The National Park Service (NPS) manages non-native invasive plant species that impact the natural and cultural resources and visitor experience in parks. This document provides an overview of key technical concepts and critical information needed to develop the content of an effective invasive plant management plan. It does not address the specifics of the planning process and environmental compliance requirements as that guidance is provided by the NPS Environmental Quality Division.
Invasive plant management needs to be strategic and based on the best available science. Invasive plant management planning is critical for successful implementation of an invasive plant management program that serves to protect park values at risk from invasive plants. Each division within the park as well as park volunteers, partners, and neighbors plays a role in implementing a successful plan.
The plan must document what species are present, what species are likely to be present in the future, critical aspects of their biology and ecology, and what methods are available for their control. It must prioritize species and sites so that limited resources can be employed efficiently. The planning document is an opportunity to document compliance with law and policy or to serve as the foundation for that compliance. The frameworks of Adaptive Management and Integrated Pest Management are useful to ensure realistic goals are set and practices are safe.
Staff at park units without a current invasive plant management plan can use this guidance to help develop a robust plan that complies with law and policy and invests available resources efficiently to address invasive plant management needs on a programmatic basis. This document summarizes foundational information regarding laws and policies on which to build an invasive plant management plan, describes best practices for invasive plant management planning, and details technical considerations for the development of an invasive plant management plan.