RECENTLY ON TOL:
- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
I am strongly opposed to PGE’s proposal to plant giant reed (Arundo donax) for biomass production at the Boardman power facility. This plant has already invaded tens of thousands of acres along rivers in California and other states, where it becomes solid stand, displacing native plants and the wildlife that depends on them. Arundo donax also removes large amounts of in-stream and groundwater that could be used for irrigation and drinking water. The February 2011, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Plant Pest Risk Assessment for Giant Reed Arundo donax L. states: “Compared to native plants, it consumes three times as much water. In the Santa Ana River alone, Arundo consumes an estimated 56,200 acre-feet of water annually with an estimated value of $18 million (Orange County Water District 2003).”
Proponents of this project are saying that since Arundo donax rarely produces seed, there is little risk of it spreading. This is a fallacy because the plant easily reproduces from root pieces. It forms a dense mat of creeping roots that can be broken off by floodwater and transported down river or be transported with soil on agricultural equipment. It is not a question of whether this invasive species will spread in Oregon, but only of how long it will take. The eventual loss of our Columbia River riparian area to an invasion of Arundo donax is not a sensible trade for energy production.
posted 2 years, 3 months ago
view in context