|Senator tours areas targeted for invasive species removal|
Nebraska Senator Tom Carlson, District 38, met with members of the Southwest Weed Management Area (SWWMA) last Friday to discuss work completed during fiscal years one and two with the grant funded through Legislative Bill 701.
Present for the meeting were Rick Hedke, SWWMA President and Hitchcock County Weed Authority; Bill Elliot, Red Willow County Weed Authority; Tim Smith, Project Coordinator; Roger Stockton, Southwest Nebraska RC&D; and Jennifer ten Bensel, Southwest Nebraska RC&D.
After meeting with SWWMA in the morning, Senator Carlson spent the day touring areas of tree removal on the Republican River. Carlson saw locations in each county and observed how the river changes from east to west.
The objective for the day was to observe the work already completed in the four counties, and to look at areas that still needed treatment. Carlson was pleased with the work done in Southwest Nebraska, complimenting SWWMA on their hard work for the past 1 ½ years.
Although phragmites and salt cedar were sprayed when located within the river channel, the main focus of SWWMA’s project has been mechanical tree removal. During the first year, 1,065 acres of salt cedar, Russian olive and Eastern red cedars were removed. A total of 870 acres have been removed in the second year.
LB 701 provided the State of Nebraska with $2 million per year for two years to remove invasive species along rivers. SWWMA has been working to remove invasive species on the Republican River in Furnas, Red Willow, Hitchcock and Dundy Counties since July, 2007.
SWWMA received $817,000 the first year of the program and $765,000 during the second year.