U.S. Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-AZ) recently called for support from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) in the removal of salt cedar trees, an invasive species, along the Gila River.
“Historic drought and significant water demands continue to plague Western communities and Arizona,” Gosar said. “Unfortunately, invasive salt cedar only exacerbate these challenges as these nonnative plants can consume up to 200 gallons of water per day per plant.”
Gosar joins U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) in this request, which was posed to Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy. Along the stretch of the Gila River for which the legislatures requesting intervention, the vegetation is made up of almost 60 percent salt cedar. Estimates on the impact of their removal suggest that this action could conserve 50,000 acre-feet of water each year. Gosar has been working to take action on the salt cedar in this area since February 2014.
“The 18-mile stretch along the Gila River is one of our greatest challenges,” Gosar said. “I expect the Corps to take action and assist with this problem by responding favorably to our request and the proposal submitted by local stakeholders.”