Greg getting a satellite fix on the Enemy
Arundo was imported from the Mediterranean by the early Spanish settlers. It was once useful to people for building materials and as a rapidly growing barrier. As many alien plants do, Arundo has escaped cultivation and reproduced itself until it is now out of control.
Because the plant did not evolve in California, the newcomer Arundo has no effective competitors in our California stream beds. The dense, high growing plant quickly chokes and kills everything in its path. The result is a sea of "Cane"- a single species, where there were once hundreds. Wildlife that depended on the alders, cottonwoods, bays, willows, annuals, and open space lose their habitats and food sources. In addition to these adverse effects, Arundo consumes three times more water than native plants, is a fire hazard, and creates serious flood control problems.
The Watershed Council of the Sonoma Ecology Center has obtained a grant from the California Department of Water Resources Urban Stream Restoration Program to begin eradication of Giant Reed in the Sonoma Creek channel. We are planning volunteer workdays in the Spring of 1995 to remove clumps and haul away or burn the biomass, and to replant with native trees and shrubs. As part of our program, we are making efforts to educate the public about this and other pest plants, so nurseries stop selling it and people know not to plant it or dump cuttings into waterways.
There are many pest-plant eradication and creek restoration efforts in progress state-wide; call your local environmental center or Resource Conservation District to find out about your area. The paper cited below contains a listing of Arundo projects in California. To volunteer your help in the Sonoma area, call the Sonoma Ecology Center at 996-9744.
California Exotic Pest Plant Council/Team Arundo's Arundo donax Workshop Proceedings, available from the Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District, PO Box 3507, Riverside, CA 92519-3507.Back to the SWC Homepage