Woody Invasive Removal

Restoring the natural ecological condition of the Escalante River and its watershed

One of the greatest threats to river and riparian ecosystem health is the introduction and spread of invasive species. Non-native trees like Russian olive and tamarisk compete with native vegetation, choke water flows and reduce wildlife habitat. These invasive plants have largely resisted control efforts by public land managers, remaining prevalent throughout watershed and re-invading previously cleared areas.

The ERWP is focused on improving the health of the entire watershed, with special emphasis on the removal of Russian olive from the Escalante River and its tributaries. Nearly 8,000 acres have been targeted for treatment, with over 80 percent of the river treated to date. With the appearance of the tamarisk leaf beetle, additional control and restoration work will be needed in riparian zones as tamarisk trees are defoliated and begin to die. The river’s waters are also being invaded, as non-native fish are competing with and preying on native species.
Partner accomplishments include:

  • Removing nonnative Russian olive from over 6,000 acres of federal, state and privately owned lands
  • Reconnecting 32.5 miles of stream
  • Monitoring riparian vegetation, amphibians, fish, stream channel geometry, flow volume, water quality and beaver habitat
  • Participating in outreach, education and training events about beaver, riparian ecology and monitoring, hydrology, historic/repeat photography, sustainable ranching, wildlife and Russian olive invasion
  • Raising over $5,000,000 for conservation projects in the watershed

The Escalante River Watershed Partnership, a community-based coalition, is helping restore the health of this watershed by removing woody invasive species. Learn how you can help. Together we can maintain this watershed and its many benefits for our residents, visitors, and future generations.