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Russian Olive Removal Project on Outdoor Education Facility
November 26th, 2014
A combination of funding from Great Outdoors Colorado and Colorado Water Conservation Board's Invasive Phreatophyte Control Program supported a Russian olive removal project on a ‘Colorado Youth Outdoors’ (CYO) recreation area known as Swift Ponds. The 240 acre facility, located near Windsor, Colorado in eastern Larimer County includes 12 ponds and provides outdoor recreation opportunities for youth and parents through CYO programs. The site had become heavily infested by Russian olive trees, with thickets obstructing access to pond edges in many areas.
The funding enabled the Weld County Youth Conservation Corps and Larimer County Weed District to create a 4 week partnership throughout September 2014 and cut down approximately 6,000 Russian olive trees, apply stump treatments to prevent re-growth, and chip the downed trees. Trees ranged in size from very mature 30 feet tall trees with a 20 inch diameter, to very bushy plants that had been previously cut but re-grew due to improper cut-stump treatments. Larimer County will monitor and apply herbicide as necessary over any re-sprouts through the summer of 2016.
All the Russian olive trees surrounding the ponds and along most of the property perimeter have been removed. Grants are being sought to fund another 3-4 weeks work necessary to complete removal across the remaining property.