Sep 3, 2010 7:20 PM by Greg Boyce

Tamarisk spraying planned west of Lake Pueblo

An area along the Arkansas River west of the Lake Pueblo will be closed this month for aerial spraying of tamarisk.

About 190 acres of river bottom on both sides of the Arkansas River will be sprayed up-river from the Swallows Cemetery, according to Quentin Springer of the Colorado Division of Wildlife. The treatment area will be confined to state property.

Hunters, anglers, and other wildlife enthusiasts will not be able to enter the property before, during, or after the aerial spraying. Signs will be posted, and Wildlife  employees will be staged at entrances of the property to keep people out from September 13 through 17.

"We know the Pueblo Lake State Wildlife Area is very popular," said Springer. "Our goal is to complete this project and return it to normal use just as quickly as possible." An announcement will be made as soon as the property reopens.

Tamarisk, also known as salt cedar, was imported into the United States in the 1850's as an ornamental. During the early 20th century, it was extensively planted to control soil erosion. It quickly spread, and displaced native plants.

State, federal and local governments are now working to control tamarisk and return ecosystems to their natural state.



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