The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comments on a draft environmental assessment analyzing the potential impacts of invasive plant management strategies along the Dalton Highway.
The draft plan covers BLM-managed public lands along the Dalton Highway between the Yukon River Bridge and Galbraith Lake. Past efforts by volunteer crews of plant-pullers and trimmers focused on removal of invasive weeds such as white sweetclover, oxeye daisy, yellow toadflax, bird vetch and common tansy. Some of these control methods have proven inadequate — particularly with dense, continuous infestations — and evidence suggests that some of the invasive plant species may move away from the highway into natural, undisturbed areas.
The draft plan includes alternative strategies for invasive plant control, including use of herbicides, when pulling and digging are insufficient. The plan also includes public education, monitoring and an early detection/rapid response program.
The BLM said it is important to control the introduction and spread of invasive plants because some species can out-compete native vegetation and may affect natural ecosystem processes and functions, in some cases altering soil conditions and nutrients.
More information about the plan and EA can be found online at www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/fo/fdo/central_yukon_field/dalton_invasives.html or by calling Jennifer McMillan at (907) 474-2308. Comments may be submitted by mail to BLM Central Yukon Field Office, 1150 University Ave., Fairbanks, 99709, or by email to CentralYukon@blm.gov.
The comment deadline is Dec. 10.