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Runnin' the Colorado River

A raft heads down the Colorado River.

Grand Canyon National Park will be using herbicide to fight invasive plants along the banks of the Colorado River, according to a media release.

The operations began Monday and are scheduled to continue throughout the rest of April as park staff target Russian knapweed, camelthorn, pampas grass and perennial pepperweed at numerous locations along the river corridor.

Officials say the invasive plants are threats to both native vegetation — and in some cases — visitors. The park has attempted to use mechanical means of removing the plants but those have proven ineffective and staff are now turning to herbicide, according to the release.

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Primarily, operations will consist of staff clipping the main stem of an invasive plant and applying a small drop of herbicide to the cut. They will likely spray herbicide in certain areas near the river as well.

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The herbicide being used is one approved by the Department of the Interior's Pesticide Use Proposal System for use in and around recreational water, according to the release. Although it is approved for aquatic use, no herbicide will be applied directly to water.

The application of herbicide for control of invasive plants has occurred occasionally along the banks of the Colorado River for the last ten years.

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Adrian Skabelund can be reached at the office at askabelund@azdailysun.com, by phone at (928) 556-2261 or on Twitter @AdrianSkabelund.

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