Working Toward Healthy Rivers, One Tree at a Time

Tamarisk Coalition
January 22nd, 2018 to February 8th, 2018
Cara Kukuraitis
Outreach Coordinator, Tamarisk Coalition
Working Toward Healthy Rivers, One Tree at a Time
Riparian (Riverside) Restoration Conference convenes in Grand Junction to share and discover solutions for degraded river systems
Close to 200 scientists, river restoration practitioners, land managers, students, nonprofit organizations, and contractors from 17 states and three countries will convene next month in Grand Junction, February 6-8, 2018, to share the latest research and best practices for successful river restoration and invasive riparian plant management.  Attendees will learn from and support one another as they explore different approaches to address challenging restoration projects on riparian lands.
The focus and outcomes of the meeting go beyond enhancing river ecology. River restoration supports the growth of local economies, has social impacts, and positions communities to take ownership over the rivers in their region.  Invasive plants such as tamarisk, Russian olive, Russian knapweed, and others are a problem because they rapidly displace native plants and degrade river systems by channelizing river banks, impairing natural river function, significantly reducing the quality of wildlife habitat value and forage for pollinators, decreasing biodiversity, increasing the risk of wildfires, and restricting public access to scenic landscapes.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that 80% of natural riparian habitat throughout the US has been lost or altered due in part to the presence of invasive plants. Invasive species have contributed to the decline of 42% of the threatened and endangered species in the US and the annual cost to the US economy is estimated at $120 billion a year, with over 100 million acres (an area the size of California) suffering from invasive plant infestations.
Tamarisk Coalition, a Grand Junction-based nonprofit that is committed to addressing these issues and restoring riversides across the West, will partner with Colorado Mesa University’s Hutchins Water Center to host this year’s meeting.  Together, the two groups will connect communities and river restoration practitioners with those in the field that are conducting similar work in other watersheds.
The conference will feature four interactive panels (private fundraising lessons learned, grazing policy on public lands and management practices on private lands, restoring areas impacted by selenium, and building a successful restoration partnership), two workshops and a field trip, and countless session topics ranging from Russian olive control and restoring for wildlife to regional riparian management topics and assessments. 
Whether you are a recent college graduate wanting to network with people in the river restoration field, or a rancher that is looking for the latest technique to cost-effectively rid your river of Russian olive, there is something for everyone to take away from the conference. By providing emerging technologies and information to inform best practices, Tamarisk Coalition aims to empower people to be successful with their river restoration activities so they too can achieve outcomes that benefit their community.
For more information about the conference or Tamarisk Coalition, visit or contact Cara Kukuraitis, Tamarisk Coalition’s conference coordinator, at

RiversEdge West's

mission is to advance the restoration of riparian lands through collaboration, education, and technical assistance.



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