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S national Park Service U. S. Department of the Interior Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Management Directive No. 038 Preventing Introduction and Spread of Invasive Non-Native Plants August 18, 2004 contents


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LANDSCAPING AND CULTURAL LANDSCAPES

Non-native plants cultivated in gardens and around houses (known as “cultivars”) can be significant contributors to wildland invasions. Many of them escape from planting areas into adjacent riparian and natural areas. The problem is most apparent in Ash Mountain, where greater periwinkle (Vinca major), giant reed (Arundo donax), and Spanish broom (Spartium junceum) have escaped from around residences into surrounding riparian habitats. Non-native cultivars are also a problem in Wilsonia and Mineral King, where private landowners and permittees have planted foxglove (Digitalis purpurea). Foxglove has spread widely onto park lands from Wilsonia.


NPS Management Policies (2001) does allow restricted use of non-native plants; most notably in altered plant communities, such as cultural landscapes, and to meet specific management needs in exceptional circumstances. The following excerpts from the NPS Management Policies provide direction on this issue:
4.4.2.5 Maintenance of Altered Plant Communities

In altered plant communities managed for a specific purpose, plantings will consist of species that are native to the park or that are historically appropriate for the period or event commemorated. Use of non-natural plantings in altered communities may be permitted under any of the following conditions:



  • In localized, specific areas, screen plantings may be used to protect against the undesirable impacts of adjacent land uses, provided that the plantings do not result in the invasion of exotic species.

  • Where necessary to preserve and protect the desired condition of specific cultural resources and landscapes, plants and plant communities generally will be managed to reflect the character of the landscape that prevailed during the historic period.

  • Where needed for intensive development areas. Such plantings will use native or historic species and materials to the maximum extent possible. Certain native species may be fostered for esthetic, interpretive, or educational purposes.

Exotic species may not be used to vegetate vista clearings in otherwise-natural vegetation.


        1. Introduction or Maintenance of Exotic Species

In general, new exotic species will not be introduced into parks. In rare situations, an exotic species may be introduced or maintained to meet specific, identified management needs when all feasible and prudent measures to minimize the risk of harm have been taken, and it is:

  • Used to control another, already-established exotic species; or

  • Needed to meet the desired condition of a historic resource, but only where it is prevented from being invasive by such means as cultivating (for plants). . . In such cases, the exotic species used must be known to be historically significant, to have existed in the park during the park’s period of historical significance, or to have been commonly used in the local area at that time; or

  • Necessary to provide for intensive visitor use in developed areas, and both of the following conditions exist:

  • Available native species will not meet park management objectives; and

  • The exotic species is managed so it will not spread or become a pest on park or adjacent lands; or

  • A sterile, non-invasive plant that is used temporarily for erosion control


Guidelines for SEKI Landscaping
The following principles will be followed when planting new landscaping within the park:


  1. All new landscaping of administrative and concession facilities (lodging, other buildings, parking lots, roadsides, spray fields, etc.) will be done with species native to the immediate area and grown from local genetic stock. Exceptions may be made in the foothills, where non-native annual grasses are widely naturalized. In these locations, non-invasive species that are common and widespread in the surrounding area may be used temporarily for erosion control or to match surrounding vegetation, with the review and approval of the Chief of Natural Resources. For example, a trench through turf grass may be replanted with turf grass. Revegetation will promptly follow construction of new facilities.




  1. For permanent, in-ground plantings around their homes, residents must use species native to the immediate area and grown from local genetic stock. Contact Vegetation Management or the Ash Mountain Native Plant Nursery (559-565-3775) for availability of appropriate planting material, and for further planting information and alternatives.




  1. Residents may grow non-native plants that are not on the prohibited plant list (see last page of this directive). The plants must be contained in above-ground containers, or in small planters completely surrounded by walls or pavement (such as the narrow area between a walkway and a house). Residents must remove these non-native plants when they vacate park housing. Residents are encouraged to protect fruits and vegetables from consumption by wildlife, and to remove fruit or seed-bearing flower heads before the seeds ripen and disperse.




  1. Use of non-native plants that threaten surrounding natural areas is prohibited. The list of prohibited plants is at the end of this directive. This list, which focuses on horticultural plants available at nurseries, includes species that are:




  • federally-listed noxious weeds,

  • state-listed noxious weeds,

  • invasive plants listed by the California Invasive Plant Council,

  • invasive plants listed as priorities 1, 2, or 3 in SEKI by the USGS-BRD,

  • or invasive plants listed by the Pacific Northwest Exotic Pest Plant Council.




  1. Use of species native to the surrounding area but not of local genetic stock is prohibited. For example, a California buckeye tree purchased from a valley or coastal commercial native plant nursery may not be planted at a park residence. Use of local genetic stock preserves the parks’ unique genetic resources. In addition, local populations have a genetic memory of historical environmental variability and usually grow better in the local environment than plants of a non-local origin.




  1. Species native to other areas of California but NOT native to the immediate area may be used unless they have naturally-occurring close relatives with which they may interbreed, such as Arctostaphylos spp. (manzanita), Ceanothus spp. (California lilac), Epilobium spp. (California fuchsia), Eriogonum spp.(buckwheat), Mimulus spp. (monkeyflower), Quercus spp. (oak), and Ribes spp (currant or gooseberry). Plants must be contained in above-ground containers, or in small planters completely surrounded by walls or pavement (such as the narrow area between a walkway and a house). Residents must remove these plants when they vacate park housing.




  1. Herbicide-resistant cultivars may not be used anywhere.




  1. Residents are encouraged to use native grasses and wildflowers, grown from local genetic stock, in lawns. There are native grasses and forbs that can form either a mowed or a natural lawn; contact Vegetation Management for more information.




  1. Cabin permittees in Mineral King will be sent letters asking them to voluntarily comply with this policy. For locations with significant, known invasive plant problems, park staff may follow up with personal contacts. If these steps don’t achieve the desired results, permits may be amended to prohibit use of invasive non-native plants and allow the NPS to remove established plants.




  1. SEKI will engage and educate private land owners in Wilsonia, Silver City, and Oriole Lake. They will be informed of the threat to the park posed by non-native plant species. We will seek their voluntary cooperation in using native plant landscaping and removing non-native plants from their property.

The following principles will be followed for existing landscaping within the park:




  1. Highly invasive non-native species will be removed when feasible. Residents will be notified before crews remove plants. Vegetation Management will work with residents to replace removed plants with natives of local genetic stock, if the latter plants are available.



  1. Non-native species that are likely threats based on problems elsewhere in California will be removed on a case-by-case basis. These are species given a listing other than “USGS 1” or “CDFA” on the prohibited species list.




  1. Residents are encouraged to keep non-native lawns mowed or closely clipped to prevent seed ripening and dispersal.




  1. Residents are encouraged to voluntarily replace their non-native landscaping with species native to the immediate area and grown from local genetic stock. Contact Vegetation Management or the Ash Mountain Native Plant Nursery for availability of appropriate planting material, and for further planting information and alternatives.

The following principles will be followed for maintaining cultural landscapes within the park. The park Archeologist will be consulted and NPS management policies (2001) found at 4.4.2.1 and 5.3.5.2 will be followed as applicable:




  1. The park Archeologist will be consulted on removal of invasive non-native plants relative to known or potential cultural landscapes, including historic sites. The park Archeologist or other Cultural Resource Management Specialist will determine if individual plant specimens have cultural resource significance, as part of the original intent and fabric of the site. Some examples of cultural landscapes that contain non-native plantings include Traugers Creek, Grunnigans Ranch, Ash Mountain, Potwisha, and Crystal Cave.




  1. Highly invasive non-native species shall not be maintained as part of a cultural landscape, even if their presence predates the implementation of this policy. Where they already exist, they will be removed or treated. These species spread quickly and cause ecological damage. Experience has shown that it is not practical to maintain them in cultural settings because of the potential likelihood of escaping into adjacent natural habitats. Examples of such species are Himalayan blackberry, periwinkle, perennial sweet pea, Spanish broom, and giant reed.




  1. Non-native species that are likely threats based on problems elsewhere in California may be retained where they are components of a documented significant cultural site. These are species given a listing other than “USGS 1” or “CDFA” on the prohibited species list. The Chief of Natural Resources and the Chief of Interpretation (or their designated representative) will agree on historic specimens to be retained and escaped progeny that may be removed. Examples of such species are olive, peach, pomegranate, and persimmon.

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