23 Nov 2011: e360 Video

In Drought-Stricken Southwest,
A War Against an Invasive Tree

In this Yale Environment 360 video, journalist Jon Brand reports on the controversy over the tamarisk tree, or salt cedar, which has been a fixture in West Texas since the late 1800s, when settlers imported it from the Mediterranean. As salt cedar has spread throughout the southwestern U.S., it has increasingly been vilified as a water-sucking species that exacerbates the region’s droughts

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COMMENTS Thank you for this article about the eradication of Tamarisk, one of many similar projects. What these projects have in common is that they are usually futile and wasteful of scarce resources that are needed for more important purposes such as education. But most importantly they are usually doing a great deal of harm by using toxic herbicides, polluting the air with prescribed burns, introducing insects that are potentially a worse problem. Please visit the Million Trees blog for a comparable project in California, the pointless eradication of marsh grass that is native to the East and Gulf Coasts:

http://milliontrees.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/nativism-is-shooting-us-in-the-foot/

Posted by Million Trees on 23 Nov 2011


This seems like yet another knee jerk reaction to climate change. Tamarisk is adaptable to temperature changes but sucks up groundwater, In a drought condition, tamarisk will choke out the natives. If you take a native like mesquite, it can adapt to very hot temps and thrives in Death Valley at 130 F. Native plants can also adapt. There is no reason to put your head in the sand and promote ecological meltdowns because you are petrified of climate change.

Climate change has made some environmentalists say some pretty foolish things. Now they all like tamarisk in the US southwest? We need to stop writing off the rest of the planet to save the climate. Climate change is an important problem, but don't let it make you say goofy things...

Posted by Bajada on 24 Nov 2011


I am in total agreement with million trees.

I don't think that asking for rationality re the invasive species issue promotes ecological meltdowns.

Posted by fritzi cohen on 25 Nov 2011



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