Battle of Buffelgrass: what is needed to ensure weeds don’t win at the expense of saguaros | Local News
The flames greatly accelerate the process. Grissom said it burned “hot enough to melt aluminum,” then quickly filled the space with the flames. Without control, he said, it can expand exponentially, its plaques doubling in size every seven years or so.
“It’s hard to get people excited about a train crash that hasn’t happened yet,” Grissom said, but without sustained action to curb the buxel, an eco-friendly train crash could end up on the way in just a few decades.
Even the mighty saguaro might not survive. Grissom fears a future where the national park’s namesake plant can only be found in the sheltered gardens of the Visitor Center or in the courtyards of Tucson homes.
“It’s what keeps me awake at night,” he said.
Cost and effect
The $ 50,000 matching grant Grijalva requested would go to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, which is now leading the fight against invasive plants in Pima County through a partnership of 22 different stakeholders working in what is called the Sonoran Desert Cooperative Weed Management Area.
The diverse membership of the group includes local, state and federal agencies, the Tohono O’odham Nation, the University of Arizona, several conservation groups, and the mining company Freeport McMoRan. The Tucson Audubon Society has formed an invasive plant control team to come out after rainy events when conditions are ideal for attacking weeds.