Grants will help Tamarisk Coalition continue restoration projects in valley

The Tamarisk Coalition recently received two grants from the Colorado Water Conservation Board and The Bacon Family Foundation, on behalf of the Desert Rivers Collaborative, to continue streamside restoration efforts in the Grand Valley.

The Desert Rivers Collaborative, which has about 25 local and regional partners, was formed in 2012 to protect, restore and maintain river-corridor habitat in Mesa and Delta counties through the development of community partnerships.

Over the past three years, the collaborative has undertaken projects to remove tamarisk and Russian olive trees in Mesa and Delta counties and replace them with new native plants.

Colorado Water Conservation Board funding, through their Invasive Phreatophyte Control Program, will enable partners to do more restoration along the Colorado River and select tributaries, including work on sites managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Mesa County and the City of Grand Junction.

This funding will enable work on private lands through a cost-share program co-managed by the Natural Resource Conservation Service and Colorado State University Extension. Approximately 70 acres of additional riverside habitat will be restored through these projects.

Funding from The Bacon Family Foundation, bolstered by capacity funding from Colorado Water Conservation Board, will help the Tamarisk Coalition provide support to the Desert Rivers Collaborative through continued site prioritization, data management, technical assistance, grant procurement and community outreach and engagement.

Grant funding will allow the hiring of an intern through Conservation Legacy’s Environmental Stewards program. The intern will help with project mapping and site maintenance throughout the Grand Valley.

“Continued support from the Colorado Water Conservation Board and The Bacon Family Foundation has been critical to the success of the Desert Rivers Collaborative and its partners,” said Shannon Hatch, restoration coordinator with the Tamarisk Coalition and coordinator for the Desert Rivers Collaborative. “This funding enables work that results in improved river function, soil conditions and water quality.”

She added it will help reduce wildfire risk and restore habitat for fish and wildlife species.


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