The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is accepting comment on an environmental assessment (EA) that addresses the environmental impacts of releasing leaf spotting fungus (Ramularia crupinae) to manage common crupina (Crupina vulgaris). After careful analysis APHIS has determined that the release of leaf spotting fungus within the continental United States will likely not have a significant impact on the environment.
Common crupina, or “bearded creeper,” is a winter annual native to Eurasia. This invasive plant is spreading in northwestern U.S. pastures and rangelands and reducing areas with quality forage as it displaces other species. It grows up to a meter in height and has inconspicuous lavender to purple flowers and rosettes that develop through the fall and winter. APHIS plans to issue permits for leaf spotting fungus to reduce the severity of common crupina infestations in northwestern States.
APHIS will review and consider all public input submitted during the 30-day comment period and use the information to complete a final environmental assessment. Members of the public can review and comment on the assessment through November 30, 2020 by accessing it and supporting documents here: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2020-0036.
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