Local

April 24, 2014

Stopping buffelgrass in its tracks

Tags:
Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau
355th Fighter Wing
(U.S. Air Force photos by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)
Chris Kartcher, Arizona Conservation Corps crew supervisor, uses a pickaxe to remove the buffelgrass behind the horse stables here, April 23. AZCC was contracted through the Arizona Game and Fish Department to remove the buffelgrass in and around the property of D-M.

The Arizona Conservation Corps is removing buffelgrass from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

Buffelgrass is an invasive species of grass brought to Arizona from Africa in the 1920s. It was intended to be used as forage food for cattle and other livestock. However, it has expanded into the open areas of the Sonoran Desert posing a threat for possible fires.

Under the Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan, the base was able to meet with Arizona Fish and Game Department as well as the Arizona Fish and Wildlife Service to talk about methods that would control invasive species.

“We came up with the idea of having an invasive species survey done, following the survey came the removal of the buffelgrass,” said Kevin Wakefield, 355th Civil Engineering Squardon natural and cultural resource manager.

Through a contract with Arizona Fish and Game Department the AZCC was sent to perform a mechanical removal of the buffelgrass in and around the property of D-M.

“We have the AZCC for three weeks this year, twice in the spring, and once in the fall after the summer monsoon season. They’re doing a mechanical removal of the grass, which means to pull it by hand,” Wakefield said.

There are only a few ways to successfully kill the buffelgrass, Wakefield said. The grass can either be mechanically removed by hand or it can be sprayed with an herbicide.

“The reason why we want to get rid of buffelgrass is to reduce the fire hazard and to ensure we have flight safety issues covered,” Wakefield said.

Buffelgrass is highly flammable and produces a thick black smoke when on fire. The dark smoke can limit aircraft visibility which can also lead to flight line closure, according to Wakefield.

This is the first time there has been a mechanical removal of the buffelgrass on base.

“We have requested the removal to be budgeted annually,” Wakefield said. “We’re hoping in the future to get the AZCC crew up to four weeks.”

The main areas of focus for D-M’s buffelgrass problem are gate 29B, the air traffic control tower and along the base’s fence lines.

“We want to keep any grass along the flight line low, so there aren’t any bunches of grass that could catch fire,” Wakefield said.

Buffelgrass poses a problem to base housing as well. If you see the grass near your home, remove it immediately.

For more information on buffelgrass you can find it on this site, http://www.buffelgrass.org/.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier)

PASM and AMARG set new record

The Pima Air and Space Museum and the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group set a new record for tours administered in the month of July. The non-profit museum and D-M’s “Boneyard” brought in 2,060 visitors, ...
 
 

Help make it possible

D-M is preparing to kickoff its annual Combined Federal Campaign Sept. 1. The CFC’s mission is to give federal employees the opportunity to promote philanthropy by supporting their favorite charities. There are more than 3000 national and international charities for federal employees to choose from. “Now, D-M members can give to any charity in the...
 
 
DT_10

Office of Air and Marine

D-M is home to the largest air operations program within the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Air and Marine. The Tucson Air Branch is one of 83 locations throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico and is responsible f...
 

 
Flooding_pict

Flooding still underway this year, avoid water runoff problems

While rain in a desert climate is usually welcome, too much of a good thing can a problem for travelers, especially newcomers who may not be familiar with how quickly driving and other travel conditions can change. “There hav...
 
 
DT_pict7

55th Electronic Combat Group

The 55th Electronic Combat Group provides combat-ready EC-130H Compass Call aircraft, crews, maintenance and operational support to combatant commanders. The group also plans and executes information operations, including infor...
 
 
EOD_pict1

EOD blows the DEP members’ minds

  The 355th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal Airmen hosted 60 Delayed Enlistment Program members, July 29. The Delayed Enlistment Program is for individuals going to active duty, enlist first into the DE...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin