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The BLM is looking for input from local residents on how best to get rid of invasive species like salt cedar.

The Safford office of the Bureau of Land Management wants to improve its plan to get rid of local invasive and encroaching vegetation and it wants your help.

The changes, referred to as Wilderness and Ecosystem Plan Amendments, would work to remove vegetation, like salt cedars, mesquite, and juniper trees, using heavy equipment, chainsaws and chemicals.

The amendments are just proposals now. The BLM would like people to read them on the bureau’s National NEPA Register site at eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/69312/510 and then make comments either by emailing blm_az_sfoweb@blm.gov, or by mailing them to Scott Cooke at the BLM’s Safford Field Office. The BLM will be accepting public comments on the amendments until July 18.

June Lowery, the public affairs specialist for Gila District of the BLM, said the proposed amendments are a “broad approach” to work that “will help local wildlife and improve the watershed.”

Lowery added the work that would come out of the proposed amendments would also decrease the risk of catastrophic wildfires in the area and “create a landscape that’s healthy and ready for what’s going to occur on it,” like cattle grazing and other uses.

There’s no set date when the BLM would begin putting the proposed amendments into action, but the they will work to try to incorporate substantive comments gotten from the public into the final amendment, she said.

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