Buffelgrass Slayers – Friends of Catalina State Park sponsors this important work.
Located at the base of the Santa Catalina mountains, Catalina State Park is a 5500 acre protected area representing the Sonoran Desert ecosystem. Within the rapidly growing Tucson metro area, the park is a haven for more than 5000 saguaros, and other native flora and fauna. More than 150 species of birds call the park home.
The park though is under threat from invaders – non-native invasive plants. Buffelgrass and Fountain grass are the main culprits. The invasive perennial grasses outcompete the native grasses, grow thickly and burn hot. The native vegetation is not adapted to survive wildfire and thus do not recover after an invasive grass-fueled burn. If this problem is not addressed now, the diversity of the Sonoran desert will be imperiled.
The University of Arizona conservation group the “Buffelgrass Slayers” has undertaken the grand effort of eradication of the invasive grasses in selected areas. Since 2015 small areas of the park have been successfully targeted for Buffelgrass and Fountain Grass removal.