KPBS Televised Broadcast

TCDC supporter, Michael Bovee, produced the following video describing one aspect of TCDC’s response to the threat produced by Sahara mustard. This report was broadcast on KPBS television and radio on June 18, 2014.

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Sahara Mustard
Life Cycle Slideshow

Learn how to recognize invasive Sahara Mustard from seeds and tiny sprouts to large, mature plants.

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Borrego Knows Best

San Diego County Board of Supervisors agreed Borrego Knows Best when it made its final determination on Rudyville on September 12, 2018.

Check out our campaign video, Borrego Knows Best


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

— Margaret Mead


"Don't wait for the cavalry to come over the hill to save you. You are the cavalry and had better save yourselves."

— Robert Lee Paul

Glyph of Sun


Tubb Canyon Desert Conservancy

August 2019

USDA-ARS Administrator Commits to TCDC Effort to Control Sahara Mustard

Washington DC, August 19, 2019—In a letter to ten members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Administrator of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), committed her organization to “include studies on identifying and assessing potential biocontrol agents that can be used for Sahara mustard mitigation and eradication” as part of ARS’s upcoming 2020-2025 Action Plan. In her letter Dr. Jacobs-Young identifies the European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL) in Montpelier, France as the ideal location for these studies to take place because “Sahara mustard is native to this region and has not to date developed invasive characteristics that threaten its native ecosystem, which suggests natural predators already play a role in keeping it in check.”

Dr. Jacobs-Young’s letter was in response to a July 26, 2019 letter sent to her by ten members of the U.S. House of Representatives—five members from California, five members from Arizona, and all from districts threatened by the invasion of Sahara Mustard. In their letter, these congressional representatives requested ARS find a biocontrol agent for Sahara Mustard as part of its 2020-2025 Action Plan.

The studies Dr. Jacobs-Young agreed to include in ARS’s 2020-2025 Action Plan are Phase III of a multi-year, three-phase effort initiated by the Tubb Canyon Desert Conservancy (TCDC) in 2014. Phases I and II have been completed. They used next-generation, high throughput DNA sequencing to identify specific locations in Sahara Mustard’s native range around the Mediterranean in which to search for biocontrol agents that are most likely to be effective against the particular populations of Sahara Mustard that have invaded the United States.

In response to Dr. Jacobs-Young’s letter, David Garmon, President of TCDC noted the importance of USDA-ARS’s participation in this effort: “In partnership with the University of California, Irvine and EBCL we were able to complete the first two phases of this project, but only USDA-ARS has the scientific expertise, the decades of experience, the safety protocols, and the biocontainment laboratories necessary to complete this third and final phase. With ARS now committed to our project we have maximized the chances of finding a safe and effective biocontrol agent against Sahara Mustard.”

J. David Garmon, MD
President, TCDC


Archive of TCDC Updates