As a land manager, the Federal Government faces enormous challenges from exotic pest invasions and associated changes to the structure and stability of native ecosystems (Bureau of Land Management, 1988). On public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) alone, it is estimated that almost three million hectares are occupied by invasive exotic plant species (weeds). Assuming an annual rate of invasion of 14 percent, 930 hectares of BLM-administered land are infested everyday by weeds (Jerry Asher, personal communication). When one considers the fact that BLM administers only about one-third of the public land in the United States (The Keystone Center, 1991), the magnitude of the problem assumes staggering proportions. The scenario described in the quote above portrays only some of the problems associated with the spread of the exotic plant tamarisk, a species on the California Exotic Pest Plant Council’s list of exotic pest plants of greatest concern (California Exotic Pest Plant Council, 1993). In this paper we review the threats posed by tamarisk invasion and proliferation and examine the traits that make the plant such a successful competitor. In addition, we highlight two tamarisk control efforts conducted by the Bureau of Land Management in the southern California desert.