Restoration Project Targets Lower Salt River Near Phoenix

Wildland hand crew working along Salt River
A hand crew works to remove wildfire fuels along the lower Salt River northeast of the Phoenix area. | Courtesy of Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management

A multi-year partnership between several organizations is aiming to restore a wildfire-damaged section of the Salt River northeast of the Phoenix area.

Northern Arizona University, the state Department of Forestry and Fire Management, and the National Forest Foundation are working to restore 110 acres along 11 miles of the lower Salt River. The area was severely affected by the 2017 Cactus Fire, in part because of the presence of tamarisks, a non-native and invasive tree species, along the river.

Members of the DFFM’s wildland fire hand crews are working to remove the tamarisks, which are very flammable and make wildfires hard to suppress. They also are planting tens of thousands of native seedlings in an effort to push out the invasive tamarisks.

The restoration effort began in the fall of 2018, and officials from the DFFM envision it as a multi-year project that eventually will expand beyond the initial 110-acre area.

To learn more, visit the project page on the NFF’s website.

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