|It is important for us as good stewards of the land to be able to identify noxious weeds since they are not just a plant out of place, but non-native plants that are displacing our native vegetation and disrupting ecosystems.Noxious weeds threaten our drinking water supply, agricultural crops, pasture lands and native habitats.
Whether these plants come to Colorado as seeds in ornamental planting mixes, nursery stock or hitch-hike on the undercarriage of vehicles, they have no natural controls. Originally these plants have been transported from places as far away as Europe, Asia or Africa. Many of these species may still be sold in local nurseries for planting in landscapes.Noxious weeds thrive because they have no natural controls, such as insects, and are able to adapt to varied climatic conditions. Some of these plants produce roots up to 15-30 feet long and more than 10,000 seeds annually.Effects of noxious weeds are not limited to agriculture – wildlife forage is being reduced by this invasion as well. Additionally, some species reduce the water supply by consuming about 200 gallons of water daily. As good stewards of our land, be it a 75 by 105-ft lot in town or an 87,000 acre ranch, we all must work to keep our lands free of noxious weeds.
Throughout the West, tamarisk (salt cedar) has changed the face of our rivers and riparian areas. Civic leaders, government agencies, and local conservation and community organizations agree this invasive plant is one of the most pressing threats to our natural resources. Tamarisk is on the Colorado State Noxious Weed Species B-list. The Montezuma County Commissioners have listed tamarisk control as a high priority on the county action plan. Recently, the tamarisk leaf beetle has joined in the fight to control tamarisk. Click to learn more.