Press Release
Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge announces proposal to remove invasive California fan palms
Refuge invites public review of draft Environmental Assessment
Media Contacts

Moapa, Nevada — Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge announced a proposal to control invasive California fan palms from the refuge, including the removal of mature palms. The refuge invites the public to review and comment on the draft Environmental Assessment, which details the proposed action and possible alternatives. The public comment period will be open for 30 days, until May 31st.

The Moapa Valley Refuge was established in 1979 to secure and protect habitat for the endangered Moapa dace, a rare endemic fish. The Moapa dace lives out its lifecycle in the Warm Springs thermal spring complex, which includes more than 20 springs located within the refuge. 

Prior to its acquisition by the Service, the area that is now Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge operated as a resort, complete with snack bars and chlorinated swimming pools. These and other human activities throughout the 20th century introduced invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

Learn more about invasive species
, including California fan palms, into the habitat.

The California fan palm is now prevalent in the Moapa Valley and threatens native species by changing stream structures and shading out or replacing other native vegetation. Palm tree roots also spread and grow into stream channels, impeding water flow and replacing the desirable rocky substrate used by the Moapa dace.

Under the refuge’s proposal, the Service would remove invasive palm trees from the refuge and revegetate the habitat with native species. Further details about the Environmental Assessment can be found on the Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge website. Comments on the assessment can be submitted via email to James (Rob) Vinson at, or via mail to P.O. Box: 510, Alamo, NV 89001. The public comment period will be open from May 1st through May 31st, 2024.