Hiawatha National Forest Non-native Invasive Plant Control ...a123.g. ... Hiawatha National Forest...

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  • Hiawatha National Forest

    Non-native Invasive Plant Control Project

    Environmental Assessment

    Hiawatha National Forest

    Alger, Chippewa, Delta, Mackinac, Marquette, and Schoolcraft counties, Michigan

    April 2007

    Spotted knapweed (Centaurea biebersteinii)

    Responsible Official: Thomas A. Schmidt

    Forest Supervisor

    Hiawatha National Forest

    2727 North Lincoln Road

    Escanaba, MI 49829

    For Further Information Contact: Kirk Piehler

    Forest Wildlife Biologist

    Hiawatha National Forest

    2727 North Lincoln Road

    Escanaba, MI 49829

    (906) 789-3374

  • HNF Non-native Invasive Plant Control Project Environmental Assessment

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    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and

    activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex,

    marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information,

    political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any

    public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with

    disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille,

    large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice

    and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights,

    1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice)

    or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

    Cover Photograph Credits:

    John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy

    Inset: USDA APHIS Archives

    Both are spotted knapweed (Centaurea biebersteinii)

    This document was printed on recycled paper.

  • HNF Non-native Invasive Plant Control Project Environmental Assessment

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    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    TABLE OF CONTENTS .................................................................................................. 2 Vicinity Map – Hiawatha National Forest (HNF) .............................................................. 4 CHAPTER 1 – PURPOSE AND NEED FOR ACTION .................................................... 5 1.1 PROJECT AREA.......................................................................................................... 5 1.2 PURPOSE AND NEED FOR ACTION ..................................................................... 5 1.3 PROPOSED ACTION (Alternative 2)........................................................................ 6

    1.3.1 Treatment Methods.............................................................................................. 8 1.3.2 Treatment Protocol............................................................................................. 11 1.3.3 Design Criteria .................................................................................................... 12

    1.4 DECISIONS TO BE MADE....................................................................................... 14 1.5 PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT .......................................................................................... 15 1.6 ISSUE IDENTIFICATION.......................................................................................... 15 CHAPTER 2 - ALTERNATIVES .................................................................................... 15 2.1 ALTERNATIVES......................................................................................................... 15

    2.1.1 Alternatives Considered But Eliminated From Detailed Study.................... 15 2.1.2 Alternative 1 – No Change................................................................................ 16 2.1.3 Alternative 2 – Proposed Action ...................................................................... 16

    2.2 COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES ..................................................................... 16 CHAPTER 3 – AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT and ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS........ 17 3.1 LAND USE, RECREATION, AND AESTHETICS ................................................. 18 3.2 CLIMATE AND AIR.................................................................................................... 20 3.3 SOILS AND GEOLOGY ............................................................................................ 22 3.4 MINERALS .................................................................................................................. 25 3.5 HYDROLOGY AND WATER QUALITY.................................................................. 27 3.6 BIOLOGICAL ENVIRONMENT................................................................................ 30 3.7 HERITAGE .................................................................................................................. 59 3.8 HUMAN HEALTH AND SAFETY............................................................................. 60 3.9 SOCIO-ECONOMIC RESOURCES........................................................................ 64 3.10 MONITORING............................................................................................................. 66 APPENDIX A – TABLES............................................................................................... 68 APPENDIX B – LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS TO PROJECT ANALYSIS........................ 82 APPENDIX C – REFERENCES .................................................................................... 83

  • HNF Non-native Invasive Plant (NNIP) Control Project Environmental Assessment

    4

    Vicinity Map – Hiawatha National Forest (HNF)

    Detroit

    Lansing

    Madison Saginaw

    Escanaba

    Milwaukee

    Green Bay

    Grand Rapids

    Duluth

    Minneapolis

    Chicago

    Toledo

    Marquette

    Wisconsin

    Michigan

    Minnesota

    Illinois

    Indiana Ohio

    Iowa

    Lake Huron

    Lak e Er

    ie

    La ke

    M ic

    hi ga

    n

    Lake Superior

    C A N

    A D A

    C A N

    A D A

    Ironwood

    Ottawa

    HiawathaHiawatha

    Huron

    Manistee

  • HNF Non-native Invasive Plant (NNIP) Control Project Environmental Assessment

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    CHAPTER 1 – PURPOSE AND NEED FOR ACTION

    INTRODUCTION

    Since European settlement, non-native invasive plants (NNIP) have been intentionally and unintentionally

    introduced within the proclamation boundary of the Hiawatha National Forest (HNF). Over time, these

    species have spread by various means. Most NNIP have a competitive advantage over native plants that

    allows them to reproduce and spread rapidly. Because these plants have no natural pathogens and

    predators, some have become persistent, aggressive invaders of disturbed habitats and native plant

    communities. A species is considered invasive if it is not native to the ecosystem under consideration, and

    its introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health

    (Executive Order 13112 issued 1999).

    Next to habitat destruction, invasive species are the greatest threat to native biodiversity (USDA 2005, p.

    231). Non-native invasive species spread was identified by the Chief of the Forest Service as one of the

    four threats affecting the health of our nation’s forests and grasslands. The invasion of new areas and

    subsequent spread of NNIP is associated with humans, as well as natural processes. The introduction and

    spread of NNIP can be caused by roads and trails, timber harvests, recreation activities (OHVs, hiking,

    etc.), and natural events. Roads provide a means for weeds to be transported by vehicles. The construction

    of roads can result in the alteration of tree canopy structure and disturbance of soils along the right-of-

    way (Trombulak and Frissell 1999). The resulting disturbed, sunny locations are sites where NNIP can

    thrive and spread. Construction and maintenance equipment provide a source for transport of invasive

    weeds as they travel between sites. Timber harvests can cause the introduction and spread of NNIP

    through ground disturbance and canopy openings (Buckley et al. 2003, USDA 2005, p.231). Natural

    events can be associated with invasive plant movement through processes, such as wind, moving water

    and wildlife. When left untreated, some NNIP may become the dominant component of the vegetative

    community, thus reducing native plant diversity and affecting wildlife habitat, visual resources, overstory

    tree growth and future management of infested sites.

    1.1 PROJECT AREA

    The HNF is located in the central and eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan, including portions of Alger,

    Chippewa, Delta, Mackinac, Marquette, and Schoolcraft counties (see Vicinity Map). The HNF

    proclamation boundary encompasses approximately 1.3 million acres and includes tracts of National

    Forest System land totaling approximately 895,000 acres (USDA FS 2006b, p. 3-5). A diversity of

    vegetation types, soils, and landforms are found on the HNF. The uplands are forested by various stands

    of northern hardwoods, hemlock, pine, aspen, spruce, and fir. Most other lands comprise a mixt