The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has prepared a final environmental assessment (EA) that addresses the environmental impacts of releasing leaf-spotting fungus (Ramularia crupinae) to manage common crupina (Crupina vulgaris). After careful analysis and review of comments, 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 and an environmental impact statement need not be prepared.
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 has reviewed and considered all public input submitted during the comment period and used the information to complete the final EA. To view the notice, supporting documents, and the comments we received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and enter APHIS-2020-0036 in the Search field.
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