Pecos River Restoration: Saltcedar Control

Saltcedar removal along the river/USFWS

Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge (refuge) is controlling approximately 2,100 acres of saltcedar along the Pecos River area that is within the refuge.  This is being done with funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

This prime acreage along the Pecos is currently infested by saltcedar on the North Tract of the refuge, including 1,200 acres in the Salt Creek Wilderness area.  This infestation represents one of the only areas of dense concentrations of salt cedar remaining on the refuge and within surrounding areas.  

This requires mechanical removal, prescribed burning, hand cutting, and herbicide treatment in most areas.  Within the wilderness area, it will be primarily managed by hand cutting and herbicide treatment. 

The primary purpose of this project is to restore and improve the wetland-riparian, river, and upland habitat.  By removing salt cedar, the native habitat will return, as will many of nature’s processes that have been interrupted by this exotic plant.  Eliminating the dense stands of salt cedar and allowing the native trees and plants to return is important for biodiversity – the wildlife species that have evolved and grown to depend upon the native trees and plants will return. 

Grant from State of New Mexico:  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund and the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, received a $518,500 grant to restore six miles of the Pecos River as it runs through Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge near Roswell.