September 6, & 11th

Lower Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area

What is Russian Olive?

Russian Olive is an invasive species that was introduced to the United States as an ornamental tree. Now it threatens critical riparian corridors, crowding out native plant species, demanding excessive water and nutrients from the soil, and disturbing natural wildlife habitats of our Western Rivers! RRAFT is waging a war on this intruder, and you can help!

Russian Olive Treatment:

There are a number of ways Russian Olive can be controlled. For this project, we will use the cut stump method- trees are cut down to the ground, bucked into smaller pieces, and a small amount of concentrated herbicide is applied to the remaining stump of the tree. This method has proven to be one of the most effective methods for controlling Russian Olive and, when applied correctly, the herbicide application has little to no hazardous impacts on the surrounding environment.

Volunteer work:

Volunteers will help with "Swamping," a method used by sawyers to remove brush and branches from a cutting area. These short segments of cut trees will then be piled into "wildlife piles." Volunteers will also cut smaller branches with loppers or clippers to reduce bulk in the piles. We place a heavy emphasis on safety on these trips, and all participants will be briefed on proper communication and techniques while working around chainsaws! Volunteers will not be allowed to operate chainsaws, or to help with herbicide application. Our sawyers are all professionally trained, and the herbicide must be applied by a licensed applicator. If you are interested in becoming a sawyer for RRAFT, please contact us for information on our next sawyer training class!

What to bring:

Volunteers should expect a full day of hard work! We will be working at a site across from the Pleasure Park put-in on the North Fork of the Gunnison River. Some short-distance hiking while carrying equipment may be necessary. We will provide all safety equipment, PPE, and extra water/snacks, but please bring a lunch, water bottle, sunscreen, sunglasses, long sleeves, long pants, closed-toe shoes, and leather gloves.


Sign-ups for these trips have closed. Please contact us for more information.

September 6 & 11th

Cost: Free!

Meeting place: 9:00am: Pleasure Park, Delta, CO (directions will be provided). We'll be done by 4:00pm!

Bring: lunch, water bottle, sunscreen, sunglasses, leather gloves.

Wear: long sleeves, long pants, closed-toe shoes.

No experience required! Please contact us if you have questions about your ability to volunteer.