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The Pecos River Ecosystem Project Progress Report

Charles R. Hart

Saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) is an introduced phreatophyte in western North America. The plant was estimated to occupy well over 600,000 ha of riparian acres in 1965 (Robinson 1965). In the early 1900's, government agencies and private landowners began planting saltcedar for stream bank erosion control along such rivers as the Pecos River in New Mexico. The plant has spread down the Pecos River into Texas and is now known to occur along the river south of Interstate 10. More recently the plant has become a noxious plant not only along rivers and their tributaries, but also along irrigation ditch banks, low-lying areas that receive extra runoff accumulation, and areas with high water tables. In addition, many CRP acres in central Texas are being invaded with saltcedar.

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