March 18, 2015
Contact: Miriam Lara-Vamstad
The Joshua Tree National Park vegetation crew is seeking volunteers for two one-day sessions to help with the control of the invasive Sahara mustard plant. This non-native weed is invading Joshua Tree National Park and surrounding communities. It has the potential to do lasting harm to the native desert ecosystem. This rapidly spreading annual mustard is most successfully controlled by manually pulling plants before they are able to spread seeds across the desert landscape.
Late winter and early spring are typically the times when the desert starts to show off its colorful wildflower blooms. In recent years the profusion of yellow blossoms along park roads has often included outbreaks of exotic Sahara mustard. Sahara mustard is a non-native plant capable of crowding out native Mojave Desert annuals and creating increased fuel loads and fire danger in local vegetation.
Efforts will be concentrated in the Pinto Basin of Joshua Tree National Park. If you see Sahara mustard on your property, please remove the entire plant including root, blossoms and seeds.
When to meet: 8:00AM, Saturday April 4th and 11th. Each weed pull event will last until about 1:00 p.m.
Where to meet: Oasis Visitor Center, 74485 National Park Dr. Twentynine Palms
What to bring: Water, snacks, hats, sunscreen. Tools and gloves will be provided.
You can learn more about the Sahara mustard plant by going to the Morongo Basin Conservation Association website at: http://www.mbconservation.org/invasive_plants2 For more information about the park's weed control program contact Mason Price at 760-367-5575, or via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org