After 4 years of hard work by the House and Senate the Salt Cedar and Russian Olive Control Demonstration Act was signed by the President on October 11, 2006 and is now law. It is referenced as HR2720 or Public Law 109-320 and can be viewed at the Library of Congress website. Many people were involved to make this law a reality. We especially thank our two sponsors, Representative Steve Pearce and Senator Pete Domenici.
The principle components of the Act included are
- Authorization to fund $80 million for large-scale demonstrations and associated research over a five-year period.
- Assessment of the tamarisk and Russian olive problem during the first year.
- Assessment of bio-mass reduction and utilization.
Demonstration projects for control and re-vegetation which will serve as research platforms to assess restoration effectiveness, water savings, wildfire potential, wildlife habitat, biomass removal, and economics of restoration.
Project funding would be 75% federal and 25% local with up to $7,000,000 per project for the federal share development of long-term management and funding strategies The interior will be the lead and work with USDA through a memorandum of understanding to administer the Act.
The next step, for which we are providing technical support, is the inclusion of appropriations to fully fund the Act.