Assess Impacts of Deer/Invasive Plant Interactions on Native Vegetation at Potomac Gorge
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal NHP, in accordance with the 2001 National Park Service/The Nature Conservancy POTOMAC GORGE SITE CONSERVATION PLAN, will establish 60 small study plots, 20 of which will be small fence exclosure study areas, within the Gold Mine tract at Great Falls. These study areas will measure 4x4 meters and will allow scientists to evaluate the impact of deer browsing on the area vegetation.
The Potomac Gorge area is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the Eastern United States with over 200 rare species and natural habitats. This multi-year study will also analyze the introduction of invasive plant species and how these plants become established and their connection with the deer browse impacts.
The project has been reviewed for impacts to natural and cultural resources by the park's Interdisciplinary Team. The project does not pose any serious or long-term effects to environmental, historical, cultural, archeological, or visual resources. It meets Categorical Exclusion #C.18 - Installation of fencing enclosures, exclosures, or boundary fencing posing no effect on wildlife migrations.
For further information about this project, contact Marie Frias Sauter, Natural Resources Specialist, at The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal NHP, 1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100, Hagerstown, MD 21740