Buffelgrass spraying in Rincon district of Saguaro National Park - Tucson News Now

Buffelgrass spraying in Rincon district of Saguaro National Park

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Due to all the rain, crews at Saguaro National Park have already started spraying and killing what they are calling the number one threat to the park, buffelgrass.

Crews have been hiking miles up into the park since Monday, spraying herbicides like Roundup.  This only works though when the buffelgrass is at least 50 percent green.  Those are the exact condition officials in the Rincon portion of the Saguaro National Park are seeing right now. 

Officials in that area say there is more than 2,000 acres of infested area, but they can only access a quarter of that area.

It takes a good amount of effort, as crews have to hike several miles through washes, across trails in some rugged terrain.  Park officials are saying it is worth the effort, otherwise buffelgrass would dominate the habitat. 

"If we don't do this work, we are concerned we'll lose the namesake of the park," said a Saguaro National Park spokesperson.

This spraying work has been going on every summer since 2005, but for 2013 there is an added challenge because of the automatic budget cuts from Washington D.C.

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