Hay, raw feeds, and straw may contain invasive plant seeds if grown in fields where invasive plants flourish and reproduce. Invasive plants can be spread into previously unoccupied areas during transport of feed materials and by laying out hay at pack stations or trail heads. Verifying that animal feed and mulch is California certified weed free before it is used in an area can help prevent the spread of invasive plants. Use of straw as mulch is covered in the preceding section.
The following principles will be followed when importing livestock and feed into the park:
In accordance with California Food and Agriculture Code Section 5101 and 5202 for the certification of Weed Free Forage, Hay, Straw, and Mulch, these parks require that any hay or straw brought into the parks be certified weed free. This rule also applies to non-stock uses of straw. This rule will be included in pack station concessions contracts and commercial use authorizations. Public stock users will be informed of this rule when they obtain their wilderness permit.
Stock users are encouraged to purge their animals for several days on CA certified weed free feed prior to entering the park.
Stock entering the parks, or moving from place to place within the park, will be inspected and cleaned to detect and remove any plant parts, seeds, or soil that may have adhered to animals (or tack and equipment). This rule will be included in pack station concessions contracts and commercial use authorizations. Public stock users will be informed of this rule when they obtain their wilderness permit.
Manure that accumulates in corrals will be removed from the park and not stockpiled within the park. This rule will be included in pack station concessions contracts.
NPS and commercial pack stations will be kept free of invasive plants within a 20-foot buffer of the facility. This will be the responsibility of the pack stations. Vegetation Management staff is available to consult.
These parks are fortunate. Backcountry wilderness areas in SEKI are largely free of invasive non-native plants. Even those species, such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare), that have managed to colonize backcountry sites have left many drainages untouched. Protection of the parks’ wilderness vegetation from invasion by non-native plants is of the highest priority.
The following guidelines will be followed to protect wilderness vegetation:
Park field crews and cooperating researchers working in sites where seeds could get stuck in boot and shoelaces should wear gaiters. In general, they should use all practicable precautions to prevent movement of seeds from the work site to other park sites.
Heliports are focal points for the movement of non-native plant seeds from the frontcountry to the backcountry. Heliports will be kept free of invasive plants within a 20-foot buffer of the facility. This will be the responsibility of heliport staff. Vegetation Management staff is available to consult.
Major trailheads will be inspected for invasive plants and kept weed-free. Vegetation Management staff will work with trailhead rangers to inspect for and remove invasive plants.
Backcountry users will be taught to inspect backpacking equipment and boots for soil, seeds, and plant parts, and asked to certify that all equipment and clothing is free of such material. This should be a condition for receipt of a wilderness permit.
Backcountry and trailhead rangers will be trained in invasive plant identification and will be key personnel in early detection of new invasions.
All park personnel will be informed and involved in invasive plant identification, early detection, and reporting. Park newsletters, pamphlets, reference books in park libraries, SEKI herbaria, and invasive plant observation cards are available for this purpose. Call 559-565-4479 for more details.
Park visitors will be informed of the threat of non-native plant species and how they can help prevent non-native plants from entering the parks.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Some of these policies may take some lead time to implement. For example, commercial pack stations with incidental business permits will need sufficient time to locate suppliers of certified weed-free feed and find the lowest prices. A quarry inspection system may take several years to finalize and implement. Divisions will have to work cooperatively to accomplish the policy with the least disruption to operations.
The SEKI Superintendent issues policy and makes final decisions. He or she communicates the importance of policy to all employees. The superintendent will also communicate with owners of private inholdings and permittees asking for voluntary cooperation with this policy.
The Chief of Fire and Visitor Management (Chief Ranger) ensures that heliports maintain a weed-free buffer, that equipment to build fire line is washed before entering the park, and that fire line is rehabilitated as soon as possible. He or she encourages active participation of backcountry and trailhead rangers in detecting and reporting non-native plant invasions. The Chief Ranger incorporates this policy into wilderness permits and information.
The Chief of Interpretation incorporates non-native plants (threat and prevention) into interpretive message to visitors as feasible. He or she ensures that cultural landscape issues are properly considered and that the park Archeologist is sufficiently involved in the implementation of the Management Directive.
The Chief of Maintenance incorporates weed-free and equipment washing specifications into contracts managed by Denver Service Center and Federal Lands Highway Administration. He or she ensures that equipment used for park operations is washed before re-entering the park or moving from place to place within the park. The Chief of Maintenance implements policy for import of livestock and feed for government stock and ensures that government pack stations maintain a weed-free buffer. He or she implements policy for soil disturbance in work by road and trail crews and ensures that all new construction includes a revegetation and non-native plant inspection component.
The Chief of Natural Resources proposes policy updates and implements policy for soil disturbance in work conducted by revegetation and non-native plant crews. He or she ensures that DNR field crews prevent movement of non-native plant seed from place to place in their boots and equipment.
The Contracting Officer incorporates weed-free standards into procurement of sand, gravel, road base, and other construction and restoration materials. He or she, along with the Chief of Maintenance ensures that contracts issued by the parks include weed-free and equipment-washing specifications.
The Budget Officer incorporates landscaping policy into housing agreements and housing policy.
The Concessions Manager incorporates these policies into concessions contracts and incidental business permits, in particular, those contracts with commercial pack stations. He or she serves as primary contact/liaison in communicating policy to permittees and owners of private inholdings, and amending permits if necessary.
The Superintendent of Devils Postpile National Monument ensures that all DEPO activities and employees implement this policy.
The Senior Science Advisor and his or her staff ensure that this policy is necessary and sufficient based on the best available scientific knowledge.
The Ecologist (Ecological Restoration and Invasive Plant Management) serves as primary point-of-contact in administering policy. He or she consults with all divisions in surveying sites for invasive plants, writing contract specifications, developing a quarry inspection system, and incorporating policy into special use permits, incidental business permits, and concessions contracts. The Ecologist works with Concessions office and superintendent in issuing letters to cabin permittees and owners of private inholdings. Implements policy for soil disturbance in work by revegetation and non-native plant crews.
Richard H. Martin Date