Why is "the Wash" important?
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What is the Wash?
Our Environment

Invasive Species

By 2001, the native plants of the Las Vegas Wash had been invaded by approximately 1,500 acres of tamarisk (Tamarix ramosissima) also known as salt cedar. Since then more than 1,300 of those acres have been removed by the Las Vegas Wash Coordination Committee (LVWCC) and developers in the area.

Much of the plant life currently found at the Wash is not native to the area. The natural predators of tamarisk and other weeds are not present at the Wash, enabling them to thrive and reproduce. Invasive weeds displace native plants, forming monocultures of a single weed species, and are less desirable to fish and wildlife as well as farmers and recreation enthusiasts.

In the United States alone, more than 890 million acres of land have been infested with invasive plants, degrading habitat and agricultural land, impacting recreational, cultural and other natural resources with a billion dollar cost for weed related controls and loss of land.

To address invasivve species issues in the Wash, the LVWCC initiated the formation of the Las Vegas Wash Weed Partnership in June 2002. This multi-agency group has targeted three priority weeds for management, tall whitetop (Lepidium latifolium), giant reed (Arundo donax) and tamarisk. The group also identified a number of other invasive plants for the Watch Weed List to be addressed in the future and created theLas Vegas Wash Invasive Weed Guide.

Tamarisk (Tamarix ramosissima)

The Las Vegas Wash Integrated Weed Management Plan was developed to guide the weed program and an aggressive control program is underway to tackle the three priority weeds. Crews from the National Park Service's Exotic Plant Management Team and a contractor conduct treatments two to three times per year throughout the Wash. In addition, crews from Clark County's Vector Control, Parks and Recreation and LVWCC tackle these and other invasive plants regularly along the Wash and Wetlands Park.

Tall Whitetop

A collaborative weed management effort at the Wash has many benefits. Managing invasive species helps support plant diversity in the park as well enhance habitat for fish and wildlife. By reducing the weeds at the Wash, we help limit invasive plants to downstream Lake Mead and Lower Colorado River. For more information on the weed management program on the Wash, visit the Invasive Species Management section.

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