wildfires in the
During the past two years we have coordinated thousands
of volunteer hours at the Rock Canyon Trailhead Park,
where weeds are being replaced with native shrubs,
grasses, and wildflowers. As a result of these efforts we
have become extremely aware of invasive plant species that
have potential to dramatically reduce the quality of
wildlands in Utah County. These include blue-spurge
(Euphorbia myrsinites, also called ' donkeytail' spurge),
dalmation toadflax (Linaria genistifolia), and salt cedar
(Tamarix chinensis). Each of these plants has successfully
invaded many sites along the Wasatch Front. We believe
these weeds should be added to the Utah County Noxious
Unlike morning glory and white top, there is still time to
contain these weeds before they become a major problem.
We pledge our support in educating the public regarding
the threat of these weeds and in coordinating efforts of
volunteers to assist in their control. Again, urge you to take
action that will result in these weeds being added to the
Utah County noxious weed list.
President of the Utah County Chapter of the Utah Native