Input needed for tamarisk plan

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is initiating an environmental assessment to restore native vegetation to the Colorado River between Lees Ferry and the Glen Canyon Dam.

This 15-mile stretch of river has been invaded by non-native tamarisk, a highly aggressive weed found throughout the southwest. Tamarisk, also called salt cedar, chokes out other native species by increasing the salinity of the soil.

The project is intended to develop a 20-year master plan to restore native vegetation to this stretch of the river. Initially, a six-acre site at Hidden Springs, located 6.5 miles upriver from Lees Ferry will be restored.

The plan proposes to remove tamarisk while planting native upland and riparian species. Irrigation systems would be used as necessary to insure that native species become established.

The National Park Service is currently seeking public comments on the scope of the environmental assessment to help identify issues and alternatives for the analysis.

The environmental assessment, expected to be completed this spring, will analyze the potential impacts to the natural, cultural and human environment associated with the proposal.

Comments may be submitted online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/glca or by mailing them to: Colorado River Vegetation Restoration EA, P.O. Box 1507, Page, Ariz., 86040. All public scoping comments must be received by Jan. 26.

Additional information about the project is also available at parkplanning.nps.gov/glca.

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