Invasive species are one of the biggest threats to our desert ecosystems. They outcompete native species and decrease biodiversity. And although they are not the cause of wildfires, once a wildfire is ignited, they provide the fuel for the fires to spread far and wide; hence wildfires are occurring more frequently and with much greater magnitude.
Maricopa County Parks has put together a Natural Resource Plan to help protect our park's native diversity, and a high priority in the plan includes invasive species management. To reduce the fire fuel load in the parks, we will be treating invasive species in high-priority areas within the park from March 14-21, AND March 28-April 4, 2023. This will reduce the wildfire risk and create fuel breaks so that firefighters have a place to extinguish the wildfires.
Through a grant from the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, the parks have procured an experienced agency to help manage invasive species at Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area in the spring and fall of 2023.