Melissa McMaster, Tamarisk Coalition
Anna Schrenk, Friends of the Verde River Greenway
Ben Bloodworth, Tamarisk Coalition
Kristen Jespersen, Tamarisk Coalition
Rivers in the Southwest are often ribbons of green through dry desert ecosystems that provide unique habitats that wildlife and plants rely on for survival. However, these areas are often heavily impacted by outside forces such as dams, water regulation, development and invasive species invasions. These alterations to the ecosystems result in a loss of suitable native habitat, threats to endangered species that rely on these unique habitats and river systems with novel plant community composition, soil types and geomorphology. This webinar will address the broader issues of riparian restoration and invasive species management in the southwest including the value of partnerships and the importance of long-term, reliable funding sources. We will highlight the successes and challenges of the work being done by a watershed partnership group on the Verde River in Arizona and will discuss some of the unique challenges of removing tamarisk (an invasive species) and the potential impacts to endangered bird species.