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New bill aims to eradicate Carrizo Cane

(KGNS)
Published: May. 1, 2019 at 10:45 AM CDT
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Federal agents face several challenges when protecting our border, one of them is a plant native to our region but legislation could soon help with the fight against the Carrizo Cane as the invasive species limits Border Patrol’s visibility.

Jose Dodier, the chairman of the Texas State Soil & Water Conservation Board recently discussed the fight against the Carrizo Cane along the river.

There are three methods in fighting against the invasive species.

Dodier says there’s bio which is releasing bugs, there’s also mechanical but the operators say it’s pretty difficult.

Even in areas where the Carrizo Cane has been removed by heavy machinery, it could be a little while before it becomes a problem again.

A Texas Senate Bill is looking to make it easier by providing 10 million dollars in fighting against the plant.

Dodier says, "When we do apply herbicide, we test the water downstream, midstream, and upstream. We test before, during, and after. We aren't finding any results."

However, some say the element to be used in battling the plant is a cause for concern.

Amade Rubio, a biology instructor at TAMIU says the herbicide doesn’t just have one target, it’s typically non-selective herbicides that are utilized to kill the Carrizo Cane.

Rubio says, "Anything isn't considered to be the weed species or target species could be affected, which is often most likely the case in it being a large scale collateral damage for important species in our area. Especially for ecological services."

Rubio says another thing that is not clear is how the communities along the river would be affected.

Rubio says, "We have no idea what the fate of this chemical is in the human body. It might not have any immediate effect, but in the long term? These things are not researched or explored. I wouldn't like to sit back and see things to unfold in such a negative or deleterious way for people that live along the watercourse."

He adds a better method would be to use mechanical removal and then place native species to better combat the Carrizo Cane, something the state is partially doing.

The bill is now headed to the Texas House of Representatives after having passed the senate.

If enacted, the law would take effect on September 1st.