Hike Events   

Buffelgrass Haters  



Hi Buffelgrass Haters,

  As you probably know, a number of hiking buddies and I hate buffelgrass and are on a mission to destroy it.

We have spent many days out in the Ironwood National Monument with BLM, John Scheuring and the Friends of Ironwood Forest, the Tucson Mountains with the Sonoran Desert Weedwackers and Pima County, and more recently in The Highlands at Dove Mountain searching out and destroying buffelgrass.

For those of you who know me, know that my primary love, second to my wife Carol is hiking.  The Wild Burro Trail System, which is part of our back yard is the focal point for my love of hiking. For the past ten years, many of my Dove Mountain hiking buddies and I, have helped Tom Ellis and Marana lay out the trails, build the easier trails and maintain the Wild Burro Trail System.

  Whenever I spotted buffelgrass in our Trail System, I took a GPS waypoint and logged it onto my W.B. Trail Map.  A couple of times a year, volunteers would go back out there and either dig it out or spray the buffelgrass with Round-Up.  In my opinion, the best way to eliminate it is to spray it.  However, the buffelgrass must be at least 2/3rds green in order for the Round-Up to work.  Tom Ellis will supply us with backpack sprayers.

  I've had my eye on two patches of buffelgrass in the Wild Burro Trail System since last winter.  One patch was fairly large and the other was small.  I wanted to spray the patches rather than dig them out, but it's too hot to work out there in the Summer and the buffelgrass was not yet green.  It needed monsoon rain to green up.

Last Tuesday, five of us hiked up the Ritz Spur Trail to the Upper Javelina and then up to the Wild Mustang Trail.  A large patch of buffelgrass is located on the Wild Mustang Trail, .15 miles above the Wild Mustang / Upper Javelina Trail Junction.  As you hike the Wild Mustang, the buffelgrass was clearly visible from the Trail up the slope on the northeast side of the Trail.

Last fall on my Cochie Canyon and Wild Burro Canyon Loop "Hike with the Mayor", I noticed a few small patches of buffelgrass along the Cochie Spring Trail, .35 miles down from the Wild Mustang / Cochie Spring Trail Junction.

Matt Christman, a Marana Parks and Recs employee brought us three backpack sprayers, each filled with 5 gallons of Round-Up and each weighting 45+ pounds.  I kidded Matt that he filled the sprayers with too much Round-Up.  They were awfully heavy lugging them around, especially since last Tuesday's temperature was in the high 90's.  As it turned out we used 14+ gallons between us, because the small patch of buffelgrass along the Cochie Spring Trail was much larger than I remembered.

We lugged the sprayers up and then down the trails for 3.5 miles with a 600+' elevation gain.

Matt Christman, Jim Avramis and I carried the Backpack Sprayers.  Richard Muzzy and Jeff Blacburn hiked along with us.  With the Backpack Sprayers on our backs, we were unable to carry our own water, so Richard and Jeff carried up lots of extra water for us.  They also bushwhacked up the slopes pointing out clumps of buffelgrass for us to spray.

I've attached my map of the section of the Wild Burro Trail System that we worked last Tuesday.  In addition, the following Picasa link has some pictures of the area that we worked:



PS:  If any of you Wild Burro Trail System Hikers, spot any buffelgrass in our Trail System, please email me the location.  Either a GPS coordinate or a description of where the grass is will suffice.


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