March 19, 2011
Twelve volunteers, including high school students from Horizon Academy and members of the Friends of Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex, helped restore Tubb’s Spring last Saturday morning. The area around the spring had been farmland prior to the Refuge’s establishment in 1984. After years of lying fallow, it had become overgrown with non-native weeds, particularly Russian knapweed. These weeds provide little value to wildlife and have a tendency to outcompete native plants.
Crews from Ash Meadows NWR eradicated the weeds, but the resulting bare soil is highly susceptible to re-invasion by weeds. It is also susceptible to erosion by wind and flood events. Therefore, it became a Refuge priority to restore the site with native grasses and trees that would hold the soil in place and prevent other non-native weeds from reestablishing. The plants also provide food and shelter for native wildlife and help establish a bank of native seeds in the soil.