U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
By Sarah Beckwith, Public Affairs Specialist, Wind River-Bighorn Basin District
Eradicating hundreds of acres of extremely dense thickets of Russian olive and salt cedar calls for a long-term, labor-intensive, multi-agency effort—and a really big mulching machine!
The Yellowtail Coordinated Resource Management (CRM) group has been working for the past five years to improve riparian habitat in the Yellowtail Wildlife Habitat Management Area and adjacent private lands near the Highway 37 bridge, east of Lovell, Wyo. The CRM is truly a collaborative effort. Funding has primarily come from Wyoming Natural Resource Trust Board, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, BLM, Wyoming Game and Fish Department Trust Fund, National Park Service, and National Wild Turkey Federation. This year, BLM’s Cody and Worland Field Offices have provided much of the labor with staff from fire, fuels and range.
The tracked excavator with a mulching attachment, operated by Swaggart Enterprises from Ritter, Ore., can turn a large Russian olive tree to mulch in a matter of seconds. But because Russian olive will sprout after being cut, the BLM crew follows behind the mulching machine and sprays an herbicide called triclopyr, mixed with a penetrating oil, on cut stumps. The triclopyr-oil mix is drawn down through the roots, killing the plant.
By mechanically and chemically removing the aggressive Russian olive and water-sucking salt cedar from these riparian areas, wildlife like deer, waterfowl, turkey and pheasant benefit as native vegetation begins to flourish.
To date, the CRM has treated 560 acres on the Shoshone and Big Horn Rivers within the Yellowtail Wildlife Habitat Management Area and on adjoining private lands, with treatment on another 240 acres currently underway.
“This is a fine example of different organizations and agencies getting together to get a job done,” said Range Management Specialist Jack Mononi of the Cody Field Office. “I look forward to continuing our efforts with the CRM, which will result in large-scale habitat improvements for many years to come.”
|Last updated: 03-10-2010|
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