BLM Announces Brush Treatments in Doña Ana, Hidalgo, and Otero Counties

Las Cruces, NM ‒ Beginning the week of October 19, 2015, and continuing for approximately two weeks, the Hidalgo Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Las Cruces District and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, will treat up to approximately 12,000 acres of creosote bush. Treatments will occur on BLM, State trust, and private lands within Doña Ana, Hidalgo and Otero Counties in southern New Mexico, where creosote bush densities have surpassed historic, naturally-occurring levels.

The objective of the treatments is to improve plant species diversity which will benefit wildlife, rangeland, and watershed health by reducing the density of creosote bush, and result in an increase of native grasses, forbs, and other herbaceous vegetation.

A low-flying airplane will drop Tebuthiuron pellets, a soil-activated herbicide that inhibits photosynthesis, on creosote bush. At the planned rate and timing of application, the herbicide will have minimal impact on desirable grasses and forbs. Since the herbicide is applied in pellet form, it will not drift from treated areas. When the pellets dissolve with favorable precipitation, they are absorbed into the ground to a depth of approximately two feet and into the target plants root system, eventually reducing the creosote bush cover. The pellets will not be dropped near waterways or on slopes greater than 10 percent.

The herbicide Tebuthiuron has been used to control creosote bush since the 1980s, and the benefits of its application are well documented. The BLM’s goal is to decrease creosote bush densities, not complete eradication.

For further information, or if you are a rancher with private land in the area and are interested in having your pastures treated, please contact Erica Valdez with the Hidalgo SWCD at 575-542-9141, or the BLM Las Cruces District Rangeland Improvement Specialist Lane Hauser at 575-525-4464.

 

– BLM –

 

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2014, the BLM generated $5.2 billion in receipts from public lands.

 

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