Weld County to tackle noxious plants along rivers
Colorado water conservation leaders doled out a large regional grant to remove harmful plants, and Weld County is getting a piece.
The Colorado Water Conservation Board’s $195,000 will pay for area governments to remove Tamarisk and Russian Olive Trees along the Big Thompson, Little Thompson and South Platte rivers, according to a news release from Weld County.
Weld County will pay in $10,000 in cash and $28,000 in supervision time, chemicals, travel, maintenance and monitoring. County officials also will hire a 15-month seasonal staff member.
Tamarisk and Russian olive trees suck up more water than native vegetation, which is hard on the area’s ditches. Removing the trees not only saves that water, but also creates room for native species, the release states.
Crews will remove the trees’ limbs and cut trunks as close to the soil surface as possible. Then they’ll use chemicals to kill the stump and roots. This method causes the least damage to the surrounding plants, according to the release.
The leftover wood will go into a chipper and become mulch. Officials are looking at other options for the leftovers, as well.
The project will start today and continue through June 2018. Long-term monitoring will continue twice a year for five years after the completion of the grant.
Leaders have been working on similar projects since 2003, the release stated.