Removing invasives at Guadalupe Canyon

This week, a few of us went to Guadalupe Canyon along the international border east of Douglas to remove invasive grass.

Five determined individuals — and one dog — spent Tuesday pulling up clumps of Lehmann lovegrass, an invasive, flammable, introduced bunchgrass that outcompetes native grasses. This particular plant thrives in disturbed areas, such as the vast construction area surrounding the southern border wall.

The scale of the project is mindboggling. Imagine a mining site extended for mile upon mile through a spectacular landscape. Straight line excavation without regard to topography or water flow has consequences.

The wall has already been damaged by the monsoon. We saw one-ton gates lying half buried in mud. They floated off their hinges in heavy rain. Those gaps are the only points through which anything can travel now. We were happy to see these because it means wildlife headed north or south may find them.

This was once some of the wildest land in the region. It’s strange to work here now. The extent of the carnage from blasting and earthmoving is bewildering. The ruggedness of the terrain here defied all attempts to place the wall on the exact border line despite massive use of explosives.

This project is a terrific opportunity for CRC to help restoration efforts, especially in places treasured for their biodiversity. We’ll do it again — watch this space to find out how and when to join us!

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