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Success Stories

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Revegetating Mined-out Lands,Nevada

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From Mine Waste to Grassland, Arizona

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Restoring a Desert Oasis, Arizona

The Healthiest Riparian Area in North America?, NM

Restoring a Desert River, Arizona

Restoring a Desert River: Tamarisk Removal on the Upper Verde River (page 2) Back to page 1...


Tamarisk stands were recorded by GPS, treated and then visited a second and third season to make sure any resprouting found was retreated. The project was professionally monitored at eighteen permanent transects to determine change in species diversity and at eighty photo sites to determine treatment effectiveness.

The river experienced major floods during each of the three years of treatment, which caused significant erosion and change to portions of the river bottom. Of the 9,884 live tamarisk stems documented on 80 study sites at the start of the project, only 118 live stems appeared after final treatment, for a 98.8% stem eradication rate. Permanent transect vegetation monitoring showed the only change in plant diversity was the almost total elimination of tamarisk.

Success Tips-

Careful planning is a requisite of tamarisk control project. Three to four years of project time allows time for the complete initial removal and treatment of massive stands, time to see which stands exhibit resprouting, and time to do required re-spraying.

Factors that bring successful results include:

  • Inventorying all invasive plant species and doing GPS mapping of all stands.
  • Monitoring from many sites with photographs that will document changes from treatment, flooding and weather.
  • Obtaining necessary access approval in advance to facilitate crew and materials transport.
  • Planning that avoids rainy and flooding periods, allowing a 20% downtime cost estimate for delays.
  • Removing flood debris from stands and then cutting stems close to ground level.
  • Cutting and treating plant stems when they are actively growing.
  • Treating plants when temperatures are not so hot that herbicide vaporizes.
  • Re-spraying 1.5 to 2 years after initial treatment to allow enough time to detect surviving plants.
  • Stacking cut stems in piles on benchlands or lodged between native brush and trees to benefit wildlife.

Education & Outreach-

Our outreach program has contacted people of diverse ages and backgrounds in the local, regional and national communities to make them aware of the existing invasive plant conditions and their threats to sustaining diverse and productive riverine and wetland habitats in the Upper Verde River.

  • Presentations were given at Chino Valley Heritage Middle School, Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona, and regional and national tamarisk conferences.
  • Peer-reviewed publications were published in scientific journals, and an MS Thesis was completed at NAU.
  • Field tours were given to the public and agency staffs, and information meetings held with the Arizona Game and Fish Department and environmental organizations.
  • Newspaper articles were featured in local papers and this brochure is being distributed regionally.


The success of this project exemplifies how private organizations can assist land management agencies to achieve land restoration goals for the long-term benefit of Arizona’s communities. This project was a cooperative undertaking led by EcoResults Institute ( and the Arizona Water Protection Fund Commission, with technical assistance from the U.S. Forest Service Prescott National Forest and Rocky Mountain Research Station, Flagstaff, Arizona. Pioneer taramisk removal on the Y-D Ranch and Verde River Ranch inspired the project. On-site work was performed by the Lake Mead Exotic Plant Management Team and the Coconino Rural Environment Corps.


Other Success Stories

Revegetating Mined-out Lands, Nevada
From Mine Waste to Grassland, Arizona
Restoring a Desert Oasis, Arizona
The Healthiest Riparian Area in North America?, New Mexico

Botanist monitoring changes in species diversity.


Reduction of tamarisk stems on 80 monitoring sites.


Forest Service scientist presenting information on the project.





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