National parks, SDSU join the native plant party
Friday, October 6, 2023
The U.S. is home to nearly 5,000 nonnative plant species. Most are not considered harmful but there are efforts to eliminate invasive ones from national parks, and South Dakota researchers are part of the project.
The National Park Service is working with a team at South Dakota State University to help restore native grasses and wildflowers at Park Service sites in the northern Great Plains region. Federal staff will be in charge of removing invasive varieties.
Lora Perkins, associate professor and lead faculty for the Native Plant Initiative at South Dakota State University, said they will focus on plant restoration with seed handling and harvesting techniques.
"National parks are like our public land heritage," Perkins contended. "We want these to be the healthiest landscapes that they can be, and native plants are a big part of that."
Perkins pointed out invasive plants can outgrow native plants and suppress them, negatively affecting surrounding wildlife. She added what stands out about this project is they will research the effectiveness of reintroducing native plants. The results could be replicated by others who want to do restoration work for other grassland areas.
Perkins stressed it is not enough for government and academic teams to prioritize these initiatives, suggesting private landowners can join the movement, too.
"Especially in the northern Great Plains, so much of our land is owned by private people," Perkins emphasized. "We don't have a whole lot of public lands."
She suggested farmers and ranchers can do their part by planting native species, or at least managing their land in a way to create a better environment for them. And homeowners can do things like including native wildflowers in yards and gardens.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
The Alabama House and Senate both passed bills this week that would help people resume in vitro fertilization and provide legal protections for provid…
It's early in the season for wildfires in Nebraska, but dozens of firefighters have already been battling a large wildfire near North Platte for …
A new report finds some Missouri laws and prospective laws are perceived as discriminatory regardless of their actual intent - and it outlines some bi…
By Frank Jossi for Energy News Network.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Pub…
By Claire Carlson, John Upton and Kaitlyn Trudeau for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Oregon News Service for the Public …
A new Network for Public Education report grades Florida an "F" for its public school funding. As Florida lawmakers negotiate the state budget in …
As members of Congress and presidential candidates battle it out over immigration, a group of Nevada leaders and experts dedicated to advancing …
A bill in Olympia would open access to unemployment while workers are on strike, but time is running out for lawmakers to pass the legislation…