Thursday, July 31, 2008

I've Gone Buggy

Today I took a few of my Girl Scouts, along with 3 other troops and leaders, and we drove (forever) to Delta and beyond to capture Tamerisk beetles. This is done by taking a 5 gallon bucket with a large white poly bag duct taped to the cut-out bottom, and having a couple of small girls hold the bucket while an older girl or adult grabs a branch of tamerisk bush full of beetles, stuff it into the bucket and shake the beetles off into the bag, then repeat. To the tune of 20,000 beetles or so. Then we ate lunch at McDonalds (thanks in part to the owner/operator and the Dept of Wildlife Resources), and drove 2 hours away, where we released them into a huge area choked with tamerisk. It was fun, but hot. Tamerisk is taking over the water ways, creeks, lakes etc, all over Utah. They choke out plants and trees favorable to birds and wildlife, nothing will grow beneath them, birds won't nest in them, and they use tons more water than native species. They are everywhere. Some projects are underway to poison, dig up ( hard and usually not effective) or burn (dangerous) them out. This is a bio-friendly solution, as the Tamerisk beetle will eat nothing but tamerisk brush. I was glad to be a part of it.

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