September 25, 2014--Dolores tamarisk battle wins additional funding (Cortez Journal)

The Dolores River Restoration Partnership has been awarded $50,000 to continue its work eradicating the tamarisk scourge. The group's Tamarisk Coalition, along with The Nature Conservancy, and BLM, have worked with the Southwest Conservation Corps, and Canyon Country Youth Corps to hire and train more than 200 youth to implement and monitor much of the restoration work. As a result of their efforts, the DRRP has been selected as the winner of the 2014 Colorado Collaboration Award. The $50,000 prize recognizes excellence and innovation in nonprofit partnerships. "The award comes at a pivotal time," said Peter Mueller, of The Nature Conservancy. "While our on-the-ground success stems from thoughtful planning and a committed partnership, this financial support and recognition will spur us on to fulfill our larger goal of improving public-private collaborations that benefit critical lands that serve nature and people for generations to come." To date, the partnership has treated more than 1,100 acres of tamarisk and Russian knapweed, and planted more than 400 acres of native plants along the lower Dolores River to enhance wildlife habitat, livestock forage, and riverside campsites. "Our restoration goals focus on ecology, but investing in youth and local economies has really been important for engaging a wide array of local and regional partners," said Daniel Oppenheimer, Tamarisk Coalition coordinator. "These partners are the key stewards in protecting our shared investment in restoring the Dolores River." The partnership intends to use this award money to leverage additional contributions and establish a fund that will support restoration work and long-term stewardship of the Dolores River.

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