Capturing The Moment — Wiping Out Buffelgrass, One Person At A Time   1 comment

Buffelgrass has taken over most of the left slop of this area in the Esperero Canyon. Even so, Markus has dedicated himself to removing buffelgrass one plant at a time.

Esperero Trail runs from Sabino Canyon, through Rattlesnake and Bird Canyons before entering Esperero Canyon and a series of switchbacks up to a ridge, appropriately called “Cardiac Gap.” This is the second time in a little over a month that we have hiked this trial to the gap. This time, as in January, the weather was beautiful, with an abundance of “Tucson blue” sky, but this time the wildflowers were making an early spring appearance,  especially at the higher elevations along the trail.

Even with all the natural beauty of the Santa Catalina Mountains, on this day it was being co-opted by invasive plants species, one of which is buffelgrass. Although much too common to southern Arizona and most of Sonora, it is native to most of Africa, the Middle East, Indonesia and nearby islands, and tropical Asia. A big competitor for water, it weakens and kills larger desert plants, while making it difficult for new native plant growth. Additionally, buffelgrass provides “gas on the fire” for wildfires, which would destroy most desert plants like the Saguaro cactus, but not buffelgrass — buffelgrass would be the first to grow back.

Although there are several southern Arizona organized efforts to rid the areas of this invasive plant, i.e., Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordinating Center (SABCC) and the Sonoran Desert Weedwackers, many individuals put in long hours along on the difficult canyon slops of the picturesque Catalina Mountains. My hat’s off to Markus and the many others with his passion and drive.


Markus removing buffelgrass in the Esperero Canyon, February 24, 2012 — Images by kenne 

Source: “Buffelgrass is a wildfire waiting to happen.”

One response to “Capturing The Moment — Wiping Out Buffelgrass, One Person At A Time

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  1. Pingback: Buffelgrass Is More Dangerous To the Saguaro Cactus Than Freezing Temperatures! « Becoming is Superior to Being

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