In the News

Sen. Uresti Advances Bill to Eradicate Carrizo Cane

May 1, 2015

On April 28th, the Senate overwhelmingly passed SB1734, Senator Uresti’s bill which creates a program to eradicate 'Carrizo Cane' along the Rio Grande. Also known by its scientific name, Arundo donax, Carrizo Cane is an invasive species that grows in thick patches near riversides. The Cane was brought to Texas by Spanish settlers in the 1500s, and has since infested much of the Rio Grande from Santa Elena Canyon to the Gulf of Mexico.

The Cane grows up to 30 feet tall and restricts access to the river by residents and landowners. It also provides a place for smugglers and human traffickers to hide from law enforcement. The Cane is also a habitat for cattle fever ticks, which are a major problem for South Texas landowners. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the largest patch of Carrizo Cane in Texas is located between Del Rio and Eagle Pass in District 19.

According to John Goolsby, a research entomologist at the USDA, the Carrizo Cane "is major environmental and law enforcement problem, and uses valuable fresh water." Goolsby says that USDA has been researching new, environmentally friendly methods to eradicate the cane, and that the new state eradication program will be able to utilize these new strategies to remove the cane for good.

Senator Uresti represents more of the Rio Grande that any other State Senator, so the health of the river and its communities are a major legislative priority. The eradication program will have numerous benefits for communities in District 19, as it will allow native vegetation to return the Rio Grande, reduce the habitat of cattle fever ticks, and preserve freshwater resources.