Roaring Fork watershed plan: Phase II kickoff meetings August 20, September 24 and October 15

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From email from the Colorado Watershed Assembly. (Click through for the details).

The meetings on Phase II of the Watershed Plan will be held at the Eagle County Community Building in El Jebel on August 20th; in Redstone at the Church at Redstone on September 10th; in Woody Creek at the Community School on September 24th; in Glenwood Springs at the Community Center on October 1st; and in Aspen at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies on October 15th. Each meeting will concentrate on the local elements of the watershed where the meeting is being held. So, for instance, the El Jebel meeting will focus on the Fryingpan River and that part of the Roaring Fork between approximately Wingo Junction and Carbondale, including East and West Sopris Creeks. “We welcome all comments on all parts of the watershed,” said Fuller, “but we hope to make it more relevant by spreading the public meetings around the various sub-watersheds in the valley. Although every part of the watershed affects every other part, we know that the concerns of a fly fisherman in Aspen might be different than those of a rancher in Carbondale or a riverside home owner in Glenwood Springs.”

More Roaring Fork watershed coverage here.

South Platte Roundtable vacancy recruitment

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From email from the IBCC:

The South Platte Roundtable needs to fill a vacant At-Large seat, they will be appointing the replacement at their September meeting therefore resumes must be submitted no later than August 31, 2009.

Anyone who is interested can send their resume either via email or regular mail to:

Viola Bralish

1580 Logan St, Suite 200

Denver, CO. 80203

More South Platte Basin coverage here.

Arkansas Valley: Officials plan to unleash an additional 100,000 or so tamarisk leaf beetles

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From The Denver Post (Bruce Finley):

Colorado agriculture officials are widening their battle against the West’s most voracious invasive weed, tamarisk, by deploying a controversial leaf-eating Chinese beetle east of the Continental Divide. State teams have planted 100,000 of the yellow- striped Diorhabda beetles along banks of the Arkansas River. They plan to release another 100,000 along the river this week, placing them on tamarisk, a water-sucking weed that chokes off native life such as cottonwoods and willows. “We want them to feed like crazy,” said Dan Bean, director of biological pest control for the Colorado Department of Agriculture…

But there are concerns. The Diorhabdas may threaten an endangered bird, the southwestern willow flycatcher, which uses tamarisk in New Mexico and Arizona for nesting. The federal government recently was forced by a lawsuit to suspend its releases of Diorhabda beetles in eight Western states — where tamarisk has gobbled more than 1.5 million riparian acres. Yet Colorado biologists contend the beetle is relatively benign and are pressing ahead — determined to suppress tamarisk with fight-the-enemy-with-its-enemy tactics that so far have proved successful…

“We very much recognize that biological controls are an important aspect” of suppressing invasives, said Chris Diogini, acting executive director of the National Invasive Species Council. Co-chaired by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the council is charged with coordinating federal, state and local responses to biological invaders — and refereeing disputes. Federal researchers now track some 50,000 exotic species, which unlike chemical pollutants that can be banned and eventually break down, can cause ever- growing problems. But one major challenge “is making sure you don’t get rid of one invasive species only to see it replaced by another,” Diogini said…

This was the first year the state had enough beetles to attack tamarisk along the Arkansas River, Bean said. The first 400 beetles, delivered from northwestern China, have multiplied to more than 50 million, he said. Most live wild along rivers and have the ability to move up to 20 miles a day on their own — into neighboring states. Should this beetle work on tamarisk, others could be tried on such invasive species as Russian knapweed, Oriental fruit moths and alfalfa weevils.

More tamarisk control coverage here and here.