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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 402

National Public Lands Day volunteers cut invasive tamarisk in the Santa Rosa Wilderness

To celebrate National Public Lands Day, BLM-California's Palm Springs – South Coast Field Office hosted a tamarisk-cutting event in the Santa Rosa Wilderness this past weekend. Sixteen volunteers including BLM staff, a California Dept. of Fish and Game employee, several College of the Desert students, and other local residents hiked approximately one mile into wilderness to help remove tamarisk (Tamarix ramosissima), an invasive plant species. (text continues below)

Four volunteers pause for a quick photo, while cutting tamarisk with loppers

Using a variety of tools such as loppers and hand saws, the volunteers braved the unseasonably hot weather and managed to remove roughly a quarter of a mile of tamarisk from Sheep Canyon, an area important to the federally endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis  nelsoni).  While volunteers enjoyed a much needed break in the shade, BLM archaeologist Chris Dalu gave a brief talk on the prehistoric Native American culture of the area while Jennifer Taylor, outdoor recreation planner/volunteer coordinator, spoke on the merits of National Public Lands Day and the history of the National Wilderness Preservation System.

A volunteer cuts at the base of a plant
A man wearing a head scarf cuts tamarisk with shears

The area needed a dual-pronged approach of cutting and spraying
One man sprays a plant, while another cuts back with shears

A man uses shears to cut at the base of a plant

A woman holds shears as she throws aside a branch of tamarisk

A man uses a saw on a stubborn tamarisk branch

The mouth of the canyon before...
More invasive plants before the volunteers started

...and after volunteers worked their way one quarter of a mile up the canyon:
Fewer invasive plants after

Volunteers pose for a group portrait:
About 15 people pose for a group portrait

- Jennifer Taylor, BLM-California Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office, 9/28/09

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 402

Last updated: 09-30-2009