Bus tour showcases salt cedar removal methods

New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service is sponsoring a bus tour Thursday, Aug. 12, to explore various eradication programs working to rid northeastern New Mexico of the salt cedar.

Quay County Extension agriculture agent Pete Walden said the tour is designed to portray the actual spraying and let everyone see what is working in controlling salt cedar.
“This is a chance to get everybody in the watershed together and explain they can have salt cedar sprayed at no or minimal cos,” said Walden. An invasive plant that covers some 31,000 acres along the Canadian River watershed, the salt cedar is widespread along river banks in the Southwest and is widely blamed for loss of natural water resources. The free bus tour begins at 6:30 a.m. at the Farrier Science Building in Tucumcari. The NMSU bus will also pick up participants in Logan at 7 a.m. The tour will stop at both Mosquero Creek and Ute Creek to demonstrate the use of helicopters spraying the cedars and biological control using goats.

Next the tour participants will visit Hopson Ranch, where a creek bed that had been dry for 23 years began flowing again, despite a four-year drought. Presenters from the New Mexico Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority, the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service will discuss funding methods and incentive programs for spraying, application methods, what to do after spraying, and the history of salt cedar.

Participants will be eligible for three and a half hours of continuing education credits towards becoming pesticide license holders. A free lunch will be provided at the Bueyeros School House. Sponsoring the event are the Canadian and Ute Creek soil and water conservation districts, NMSU’s Cooperative Extension Service, CRMWA, and Aero Tech’s Ted Stallings of Clovis.

Walden says that participants should call (505) 461-0562 so that meal reservations can be made or to make arrangements for individuals with disabilities to attend the meeting.