Buffelgrass on the Sonoran Desert National Monument

 

National Public Lands Day Friends of the Sonoran Desert National MonumentThe Friends of the Sonoran Desert National Monument has been working with the Bureau of Land Management and the Arizona Department of Transportation to reduce the buffelgrass threat to the ecology of the Sonoran Desert.

Roads and highways are primary routes for invasive plants species to disperse and the Sonoran Desert National Monument is dissected or bordered by several highways as well has many unimproved roads. State Highways 85 and 238 and Interstate 8 have buffelgrass infestations in their right of ways. In addition Interstate 8 has buffelgrass thriving in median dividing the highway.

The Bureau of Land Management is finishing up an environmental analysis on herbicide use on the Sonoran Desert National Monument which when completed will make buffelgrass treatment more effective when combining mechanical removal and herbicide application techniques. The analysis will be completed before the onset of the summer monsoon season when buffelgrass growth is greatest.

In the meantime the Arizona Department of Transportation will have completed one of its treatments on invasive plants growing in Buffelgrassright of ways and medians.

Sonoran Desert National Monument Bureau of Land Management staff has been instrumental in the fight to free the monument from the buffelgrass threat by scheduling crews to mechanically remove buffelgrass growing in the monument. They have made significant progress.

It is possible with our constant vigilance and partnerships with agencies we will see the Sonoran Desert National Monument buffelgrass free by 2014.

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