Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Thousands of Christmas trees dropped in Bayou Sauvage to deter erosion
National Guard helicopters dropped thousands of used Christmas trees into Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge marshlands in New Orleans East this week. It's part of a decades-long restoration effort.
"For us, it was Christmas in March," Shelley Stiaes said. She's the manager of the 25,000-acre refuge, and has worked there 19 years. Nearly 5,000 trees collected in New Orleans after Christmas were airlifted to select spots in wetlands and ponds. The trees act as a breakwater, protecting the city from storm surges and erosion, while also providing habitat for fish and other wildlife.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says Bayou Sauvage is the largest urban refuge in the country and is one of the last remaining marshlands on Lake Pontchartrain. It hosts aquatic animals, alligator and about 340 bird species.
"The trees provide important habitat for waterfowl and fish, crab, crawfish and shrimp," Stiaes said. "And for us - the people of New Orleans - it reverses shoreline erosion."
Silt trapped in the tree branches form a stable base for marsh grasses to take hold. Once rooted, the grasses help keep the land in place against wave action.
The refuge has been using Christmas trees for more than 20 years, long enough to measure the program's success. "We've seen results," Stiaes said. "And since Katrina, the trees have helped build the refuge back up."...more