Invasive grasses and flowers threaten Yosemite’s high-elevation meadows, where they out-compete native flora for valuable resources. If left untreated, such plants can throw entire ecosystems out of balance, reducing food and habitat availability for rare amphibians, pollinators and other animals.

Previous support from Conservancy donors led to the discovery and documentation of numerous invasive plants at Yosemite’s high elevations. In 2017, crews focused on restoring alpine meadows by eliminating isolated populations of non-native plants growing above 7,000 feet. With help from volunteers, citizen scientists and a stewardship intern, crews surveyed more than 700 acres, including in Tuolumne Meadows and Lyell, Virginia and Matterhorn canyons. Over the course of the season, they treated approximately 14 acres of non-native flora, including high-priority plants such as velvet grass, dandelion and cheatgrass.

Your support helped impede the spread of invasive plants Yosemite’s mountain meadows, ensuring native plants and animals can thrive in their high-altitude homes.

Completed in partnership with Yosemite National Park and Student Conservation Association.

Garrett Dickman

Division of Resources Management and Science

Project Notes

A decade ago, high elevation areas were considered immune to invasive plants because conditions were too harsh. We now know montane to alpine ecosystems are indeed vulnerable to invasion. Tuolumne and Merced are the highest priorities for treatment because of their remoteness and the high quality habitat at risk. If we do not treat them now, we could lose high elevation habitat to these invaders.