Saguaro to spray herbicide in effort to curb buffelgrass - The Explorer: El Sol

Saguaro to spray herbicide in effort to curb buffelgrass

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Posted: Tuesday, July 6, 2010 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:15 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Saguaro National Park is again using herbicides to control buffelgrass.

The park plans to treat approximately 50 miles of roadway and 450 acres of wilderness in both the Tucson Mountains and Rincon Mountains during the next three months beginning in mid-July.

No public closures are anticipated, according to a release. An area is safe to enter as soon as the herbicide dries, which is about 30 minutes after application. A blue dye will be mixed with the spray to mark plants that have been treated. In the backcountry, water containers have been distributed by mules and helicopters for use by spray crews; if found, please do not disturb.

Buffelgrass is an aggressive, non-native grass that competes with native plants such as saguaros and palo verdes, and also carries wildfires that can harm Sonoran Desert natives.

"If buffelgrass continues to spread, it will be a serious threat to biological conservation efforts in the area, and buffelgrass fires may also become a major threat to public safety and property," the release said.

For additional information, including a map of areas to be treated, go to www.nps.gov/sagu or www.buffelgrass.org.

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