I received a telephone call last month, from a US Mail carrier who works in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, asking for information and ideas on ways to do something meaningful in the aftermath of the Thomas Fire. At the time, I was moved – and still am as I reflect on our conversation – by the honest, soul-searching attitude that motivated her to reach out to CNPS in the first place. I wrote back to her about a week later with a few links to information addressing the phenomenon of fire in California landscapes. Now a month has passed along with the tragedies in Montecito. I wrote back to her recently with these words (below), in an attempt to shed a bit of light on the causes and consequences of living in our natural surroundings. (more…)
California Native Plant Society – San Luis Obispo Chapter
Annual Potluck Banquet
Saturday, January 20, 2018
With winter on the way, now is the time for us to think about planting California native plants. When we plant in the winter, or rainy season as I like to call it, we take advantage of the moist soil conditions to help establish our plants. Plants planted in the rainy season do most of their growing underground with root development. When spring comes, they respond to this establishing period by sending out new shoot growth. By summer, they are ready for the long dry months ahead and will survive on monthly waterings. (more…)
Dittrichia graveolens is in the Asteraceae family. It is native to the Mediterranean region of Europe. Stinkwort is erect, growing to 2.5 feet. It typically has a conical shape but can have a round appearance. It’s sometimes confused with Russian thistle (tumbleweed). It ﬂowers from September to December and produces tiny seeds. Stinkwort’s foliage has sticky hairs covered in resin that truly stinks and sticks to and stains skin. (more…)
Kim Corella from Cal Fire has been heading up the search for Phytophora ramorum, the cause of Sudden Oak Death (SOD). She shared the 2017 SOD BLITZ results for SLO County, noting enormous participation with 289 trees sampled! Kim wanted to thank everyone who participated in this year SOD BLITZ. She notes that we were very concerned about gathering more samples in 2017 to determine the extent to which SOD was in SLO County, and is happy to report that 2017 SOD BLITZ was all negative, Apparently the 2016 SOD BLITZ survey showed false positives. The 2017 SOD BLITZ samples were tested by two completely different DNA tests and also by trying to culture out the pathogen on specialized agar. (more…)
Are you interested in vegetation sampling? Do you have a favorite plant community, alliance or association? Then please contact Melissa Mooney, chair of the newly-enlivened Vegetation/Plant Communities committee of our SLO Chapter (email: email@example.com). We’ve been in touch with Julie Evens and Jennifer Buck of the State CNPS Vegetation Program, and will be coordinating with the folks in the East Bay Chapter who are doing similar work. First order of business will be to prioritize what communities need focus for possible assessment and mapping and lay out our goals. Serpentine communities? Morro manzanita maritime chaparral? Valley Oak Savanna? Get those ideas coming and lets do some sampling!
ANNOUNCING THE CNPS 2018 CONSERVATION CONFERENCE – SAVE THE DATE!
WHO: Over 1,000 attendees from California and beyond.
WHAT: Two days of pre-conference workshops and field trips and three days of scientific sessions, keynote speakers, social and arts events, and more.
WHERE: Los Angeles Airport Marriott, 5855 West Century Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90045, www.marriott.com/LAXAP
WHEN: Thursday, February 1, through Saturday, February 3, 2018 (pre-conference workshops & field trips January 30-31)
WHY: Whether your career centers around natural resources or you just love native plants, the CNPS Conservation Conference will have something for you. From professional skills training and scientific sessions to field trips and special events, you will have many opportunities to connect with like-minded others, while learning about current research and trends, and contributing to future plans for California’s native plants and natural habitats.
Stay tuned for details! Everything you need to know about this conference is posted at http://conference.cnps.org. Register now!
SEE YOU THERE!
PROPOSED CLIMATE CHANGE WORKING GROUP
David Chipping (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The CNPS Chapter Council elected to explore how we might deal with issues associated with climate change, and a statewide working group is starting up with me as Chair. One thing I would love to do is to make SLO Chapter a ‘test bed’ for different approaches to the problem. I invite anyone interested to contact me and share their views.
To kick things off I see the following key issues for our consideration:
- What do climate models say about the most likely changes in climate that might reasonably be expected?
- Looking at our plant species and vegetation, where are the greatest risks given the expected climate change, in terms of many changes that might be expected. Use some existing methodology for assessing and ranking multiple risk factors.
- 3) Start doing vulnerability analyses of CNPS listed plants in our chapter area. This will include seeing what happened during the extreme stressor of the drought we have just experienced.
- Gain better knowledge of existing trends, including initiating plant surveys and gaining information on historic population distribution. Lots of field trips and field work here. We would work at the individual species and the grosser level of ‘vegetation’.
- Examine what our chapter would recommend regarding future CNPS actions and policies. For example, would we support “assisted migration” in which a plant at risk of extirpation would be transplanted into areas it has never historically occupied?
Do we, after assessing that there are too many variables that could affect future conditions, throw up our hands and leave it to Darwin to sort out?