The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), United States Department of the Interior (USDI), proposing a program to treat vegetation on up to six million acres of public lands annually in 17 western states in the continental United States (US) and Alaska. As part of this program, the BLM is proposing the use of ten herbicide active ingredients (a.i.) to control invasive plants and noxious weeds on approximately one million of the 6 million acres proposed for treatment. The BLM and its contractor, ENSR, are preparing a Vegetation Treatments Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate this and other proposed vegetation treatment methods and alternatives on lands managed by the BLM in the western continental US and Alaska. In support of the EIS, this Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) evaluates the potential risks to the environment that would result from the use of the herbicide chlorsulfuron, including risks to rare, threatened, and endangered (RTE) plant and animal species.
One of the BLM's highest priorities is to promote ecosystem health, and one of the greatest obstacles to achieving this goal is the rapid expansion of invasive plants (including noxious weeds and other plants not native to the region) across public lands. These invasive plants can dominate and often cause permanent damage to natural plant communities. If not eradicated or controlled, invasive plants will jeopardize the health of public lands and the activities that occur on them. Herbicides are one method employed by the BLM to control these plants.
ENSR International, "Chlorsulfuron, Ecological Risk Assessment, Final Report" (2005). All U.S. Government Documents (Utah Regional Depository). Paper 74.