Cameo Post-Fire Vegetation Restoration & Lessons Learned
Kyle Alstatt, Cory Lidberg* and Melissa Werkmeister*
U.S.Bureau of Reclamation, Western Colorado Area Office, Grand Junction, Colorado, U.S.A.
Kyle Alstatt –; Cory Lidberg* –; Melissa Werkmeister* -
After fire impacted Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) and private properties along the Colorado River in spring 2018, Riversedge West (REW) applied for and secured grant funding through the Colorado Water Conservation Board for restoration efforts to control noxious weeds (including tamarisk and Russian olive, or TRO), followed by seeding native grass species. The BOR  worked directly to begin restoring approximately 25 acres of federal land in the Cameo, Colorado area.
Vegetation management goals were identified.  BOR folks chemically controlled noxious weeds, and the Western Colorado Conservation Corps, through REW, used cut stump treatments of TRO. After invasive species are controlled, the site will be reseeded (February 2021) with a native grass species mix.  Ongoing monitoring and maintenance will be completed for a minimum of 5 years past the completion of the project.
Issues we encountered and pursued resolution of:  site access; equipment repairs; weather conditions and timing chemical control of weeds; seed planting timing; COVID-19 field work restrictions; staff turnover and rehiring delays; conflicts with other spring and fall work scheduling; surrounding area noxious weeds infestations; allelopathy remaining in the soil post Russian knapweed control; and long-term noxious weed maintenance.