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Environmental Assessment. Proposed Sahara Mustard Control on the Barry M. Goldwater Range - East

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Final rept.

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This environmental assessment EA addresses the potential environmental impacts of a proposed U.S. Air Force action to reduce wildfire risk and improve range quality for wildlife including habitats used by the endangered Sonoran pronghorn Antilocapra americana sonoriensi on the Barry M. Goldwater Range East BMGR-E. The BMGR-E is a military aviation training range assigned to the Air Force located in southwestern Arizona. The 56th Fighter WingRange Management Office 56 RMO at Luke Air Force Base AFB is responsible for providing and maintaining the range conditions needed for the military training mission at BMGR-E, as well as managing and protecting natural resources. The Air Force proposes to implement a program to control Sahara mustard Brassica tournefortii on the BMGR-E, Arizona based on the principles of Integrated Pest Management. Control strategies would include the physical removal of plants and the application of herbicide using ground equipment and aircraft. Personnel on the ground would hand pull plants in small 100 acres, environmentally sensitive areas e.g., sand dunes located in the San Cristobal Valley. This technique would require complete removal of plants from the ground including the root systems. Plants would be removed or left on-site to desiccate. Removal would occur early in the spring after most plants had emerged but had not yet produced seeds. Herbicide would be applied by ground equipment for low density stands of invasive weeds in areas that are accessible by vehicles and foot e.g., small target sets. Ground based equipment could also be used to make targeted applications in accessible infested areas with high densities of environmentally sensitive species. Herbicide would be applied by aircraft on larger areas. Approximately 7800 acres 3157 hectares within NTAC and STAC Ranges and Manned Ranges 1 and 2 have high densities of Sahara mustard and few environmentally sensitive plant species.

Subject Categories:

  • Ecology
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
  • Environmental Health and Safety

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