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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 20, 2000
Contact: Lori Irving
Tel.: 202-366-0660
FHWA 5-00

Federal Highway Administration Provides Handbook
With Guidance on Using of Native Plants Along Highways

In continuing effort to protect the environment and help control the introduction of invasive species of plants, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today released Roadside Use of Native Plants, a handbook that provides state by state references in the use of native plants and how they can be used to benefit highway projects by saving time and money.

"We are committed to protecting the environment along the nation's highways," FHWA Administrator Kenneth R. Wykle said. "Native plants are particularly useful for this because they can thrive in all parts of the country and also help preserve our natural heritage for future generations."

Wykle said that native plants can be used for erosion control, landscaping and maintenance of highway rights-of-way. Native plants have adapted over time to the varied climates and geology that highway projects cross, can prosper without fertilizers and, once established, can ward off the invasion of weeds, thereby reducing the need for herbicide use.

According to the FHWA, invasive non-native plants can cause significant changes to ecosystems, upset the ecological balance and cause serious economic harm to America's agricultural and recreational sectors.

The handbook is 665 pages and includes vegetation maps as well as lists of native trees, shrubs, vines, grasses and other plants particular to each state. In addition, the handbook lists environmental, academic, scientific and other organizations in each state.

Requests for copies should be sent to Fred Bank, Federal Highway Administration HEPN-30, Room 3240, 400 7th Street S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590 or email Bonnie.Harper-Lore@fhwa.dot.gov.

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