Invasive plants jeopardize Yosemite’s cherished high-elevation meadows, where many of the park’s vulnerable plant and animal species live. Invasive plants use up valuable resources and can eventually replace native plant populations, throwing entire ecosystems out of balance and preventing some animal species from finding food.

This project helped mitigate the threat posed by velvet grass and other invasive plants in Yosemite’s high country meadows by funding the removal of non-native flora. Working with volunteers and a youth intern, the park’s restoration experts surveyed 691 acres of meadow habitat, discovered two invasive species new to Yosemite (salt cedar and buffalobur nightshade), and treated populations of 20 high-priority non-native plant species, including velvet grass, flixweed and meadow foxtail.

Your support helped protect Yosemite’s beautiful high elevation meadows so that native wildflowers — and the animals that depend on them — can continue to thrive.

Completed in partnership with Yosemite National Park.

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.