HOLD THE LINE-THE SMART PROJECT
Our first national park, one of the geological wonders of the world, is under attack. Exotic species encroaching this unique habitat are disrupting its fragile ecosystem. One of the greatest threats to the natural balance of the Park is a weed by the name of leafy spurge. This menace displaces native plants, may alter nutrient cycling, and reduces forage for the buffalo, deer and elk herds for which Yellowstone is famous.
ACTION MUST BE TAKEN
In 2009, leafy spurge occurred primarily outside the Park, but continued to inch closer and closer to the borders of our national treasure. Recognizing the potentially irreversible damage leafy spurge would cause to the Park, the US Forest Service, in conjunction with High Country RC&D, the NRCS, and local land managers, created the Hold the Line Initiative- Keeping Leafy Spurge out of Yellowstone National Park.
BATTLE IS ON
The project was set in motion in the spring of 2009. Among the major achievements of 2009 were:
- Gathering the Troops- bringing together land managers and owners concerned with keeping leafy spurge from spreading into Yellowstone
- Taking Stock- Mapping the extent of leafy spurge infestations on the western border of the Park
- Do Nothing Tactics- Modeling the results of doing nothing to determine the future spread and impact of leafy spurge within the Park
- Attack- Treating mapped infestations with the most effective methods available
- Spreading the Word- Informing the public about the threat of leafy spurge, its impacts and control, and what they can do to help
- Infrastructure- Developing a solid plan of attack and data clearing house to seamlessly join the efforts of various land managers and owners across numerous property lines