Prowers County is taking to the air to fight tamarisk, according to a report in The Lamar Ledger (Aaron Burnett). From the article:
[Prowers County Commissioner Henry Schnabel] said the county has concentrated its efforts in the area from Holly to the state line in hopes of clearing out the river channel and lessening the possibility that high water levels could result in flooding in and around Holly. “With the different entities coming together in a cooperative effort, it just shows what can be done when you have that cooperation among all the people to really get out there and get something done,” said Schnabel.
The area being sprayed through the project include sections along the Arkansas River as well as upland tributaries and runoffs. “We feel that if can control those tamarisk in those upland situations and get them killed, they shouldn’t be coming back,” said Michael Daskam, NRCS agent in the Holly office. Daskam said the water saved by removing tamarack and revegetating with native plant species is approximately 70,000 acre feet a year in the river. “That’s like John Martin (Reservoir) in a good year, and that’s the net savings each year.” Daskam said there are several benefits to removing tamarisk from the area. “There’s these water conservation benefits that we talked about, there’s flood hazard mitigation benefits, there’s wildlife benefits as well because tamarack don’t provide much of any kind of habitat for our native species. If we can get the native species to come back, then we’ll have a lot more valuable wildlife habitat.”
Following the completion of aerial spraying, ground spraying will be conducted in areas too tight for aerial spraying. It takes three years from the time of the chemical application for the tamarisk to be completely killed, at which point it can then be manually removed.