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Purgatoire River Watershed Riparian Rehabilitation Project
November 10th, 2014
Thanks to Invasive Phreatophyte Control Program (IPCP) funding from the Colorado Water Conservation Board, nearly 140 acres of large Russian olive trees and pockets of tamarisk have been removed from the Purgatoire River and its surrounding watershed. Using youth corps saw crews, Trinidad State Lake Park staff, and private contractors, partners coordinated work along the Trinidad River Walk and at Trinidad Lake State Park.
In addition to improving these streamside areas for residents and visitors alike, partners also hosted training workshops. One workshop, which focused on the hand treatment of woody invasives, was led by the Colorado State Forest Service for Trinidad City crews and volunteers with the local chapter of Trout Unlimited-Purgatoire Anglers. With over 20 people in attendance, many more now have the skills to assist with the treatment of small diameter re-growth and seedlings into the future.
In another successful workshop, focused on the management of priority weeds of Las Animas County, Dr. George Beck of Colorado State University along with the State Weed Coordinator, Steve Ryder, and local weed county managers showcased priority weed problems of the County to an audience of over 20 people, mostly land managers and landowners. Attendees learned how to identify and control tamarisk, Russian olive, Russian knapweed, African rue, and Scotch thistle.
Key partners in this project include: Spanish Peaks-Purgatoire River Conservation District, City of Trinidad, Colorado State Forest Service, La Junta and La Veta Districts, Colorado State University Extension, Las Animas County, Trinidad Lake State Park, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and private landowners.
The IPCP grant program is intended to provide cost share assistance to eligible entities to control and/or eradicate tamarisk, Russian olive, or other woody riparian invasive phreatophytes that have degraded the state’s riparian areas, restricted channel capacity thereby increasing flood risk, and resulted in increased non-beneficial consumptive use of water. For more information, please visit the Colorado Water Conservation Board website.