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Park Seeks Public Comments for Environmental Assessment to Remove Hybrid Cattails in Voyageurs

Voyageurs National Park is preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the removal of an invasive hybrid cattail and the restoration of native marsh plant communities. This EA will explore various methods for treating invasive cattails and will analyze the impacts of those treatments.

Invasive plants are a threat to natural and cultural resources throughout Minnesota and the National Park Service (NPS). Invasive plants can displace native plants and animals in an area, creating monocultures with very little species diversity, and can disrupt ecological processes. 

Typha x glauca is a hybrid type of cattail that is formed when the native broadleaf cattail naturally crosses with the non-native narrowleaf cattail. The resulting hybrid has traits that allow it to thrive in a wider range of environmental conditions and make it highly invasive. These hybrid cattails have become dominant throughout Voyageurs National Park and have crowded out entire bays, leading to habitat degradation. This degradation includes the reduction of muskrat and other wildlife habitat, weakened fish spawning areas, a reduction in vegetation biodiversity, and compromised visitor experiences.

The (NPS) mission states: “to preserve and protect the natural and cultural resources, and the ecological processes that support them, for the enjoyment of this and future generations.” Under this guidance, Voyageurs National Park staff will focus on maintaining and restoring, when needed, the natural processes that define the aquatic and terrestrial habitats of the park. This EA will explore alternatives for the treatment or removal of cattails and restoration of native plants.

Voyageurs National Park staff is seeking public input on the issues identified above. Once comments are received, alternatives will be developed for a draft EA. Public input will also be sought on the draft when available.

Written comments must be postmarked no later than July 6, 2015 and should be addressed to:
Superintendent
Voyageurs National Park
360 Highway 11 East
International Falls, MN, 56649.

Written comments may also be submitted electronically to

http://parkplanning.nps.gov/VOYACattails .

Should questions arise, contact Chief of Resource Management, Mary Graves at 218-283-6674.

RL Visitor Center cattails 2

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