The CSR-Inc. spray crew traveled down to Hanksville Utah in September to conduct a Salt Cedar herbicide retreatment. The shrubs were cut down the previous year and, as with most noxious weed species, they resprouted. Scenic slot canyons and lots of hiking greeted the backpack sprayers on their search for Salt Cedar (also known as Tamarisk). This project was initiated by the Bureau of Land Management.
Fall is the time to seed your native turf, wildflowers and grasses. Are you prepared?
Saskatoon Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
Buckwheat species (most likely Sulfur Buckwheat) (Erigonum sp., Erigonum umbellatum)
Annual Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
Littleflower Penstemon (Penstemon procerus)
Lupine species (Lupinus sp.)
Common Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)
Western Coneflower (Rudbeckia occidentalis)
The Idaho CSR crew finished building enclosures around 4,000 newly planted sagebrush to reduce grazing pressures. A mycorrhizae root inoculate was used to increase survivability. This root inoculate has a number of beneficial soil bacteria, as well as fungus mycelium, that aid the sagebrush in water and nutrient absorption. This greatly increases survivability in an impacted site (this site burned in 1996). We also experimented with a sugar treatment to reduce cheatgrass competition. This works by altering the carbon/nitrogen balance in the soil. The sugar ups the carbon, which shrubs and perennials utilize, and lowers the nitrogen levels, which annuals such as cheatgrass love. This project was initiated by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department with field work taking place in Worland, Wyoming.
John French, a long time client of CSR-Inc, has been nominated for Budweiser Conservationist of the Year award! A win could bring up to $50,000 to the Wood River Valley for conservation. Be sure to show your support and cast your vote here.
John has focused many efforts toward improving and conserving critical fish and bird habitat on Silver Creek in south-central Idaho, arguably one of the finest spring creeks in the western United States. He’s restored and enhanced more than 2,500 feet along the Creek with innovative bio-logs and native vegetation creating better conditions for trout and many species of birds. He donated a conservation easement on his ranch insuring future generations will enjoy the same unspoiled environment. Working with scientists, John has worked to control invasive species of weeds and invertebrates to protect the freshwater resource. He has replanted an abandoned agriculture field with native grasses and found a way to provide water to a neighbor’s cattle away from the creek.
On a broader scale, John has worked with The Nature Conservancy and the Wood River Land Trust to preserve open space and wildlife habitat throughout the area. He has worked on a variety of conservation initiatives and advisory boards. An avid pilot, he has flown conservationists and farmers over Silver Creek so that they can better assess issues from the air.
In addition, John has worked tirelessly in Yosemite National Park for more than 10 years to build a LEED certified environmental education campus. And he has funded a fellowship for postdoctoral research in environmental science.
Take a look at this newly hatched Swallowtail spied by the CSR crew last May. *Swallowtail butterflies are large, colorful butterflies that form the family Papilionidae. There are at least 550 species, and though the majority are tropical, members of the family are found on all continents except Antarctica. The family includes the largest butterflies in the world, the birdwing butterflies of Australia (genus Ornithoptera).
Swallowtails differ from all other butterflies in a number of anatomical traits. Most notably, their caterpillars possess a unique organ behind their heads, called the osmeterium. Normally hidden, this forked structure can be everted when the caterpillar is threatened, and emits smelly secretions containing terpenes. The adults are often tailed like the forked tail of some swallows, giving the insect its name.
Native plants typically have deep and extensive root systems which help them survive dry conditions and which effectively hold soil. By comparison cool season turf grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass at the far left in the illustration, have very shallow root systems which are much less effective in controlling erosion and withstanding severe drought. The root systems are a major part of the biomass provided by vegetation. Through photosynthesis these plants use carbon dioxide to create complex hydrocarbons, thereby enriching the soil and reducing the “greenhouse effect” of carbon dioxide.
Illustration courtesy EPA