Controlling Invasives in Central Nebraska

Phragmites is a growing problem in the waterways and riparian areas of Nebraska, while Russian olive and eastern redcedar are invading uplands. These shrubs thrive in poor soil, and are darned hard to kill. They also re-sprout vigorously after cutting or burning. Controlling these invasives typically involves cutting, followed immediately by burning or an application of herbicide.

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What Are Invasives?

Aggressive invasions of native and exotic shrubs such as tamarisk, Russian olive, eastern redcedar and reeds are causing problems on western Great Plains rangelands. They hog the water, shade the sun from nurturing the grass, and disorient game and nongame wildlife. These pests adversely impact ag economics, the ecology, and native wildlife on the Plains.

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Canadian River Cooperative Weed Management Area

This partnership — consisting of agencies, non-governmental organizations and landowners — is working to control invasive plants along the banks of the Canadian River in the Texas panhandle and western Oklahoma. Saltcedar, eastern redcedar and Russian olive trees are being controlled if not eradicated.

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Lesser Prairie-Chicken’s Aversion to Vertical Structures

Scientists researching the population declines of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken say the bird’s habitat has been damaged by vertical structures and human activity like road-building and oil and gas mining. Vertical structures include mesquite and other woody invasives, which the bird is averse to nesting near. Those features lead to habitat fragmentation. The bird is reluctant to cross roads and transmission lines. It tries to stay away from mesquite and trees. As a result, it self-limits habitat. Scientists and land managers discuss what’s been learned.

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Controlling Invasives in Oklahoma and Texas

Invasive shrubs have taken over the banks of the Canadian River in the Texas panhandle and western Oklahoma. The problem is so big, and controlling these weeds is so expensive, it takes a consortium of government agencies, nonprofits and private landowners, like the Canadian River Cooperative Weed Management Area, to successfully control these plants.

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