It’s time to register for the CNPS Conservation Symposium and field trips to be held in Morro Bay from 8th to 11th September. The field trips are scheduled for Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, with the Conservation Symposium on Saturday at the Morro Bay Vet’s Hall, 209 Surf Street. These events are free and open to the public – Members are encouraged to attend so please register at the link below.

Register

You are also encouraged to attend the mixer and banquet after the Symposium Saturday night – with our own native plant superstar, Dave Keil, as the banquet speaker – there will be a $30 fee for the catered meal.

Conservation Symposium

Saturday, 10th September, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

Morro Bay Vet’s Hall, 209 Surf Street, Morro Bay

This year’s Symposium will address the complex issues associated with climate change, as they relate to California native plant conservation.  The Symposium presentations will focus on three areas:

  1. Hands-on projects that incorporate climate change considerations during planning and implementation
  2. Modeling of future vegetation projects based on climate change projections
  3. How regional planning considers and incorporates climate change.

Area A – Hands-on projects:

Speaker Ellen Cypher: Creating new populations of an endangered species: recovery efforts for Bakersfield cactus

Speaker Jessica Wright: Identifying valley oaks that grow best under projected climate conditions

Speaker Todd Esque: The Race North: Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) and climate change

Area B – Modeling of vegetation dynamics:

Speaker Alexandra Syphard: Modeling vegetation dynamics under global change: Approaches, challenges, and examples

Area C – Regional conservation planning:

Proponents of the new Regional Conservation Framework (California Assembly Bill 2087 and pilot projects) will present the nuts and bolts of this approach to regional planning.  CNPS members from around the state will be asked to discuss how they have engaged in and commented to planning projects, while assessing how the degree climate change thinking has begun to influence planning decisions.

Roundtable discussion:

Speaker Jerre Stallcup, a longtime conservation planner, will share her perspectives on how “doing it the old-fashioned way” has evolved since the early 90’s in Southern California. Key points that help to support plants in any kind of regional planning process will also be presented.  She will help us understand the many facets of how and where climate change thinking is being translated into native plant research, restoration projects, and planning.

Symposium Lunch: ($10 per person, please register), Saturday, 10th September, 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm

Choice of sandwich on baguette, served banquet style with green salad, fresh fruit, chips, and cookies:

  • roast beef
  • turkey
  • veggie

Symposium Mixer and Banquet: ($30 per person, please register), Saturday, 10th September, Morro Bay Vet’s Hall, 209 Surf Street, Morro Bay 

Mixer/Social, 5:30 to 6:30 pm

Dinner, 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm

Buffet with:

  • Greek Caesar salad
  • Roasted garlic potatoes
  • Marinated roasted vegetables
  • Assorted rolls and butter

Entree choice:

  • Vegetarian sautéed portabella mushroom stuffed with cheese ravioli
  • Lemon garlic herb chicken with mango q
  • Roasted pork tenderloin with cherry sauce.

Dessert:

  • Linn’s fruit pies with ice cream.

Banquet speaker: Saturday, 10th September, Dave Keil – the Native Flora of San Luis Obispo County  

Dr. Dave Keil is Professor Emeritus of Biology at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.  Dave has had a lifelong interest and enthusiasm for botany.  He received his B.S. and M.S. in botany from Arizona State University and his Ph.D. from Ohio State University.  He has taught courses in general botany, plant taxonomy, field botany, evolution, and biogeography.  For many years Dave served as Curator of the Robert F. Hoover Herbarium at Cal Poly.  He has authored scientific papers, textbooks, and study guides, and has been a major contributor to the Jepson Manual and the Flora of North America. His research interests include Asteraceae systematics and floristics of Western North America.  He edited the Wildflowers of San Luis Obispo and is preparing the second edition of the Vascular Plants of San Luis Obispo County.


Field trip schedule

Thursday – 8th September Morning – 8:30 am to 12:00 noon

East Cuesta Ridge, Los Padres National Forest

Led by Dave Keil, Cal Poly; co-leader Bill Waycott, CNPS

Meet at entrance to East Cuesta Ridge (Mount Lowe Rd.), off Highway 101 at the top of the Cuesta Grade, 30 minutes from Morro Bay.

This is a driving tour along the ridge separating coastal and interior regions in the Los Padres National Forest.  See diverse plant communities and spectacular views of the coastal plain with its nine Morros, the city of San Luis Obispo, and the Pacific Ocean.

No more than 0.5 miles walking; elevation gain no more than 100 feet

Afternoon – 1:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Sand Spit at Montaña de Oro State Park

Led by Michael Walgren, CA State Parks; co-leader: Bill Waycott, CNPS

Meet at the Sand Spit Road parking lot, at the end of Sand Spit Rd., in Montaña de Oro State Park, 15 minutes from Morro Bay.

Start by walking to the beach through a rich stand of coastal dune scrub, then north along the beach to an access trail into the dunes.  Hike across the dunes, observing the fore-, mid-, and far-dune plant communities.  Return through maritime chaparral, via the Old Army Rd..

2.5 miles walking; elevation gain 300 feet

Friday – 9th September Morning – 8:30 am to 12:00 noon

Serpentine plants near San Luis Obispo

Led by Dave Keil, Cal Poly; co-leader: Bill Waycott, CNPS

Meet at the entrance to Bog Thistle Trail, in the Irish Hills Natural Reserve, on Perfumo Canyon Rd., roughly 1.0 miles from the intersection with Los Osos Valley Rd.  The trailhead is on the left. 20 minutes from Morro Bay.

Walk the Bog Thistle and Mariposa Trails.  See plants of the central coast chaparral scrub community adapted to serpentine derived soils, with a handful of rare endemic species native to San Luis Obispo County. 

2.0 miles walking; elevation gain 500 feet

Afternoon – 1:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Field Trip, Coon Creek at Montaña de Oro State Park

Led by Lisa Andreano, CA State Parks; co-leader: David Chipping, CNPS

Meet at the Coon Creek parking lot, at the end of Pecho Valley Rd. in Montaña de Oro State Park. 20 minutes from Morro Bay.

Walk going east along Coon Creek Trail and return going west via Rattlesnake Flats Trail.  The Coon Creek Trail follows a coastal canyon with a perennial creek and is filled with riparian species typically seen further north.  Rattlesnake Flats Trial returns by ascending the south-facing slope of the canyon with a healthy sampling of maritime chaparral species.

4 miles walking; elevation gain 500 feet

Sunday – 11th September

Afternoon – 1:30 pm Field trip – Morro Bay State Park Estuary

John Sayers, California State Parks, co-leader: Bill Waycott, CNPS

Meet at the parking lot for Morro Bay State Park Marina off Main Street, across from the entrance to Morro Bay State Park Campground.

Visit several access points by car around the perimeter of Morro Bay Estuary.  See and discuss plants growing in brackish water within the tidal zone, beyond the high tide line, and further inland.  Discuss effects to this fragile habitat because of climate change.

0.5 miles walking; elevation gain 50 feet


If you have any questions or need for more information, please contact Bill Waycott, (805) 459-2103, bill.waycott@gmail.com

Also, if you can offer a bed to a member from out of town during the conference, please let Bill know as soon as possible.

CNPS Conservation Symposium and Field Trips Information, schedules, links, and the registration page

Image: By Leif Arne Storset – originally posted to Flickr as Bishop Peak, CC BY 2.5