John Scheuring believes the fight against buffelgrass can be won.

Scheuring, a nationally recognized Bureau of Land Management volunteer, has led eradication efforts on the Ironwood Forest National Monument west of Marana. He has been "instrumental in our #1 priority, the eradication of buffelgrass," said monument manager Mark Lambert.

Scheuring embarked upon "Save the Watermans," an effort to remove all buffelgrass from that mountain range within the monument. It worked. "The Watermans don't have any buffelgrass any more," Lambert said.

Scheuring "wants to go now to Save the Silverbells, and we're saying 'go for it,'" Lambert said. "The lessons we have learned from his efforts have made it all the way to Congress."

Scheuring and the Friends of Ironwood Forest received the Bureau of Land Management's "Making a Difference" National Volunteer Award last month. On Saturday, he was presented with an image of the Ragged Top and the monument taken by photographer Michael McNulty.

"Buffelgrass is not hopeless," Scheuring said. "You've heard the phrase 'nip it in the bud.' There are a lot of buds out there."

There are "a lot of tools to be fighting this beast," he continued. "Volunteers are doing it. Yes, we can beat buffelgrass."

— Dave Perry


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