CALIFORNIA, RCD of Monterey County – The tall, bamboo-like plants clustered in dense thickets along sections of the Salinas River in the Salinas Valley have long attracted the attention of those who have strolled in that area. Green and stately with long, sword-like leaves, they belong to a species known as Arundo donax, or more commonly, giant cane. When the wind blows, the plants sway and ripple, providing an aesthetically pleasing scene.
But the plant is a nuisance and local officials have decided to do something about it. Since 2014, the Resource Conservation District of Monterey County has been involved in a long-term eradication program. In order to continue the work this year, the California Wildlife Conservation Board recently awarded the District a hefty grant of $2.9 million.
Known as the “Salinas River Arundo Eradication Program,” the goal is to remove arundo from selected swathes of land along the Salinas River.
“There are about 1,500 acres along the Salinas River that are infested with the species,” says Paul Robbins, executive director of the Resource Conservation District. The current monies will fund this year’s work on the project, which aims to clear approximately 215 acres downstream from Soledad.