The Centauri High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) will be helping save the Valley’s water this summer.
FFA members will be eradicating as many salt cedar, or tamarisk, shrubs and trees as possible, and learning about the necessity of weed management for healthy agricultural, wildlife habitat, and recreational lands.
While salt cedar is beautiful, it also can use about 200 gallons of water a day which is very dangerous in the San Luis Valley’s arid climate. However, because of its blooms and feathery appearance it’s often used in landscaping.
Myron Price, Weed Management Supervisor for Conejos County, will teach FFA members how to identify saltcedar and other invasive and noxious weeds such as leafy spurge, houndstongue, and Russian knapweed. Tyler Huffaker, Centauri’s FFA sponsor, will also help coach the youth in lopping and flagging. Once the plants are flagged a certified applicator will spray the stumps with herbicide to permanently kill the plant.
The project is funded by Pulling for Colorado, a grant program sponsored by the Colorado Weed Management Association. The San Luis Valley Weed Management Association and the Conejos County Pest District will provide lunch, water, snacks, and caps for anyone working on the project.
For more information or to contribute to the project, call Myron Price at 719-588-2005.
The SLV Weed Management Association is a public and private partnership created to promote awareness and management of noxious weeds through local and regional initiatives in the SLV area with the vision to cooperatively manage and/or control noxious weeds throughout the San Luis Valley Management Area regardless of geographic or political boundaries to promote ecological and economic values.
Salt cedar harms the San Luis Valley’s aquifer, wetlands and waterways, because it can use more than 200 gallons of water a day. (Photo Courtesy of Colorado Department of Agriculture)