Greenfire News: April, 2001

In April, BLM authorized WWP to collect cottonwood and willow cuttings from BLM lands in the East Fork watershed. We stopped removing fences and went to work on the NRCS planting project. The crew spent seven days collecting cuttings and preparing them according to a planting guide provided by NRCS.

We kept the cuttings in the water for several days prior to planting. On April 23, a backhoe arrived and planting began. The cuttings were small cottonwoods and willow stalks measuring more than 8 feet. The latter needed to be that long to reach the water table. Most of the planting cavities were dug near the river. Others were located as far as 20 feet from the river when the water table allowed it.

We planted more than 300 cottonwood cuttings, upwards of 150 willow bundles and 500 cottonwood nursery stock.

More than 90 percent of the willow cuttings are showing new leaves.

willow cuttings

checking the plantsOther than those that appealed to the local beaver population, the cottonwood cuttings appear to have a high success rate as well. We have new leaves on more than 75 percent of these plantings.

The nursery stock hasn't fared as well, but some plantings have survived.

Also in April, we presented the EPA 319 grant proposal to the Basin Advisory Group and Watershed Advisory Group. At both presentations, livestock interests showed their true colors. Their opposition was long on politics and personal bias, and short on facts about water quality. We await word on the grant and believe we have an excellent chance to be funded.