One of the more fun projects that the WCCC has the opportunity to participate in is doing invasive species removal on the Colorado River. Working in the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area with the BLM river rangers is a favorite for many CorpsMembers. It is easy to see why....
Crews get to work right on the river cutting invasive tamarisk and russian olive. The cutting of tamarisk is especially important as it has a very long tap root that can access deep water resources. It also takes up salt from the ground water and deposits it on the ground through the shedding of its leaves. This concentration of salt is detrimental to the surrounding native plants. The other thing that tamarisk does is limit accessibility with its thick and nasty limbs.
The crews get to enjoy the beautiful sand stone canyons. At the end of the day they can explore the many side hikes that the area has to offer. And it's easy to fall asleep when you have the river to sing you a lullaby of babbling water outside your tent.
The Crew works directly with the BLM River Rangers and are accompanied by them to the work site. The float is relaxing as the river ranger motors the crew and supplies down the river. At the end of the hitch the ranger comes back and takes the crew out.
The WCCC enjoys working with the McInnis Canyons NCA and the BLM river rangers. We look forward to more trips down the river.
(Troy Schnurr BLM River Ranger Extraordinaire!)