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The Politics and Science of TamariskAuthor(s): Philip Westra
Source: In: Aguirre-Bravo, C.; Pellicane, Patrick J.; Burns, Denver P.; and Draggan, Sidney, Eds. 2006. Monitoring Science and Technology Symposium: Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere Proceedings RMRS-P-42CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 294-295
Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: View PDF (215 B)
DescriptionTamarisk is a woody invasive weed of riparian areas which has galvanized an amazing array of scientists, politicians, ranchers, farmers, tribal people, and many other interested parties because of its devastating impacts on natural ecosystems and valuable water ways in the west. Rarely has a single plant become such a catalyst for so many people to use as a “poster child” for a variety of interesting issues. Among these issues are water resource issues, soil quality, land use issues, wildlife habitats, access to federal funds to support local community initiatives, and support for research on a plant with an amazing ability to invade and alter natural habitats. This collective effort to understand and manage a major water robbing plant in riparian ecosystems is due to the efforts of many people, many organizations, and to the vision provided by a group such as the tamarisk coalition. The science of tamarisk is currently focused primarily on genetic diversity, biological, chemical, and mechanical control, mapping of tamarisk infestations, flooding impacts on tamarisk dynamics, wildlife impacts, and ecosystem restoration. Because tamarisk is spreading at such a large scale, significant resources will be required to halt the negative impacts causes where it invades.
Political action by congress and many agencies suggest that the necessary resources to support tamarisk science, education, and management may help in the battle to control this invasive weed. Tamarisk is providing a novel and revealing project around which both rural and urban citizens can rally for economic, environmental, and recreational benefits.
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CitationWestra, Philip. 2006. The Politics and Science of Tamarisk. In: Aguirre-Bravo, C.; Pellicane, Patrick J.; Burns, Denver P.; and Draggan, Sidney, Eds. 2006. Monitoring Science and Technology Symposium: Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere Proceedings RMRS-P-42CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 294-295
Keywordsmonitoring, assessment, sustainability, Western Hemisphere, sustainable management, ecosystem resources, tamarisk
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