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What is the Wash?

Revegetating in Unique Ways!

To achieve mitigation requirements, the LVWCC developed many tasks to incorporate local native plant material in the revegetation program. Two of the most recent activities include willow wattle construction and a cottonwood harvest and pole-planting project. In addition to helping to meet the revegetation goals, the planted areas will serve as harvesting sites in the future; supplementing the nurseries established at the Nevada Division of Forestry, National Park Service and Mabel Hoggard.

Cottonwood Harvesting and Pole Planting

In February 2002 the Las Vegas Wash Team began to harvest and plant cottonwood poles. This project has helped in our overall goal of revegetating the Las Vegas Wash with native species. The cottonwood poles are harvested from tributaries throughout the Las Vegas Valley where they are impeding storm water flows. Once the poles are harvested they are stripped of their branches and leaves. They are then transported to the Las Vegas Wash, where they are planted. The cottonwoods are then photographed on a regular basis, which documents their growth and development into mature trees. Once the trees are mature they continue to revegetate the Las Vegas Wash by dispersing seeds into the environment. During flooding some trees may get washed away, however, the cottonwood is part of a family of plants that are able to re-grow from stem and root material This, of course, is why we are able to plant cottonwood poles along the Las Vegas Wash in the first place.

Willow Wattle Project

The Willow Wattle project began in April 2003. This was a demonstration project that allowed us to evaluate the effectiveness of using willow trees to stabilize the banks of the Las Vegas Wash. Moreover, this project was a sub-component of the larger harvesting program aimed at increasing native plants in the Las Vegas Wash. Willow poles were harvested and stripped of their branches and leaves. They were then collected into bundles to form wattles 8-12 inches in diameter. Wattles were then planted horizontally on the banks of the Las Vegas Wash. They have grown exponentially since they were planted. In September 2003 and January 2005, two willow wattle sites were washed away in flood events. Although these flood events removed the original wattles, their contribution towards native recruitment by either disbursing seed or vegetative material is evident.

Las Vegas Wash Project Coordination Team • 100 City Parkway, Suite 700 • Las Vegas, NV 89106 • (702) 822-3300