Letters

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. 

Therese Meyer
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

David Gardner,
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 
foothills.  


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 
Weed list.  


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.  



Phil Allen  
President of the Utah County Chapter of the Utah Native 
Plant Society