Red Hills Desert Garden Virgin spinedace
Photo by James E. Johnson

Approximately 500 Virgin spinedace will be released into the stream at the recently completed Red Hills Desert Garden on Friday, Sept. 11, at 2 p.m. The public is invited to attend and participate in the release. The Virgin spinedace are being transplanted from Beaver Dam Wash as a protective measure to preserve and enhance the species.

“The Red Hills Desert Garden stream will provide a refuge for spinedace that could be reintroduced into Beaver Dam Wash if there is an event that threatens their existence in the wild,” said Henry Maddux, director of the Virgin River Program.

Virgin spinedace have been managed under a conservation agreement between local, state, and federal agencies since 1995. Under the agreement, the species has been restored to more than 85 percent of its historical habitat. Ongoing efforts coordinated by the Virgin River Program and its partners include maintaining existing populations, reestablishing populations in historic habitats, and creating conditions that allow the species to expand its range.

The Virgin River Program was established “to recover, enhance, and protect the Virgin River and its inhabitants. …” The program’s goals include recovering, conserving, enhancing and protecting native species in the Virgin River Basin and enhancing the river’s ability to provide adequate water supplies for sustaining human needs.

Red Hills Desert Garden is located at 375 E. Red Hills Pkwy. in St. George. Visit virginriverprogram.org or call (435) 673-3617 for more information.

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