habitat resoration

A Small Milestone

By Arne Johanson, Co-chairperson Habitat Restoration Committee

I noted the following in Bob Byrnes' weekly restoration committee email: “Last week we noticed for the first time a large area of Goldenbush (Isocoma menziesii, I believe) and California sagebrush (Artemisia californica) interspersed with the endless artichoke thistle (Cynara cardunculus to us nerds) that I often mention in these emails. We treated the artichoke last week, leaving the natives to continue to thrive and spread. This is yet another encouraging sign that recruitment following the disastrous fire of four years ago is proceeding nicely.”

Report from the Habitat Restoration Committee

Bob Byrnes stands with a robust Coast Live Oak sapling brought into the sunlight after palm fronds shading it were removed.

A report from the intrepid Bob Byrnes of Habitat Restoration:

"We accomplished quite a bit last week. I myself worked with Arne, Heidi, and Casey to treat eucalyptus and palm trees. Arne worked with Brianna to treat eucalyptus, tree tobacco, acacia, fountain grass, and other invasives at Artesian Creek.

On Friday, Heidi and I saw a herd of 4 deer walking in a line up the side of the valley. The last in line must have been the youngest, as it was the smallest. On Saturday, Casey and I saw a coyote, which promptly trotted off. This is the first time I've seen one in the Valley, though we've noticed their scat.

This week we will treat more of the same plants. We will continue monitoring Arundo for regrowth. Retreating pampas grass is on the agenda as well. I have Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday available. Email if you're interested in working with me and let me know your days: habitatrestoration@cnpssd.org"

Working with the ACE (American Conservation Experience)

Working with the ACE (American Conservation Experience)

A report from the Habitat Restoration Committee by Bob Byrnes

We finished our 2017 partnership with ACE (American Conservation Experience) last Thursday.  We worked together for two weeks, with a break in between to let the heat wave dissipate.  ACE worked very hard, as usual - this is our third year with them.  They are paid for by grant funds, and are comprised of young (to me at least) college-age persons acquiring practical experience in the field of conservation and restoration.  We focused on Pomponio Ranch, a horse ranch located in the downstream area of the San Dieguito River Valley. 

Impossible Only Until We Start

By Arne Johansen, Co-Chairperson Habitat Restoration 

There is an old saying: 'The difficult we do immediately; the impossible takes a little longer.' I was reminded of this as I described our current work area to a new volunteer. From where we were standing (surrounded by eucalyptus, Arundo and palms) I explained how our project area extends two miles downstream and another mile upstream. Then I pointed east and added that our project extends three miles along that side creek. Out loud it just seems impossibly large.

Additionally, it also seems that the more we get done the more there is left to do. This happens in multiple ways. First, our success with one project acts as a snowball rolling downhill. So we added two new pieces to our project area this season. While more work, this allows us to manage the watershed cohesively. It also adds to our ability to stay flexible and respond to circumstances. But it just seems like so much more and there is also work which begets more work.

This winter we concentrated our activities on one mile of the San Dieguito River. This is a joint project with USFW, the San Dieguito River Conservancy, many private property owners, and us, in conjunction with the local fire department. Through our joint efforts we have been able to bring in additional resources in the form of ACE (American Conservation Experience) to help with biomass removal, which lessens fire risk – a huge plus. 

Exploring Seldom Visited Areas of the Restoration

By Arne Johanson, Co-Chairperson Habitat Restoration Committee

We were to have an adventure – just two boys going out alone in uncharted territory. Andy is a 5-year old neighbor and this was our first time out with just the two of us. His mother packed water and a snack in his backpack. He added sunglasses and a notepad just like he has seen grownups do. Then we went exploring in some seldom visited parts of a 400-acre open space that our CNPS group has restored. 

Great challenges, greater accomplishments

Great challenges, greater accomplishments

By Arne Johanson, Chairperson Habitat Restoration Committee, CNPS-San Diego

Last month I provided an overview of our efforts. This month I will focus on just one, the San Dieguito River. While nowhere near the finish line, we have certainly accomplished much to get to this point. First, we trained and licensed volunteers who then earned the trust of USFW and the several property owners through our efforts at other sites. With our partners we obtained all of the permits to work in the river. Then we only had to obtain right of entry for some 6-10 parcels before initiating work.