U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar joined U.S. Sen John McCain (R-AZ) and U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) in asking for support from the United States Army Corps of Engineers for removing invasive salt cedar along the Gila River:
“Historic drought and significant water demands continue to plague Western communities and Arizona," Gosar said. "Unfortunately, invasive salt cedar only exacerbate these challenges as these non-native plants can consume up to 200 gallons of water per day per plant. ... The 18-mile stretch along the Gila River is one of our greatest challenges. I expect the Corps to take action and assist with this problem by responding favorably to our request and the proposal submitted by local stakeholders.”
Salt cedar, an invasive species, comprises nearly 60 percent of the vegetation within the 18-mile stretch of the Gila River. It could impact flood and wildfire mitigation efforts. Removing these and replacing them with native plant life could save an estimated 50,000 acre-feet of water every year.
In early March, Gosar met with Army Corps of Engineers Colonel Kirk Gibbs, commander of the Los Angeles District, to discuss ways to combat salt cedar along the river.