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Scientific Investigations Report 2009–5247

Prepared in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation and the USDA Forest Service

Saltcedar and Russian Olive Control Demonstration Act Science Assessment

Edited by Patrick B. Shafroth¹, Curtis A. Brown², and David M. Merritt³

¹ U.S. Geological Survey, Fort Collins Science Center, 2150 Centre Avenue, Building C, Fort Collins, CO 80526.
² Bureau of Reclamation, P.O. Box 25007, Denver, CO 80225.
³ USDA Forest Service, Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air & Rare Plants Staff, 2150 Centre Avenue, Building A, Suite 368, Fort Collins, CO 80526.


Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (35.4 MB)

The primary intent of this document is to provide the science assessment called for under The Saltcedar and Russian Olive Control Demonstration Act of 2006 (Public Law 109–320; the Act). A secondary purpose is to provide a common background for applicants for prospective demonstration projects, should funds be appropriated for this second phase of the Act. This document synthesizes the state-of-the-science on the following topics: the distribution and abundance (extent) of saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) and Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) in the Western United States, potential for water savings associated with controlling saltcedar and Russian olive and the associated restoration of occupied sites, considerations related to wildlife use of saltcedar and Russian olive habitat or restored habitats, methods to control saltcedar and Russian olive, possible utilization of dead biomass following removal of saltcedar and Russian olive, and approaches and challenges associated with revegetation or restoration following control efforts. A concluding chapter discusses possible long-term management strategies, needs for additional study, potentially useful field demonstration projects, and a planning process for on-the-ground projects involving removal of saltcedar and Russian olive.

First posted April 28, 2010

For additional information contact:

Center Director,
USGS Fort Collins Science Center
2150 Centre Ave., Bldg. C
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8118

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Shafroth, P.B., Brown, C.A., and Merritt, D.M., eds., 2010, Saltcedar and Russian olive control demonstration act science assessment: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2009–5247, 143 p.


Executive Summary

Chapter 1. Background and Introduction

Chapter 2. Distribution and Abundance of Saltcedar and Russian Olive in the Western United States

Chapter 3. The Potential for Water Savings Through the Control of Saltcedar and Russian Olive

Chapter 4. Saltcedar and Russian Olive Interactions with Wildlife

Chapter 5. Methods to Control Saltcedar and Russian Olive

Chapter 6. Extraction and Utilization of Saltcedar and Russian Olive Biomass

Chapter 7. Restoration and Revegetation Associated with Control of Saltcedar and Russian Olive

Chapter 8. Demonstration Projects and Long-Term Considerations Associated with Saltcedar and Russian Olive Control and Riparian Restoration

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