Washington Senator proposes legislation to restore native plants at National Parks

Mount Rainier (File photo)

Maine’s Republican senator is working with a Democratic colleague to try to restore native plants in America’s national parks.

Sen. Susan Collins has introduced the legislation along with Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington. Collins said the proposal would create a pilot program at the National Park Service designed to support the use of native plants.

The proposal is part of an effort to preserve biodiversity, Collins’ office said in a statement. It would also direct the park service to "review existing data and study the cost-effectiveness of using native plants," the office said.

"Native plants play a vital role in protecting our shared public lands. Bringing more native plants back will help us combat invasive species, provide food and shelter for local wildlife, and adapt to the looming threat of climate change," said Senator Cantwell.

Collins said the proposal would "protect native plants such as blueberry barrens, white pines, and wildflowers, as well as prevent the future spread of invasive species across the State of Maine."

A bipartisan group of U.S. representatives has submitted similar legislation in the House.