Next phase of ecological restoration along the Lower Salt River begins in fall

Release Date: Dec 17, 2018

Tamarisk removal Cleared Area Successful cottonwood and willow plantingsChris Kaiser of NAU instructing volunteers on watering protocol Intel volunteers carrying deep pot cottonwood transplants Construction of barriers using downed wood to protect newly planted areas


PHOENIX—Feb. 17, 2020 — Phase three of the Lower Salt River Restoration Project (LSRRP) will begin in October and conclude in February 2021 thanks to additional funding from the National Forest Foundation and one of its corporate partners, Intel. 

The project is restoring riparian habitat along an 11-mile stretch of the river by removing exotic plant species, such as tamarisk and giant reed, and planting over 500,000 native plants within the footprint of the Cactus Fire on the Mesa Ranger District. 

Additional project objectives include: 

  • Engaging the local community in caring for their public lands 
  • Educating youth on topics of conservation and natural resource management 

Phase three will retreat invasive species on the 170 acres from Phases I and II as well an additional 70 acres of new treatment. 

This riparian improvement project meets the Southwestern Region’s focus on wetland habitat restoration and underscores the Tonto National Forest’s commitment to restoring native species’ regenerative processes along the Salt River. 

The LSRRP represents a collaboration between the USDA Forest Service, National Forest Foundation, Northern Arizona University, Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, Intel, SRP, and Audubon Arizona.