Invasive plant is becoming an issue at Agate Fossil Beds - Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Invasive plant is becoming an issue at Agate Fossil Beds

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A flower that brings people out to Agate Fossil Beds when in bloom, may soon be a thing of the past.

The yellow flag iris is beautiful to many, but Agate park officials are hoping to do away with it. They say it has begun to overpopulate the park and it is killing other plant species that are native to the area.

The iris is not native to the area and has been spreading since it was brought in 1906. It now surrounds most of the eleven miles of river at Agate.

Visitor services assistant Lil Mansfield says that people come from all over to see the flowers in bloom, but they do not know the harm it is doing.

"It's just a beautiful plant. Makes a very impressive display along the riverbanks, but I've noticed over the years that it's choked out a lot of cattails, a lot of native grasses and sedges that usually grow along the river and it has just come to our attention that it has become a problem," says Mansfield.

Officials at Agate are now working closely with other organizations to find a permanent solution.
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