In the Palm Springs-South Coast Resource Area, the Bureau has entered into several partnerships to control saltcedar on public lands:
(a) A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed in 1991 with the Management and Training Corporation (which manages the State's Eagle Mountain Community Correctional Facility) for the BLM to use a crew of inmates to remove saltcedar at the Dos Palmas Area of Critical Environmental Concern. The BLM furnishes a commuter van, gas, and technical training and supervision, and the prison furnishes a crew of approximately 5-6 inmates, accompanied with their security guard, to carry out duties ranging from cutting tamarisk with chain saws or brush cutters, applying herbicide and stockpiling slash for burning. Inmate crews have proven to be extremely hard working and willing to put up with hot, uncomfortable working situations. With their help, approximately 150 acres of tamarisk-infested critical palm oasis habitat have been cleaned-up of the noxious shrub, resulting in an improvement in the water flow through the oases, an increase in the cover and vigor of native, desirable species, and a greater visual quality for visitors.
(b) Under an MOU signed with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), TNC volunteers have contributed many work days towards the removal of saltcedar from palm oases at Dos Palmas as well. Where the inmate crews have left at the end of the work week, TNC volunteers have often picked up during the weekend, supervised by a TNC and/or BLM foreman.
(c) Volunteers from the Mountain Conservancy, a Coachella Valley-based interest group supporting the conservation of the Santa Rosa Mountains, have help the BLM control saltcedar on public lands.
The Barstow Resource Area is working with an ever expanding number of groups, organizations, individuals, corporations, local agencies and others to accomplish the very important task of saltcedar control in desert riparian areas. The Afton Canyon Restoration project, initiated in 1992, taxed the ability of the Barstow Project office to fund and complete all project components within the time frame restraints associated with saltcedar treatment. The realization that we could not accomplish a job of this magnitude by traditional means, caused us to search for new and innovative ways to get the job done. The results achieved during the last three years include the treatment/control of over 400 acres of saltcedar infested riparian habitat, the planting of over 5000 native willow/cottonwood poles and the construction of a three mile riparian protection fence. These accomplishments would have been inconceivable if not for the following community efforts, partnerships, grants and other cooperative ventures:
Mojave Desert Resource Conservation District (RCD) and California State Prisons - Through agreements with RCD and the Baker, CA state prison cleared/controlled approximately 300 acres of saltcedar infested riparian habitat within Afton Canyon. The cooperative effort involved the BLM providing funds to the RCD who, in turn, provided two RCD individuals to supervise an eight person prison labor crew.
This is a brief summary of partnerships and grants we have in the past, and are presently working with to cooperatively gain a small level of success in the treatment of saltcedar. The following are grants that the Barstow Resource Area has applied for the 1996-1997 grant years.
It is important to look for a "fit" for your project. A situation where your project meets the needs, concerns, emotions, expectations and vision of a "partner". Examples would be to involve schools and youth groups in restoration, tree planting and other "up" activities. In contrast, if your project involves heavy machinery, herbicides or other specialized equipment the primary providers of these items may be receptive to becoming contributors and/or partners in return for positive publicity. The following is a list of places to start looking for a environmental "partner" to help with your project.
Remember: "partners" want something in return, it may be publicity, a warm glow, recognition or just the satisfaction of doing something good for the environment. It is important that volunteers and/or partners know what they are doing, why it is important and also be able to see the results of their efforts. Feel free to write or e-mail the authors to discuss these ideas and some of the partnerships described above. Good luck!
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