ANF seeking input on invasive, interfering plants

The Allegheny National Forest is looking for input into treatment of invasive and interfering plants.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service will accept public comment on a proposal to treat “invasive plants and interfering vegetation” for 30 days.

“Invasive species are among the most significant environmental and economic threats facing our nation’s forest, grassland, and aquatic systems,” according to a release from Public Affairs Officer Christopher Leeser. “More than 70 non-native invasive plant species have been documented on the Allegheny National Forest, and an additional 33 species are on our early detection list. Without an active treatment program, the aggressive expansion of invasive plants will limit many land uses and values now and in the future.”

Invasive plants aren’t the only problem sometimes.

Even the state flower can get in the way of certain outcomes.

“To regenerate forested stands, it is often necessary to control interfering vegetation such as grass, fern, mountain laurel, and other species, using a combination of manual, mechanical, and chemical treatment methods,” Leeser said. “Herbicide treatments to date have exclusively used products containing glyphosate and sulfometuron methyl.” “Herbicides containing other active ingredients, however, may be more effective or more selective in certain applications,” he said.

The ANF proposal includes using manual and mechanical methods, and broad-spectrum herbicides to treat invasive plants; “using products containing imazapyr or triclopyr, in accordance with silvicultural prescriptions” for interfering vegetation; and amending the 2007 Land and Resource Management Plan “to allow for improved conservation of native plants and wildlife habitat in riparian areas, update anticipated activity levels, add direction for aerial pesticide application, and make several minor modifications or clarifications.”

Full details on the proposal and instructions for how to comment can be found by visiting https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=62459.


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