The CNPS San Luis Obispo monthly meeting is Thursday, June 7 at the San Luis Obispo Veterans Hall. From 7:00 to 7:30 pm we will have the usual social part of our monthly meeting, followed at 7:30 by a chapter business meeting.
Program: The Ethnobotany and Associated Stewardship of California Black Oak/Mixed Conifer Forest Ecosystems in the Central and Southern Sierra Nevada as a Model for Restoring Forest Health: Ethnobotany professor Kat Anderson.
Kat Anderson has a Ph.D. in Wildland Resource Science from UC Berkeley and is the author of the book Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California’s Natural Resources. The book was recently chosen by the celebrated permaculture designer Ben Falk, as one of the most important books to read in order to permanently solve food security. Kat has worked with Native Americans for over 25 years, learning how indigenous people judiciously gather and steward native plants and ecosystems in the wild. Her interests are to learn about, celebrate, and restore the similar plant uses, gathering and tending practices, and ethical stances towards nature that are in multiple local cultures here and all around the world.
This talk will discuss the importance of California black oak and associate trees and understory species of the mixed conifer forests to the indigenous people of the Sierra Nevada for food, clothing, basketry, ﬁrewood, medicines, and household utensils. The audience will learn about the tremendous stewardship legacy of Sierran Tribes: how they knocked the oak trees with long poles and pruned the branches which helped shape the trees canopies and removed dead or dying wood, and may have spurred new fruitwood growth. Black oaks were managed at the ecosystem level with frequent, low intensity Indian-set ﬁres, in order to open up the forest, promote widely-spaced large-canopied, long-lived oaks and conifers with less insects and pathogens, foster useful legumes, and encourage edible and medicinal mushrooms. I will explore some of the potential results of indigenous stewardship that may contribute to forest health including enhanced mycorhizzal relationships with oaks and conifers, nutrient cycling, soil fertility, enhanced soil moisture-holding capacity, and biological action in the soil.
Join us for a day on the Morros and learn which plants grow on each of these volcanic plugs. Ascend one, two, or more. Here are the start times.
7:30 a.m. Islay Hill, 2 miles, 500 ft. gain, moderate. The easternmost of the Morros, with views of ﬁve others. To trailhead, take Tank Farm Rd. east past Orcutt Rd, then south on Spanish Oaks Dr., then east on Sweet Bay Lane to end.
9:00 a.m. Cerro San Luis, 4 miles, 1,100 ft. gain, moderate. Has knockout views of SLO. Trailhead at the end of Marsh St., just before on-ramp to Hwy 101 south.
Lunch (optional): 11:15 am to 12:00 pm, Throop Park, corner of Cerro Romauldo Street and Cuesta Drive, in SLO.
12:00 p.m. Bishop Peak, 3.5 miles, 950 ft. gain, moderately strenuous. Highest of all the Morros. From Hwy 1, go west on Highland Dr., then right on Patricia Drive. Park at trailhead on Patricia Dr. just before reaching Anacapa Circle.
3:30 p.m. Cerro Cabrillo, 2.5 miles, 800 ft. gain, moderately strenuous. 360-degree views from the Santa Lucia Mts. to coastline. Meet at Quarry Trail trailhead on South Bay Blvd, 1.4 miles south of Hwy 1 or 0.4 miles north of Turri Rd.
6:00 p.m. Black Hill, 3.0 miles, 650 ft. gain, moderate. Ocean views from Montaña de Oro north to San Simeon. From South Bay Blvd, drive into Morro Bay State Park on State Park Road. Meet at the parking area on the north side of the road, next to restrooms opposite the boat marina, just east of the campground entrance.
Bring water (if hiking more than one Morro, store extra water in your vehicle), lunch and snacks, and dress in layers for changing weather. The day is likely to start and end cool but be quite warm at mid-day. A hat, sunscreen, and sturdy hiking shoes are essential. For more information, contact Bill, (805) 459-2103, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The trail to Indian Knob, the tallest of the hills south of San Luis Obispo, starts on the Guidetti Ranch near the airport. Access to this area is restricted to a few hikes a year, sponsored by EcoSLO. As native plant enthusiasts, the goal of these hikes, in addition to enjoying the oak studded property and a 360o view at the top, is your chance to view one of the rarest plants in this county, the Indian Knob Mountain Balm, Eriodictyon altissimum. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service: when this plant was federally listed as an endangered species in 1994, there were fewer than 600 individuals known to exist. The Pismo clarkia, Clarkia speciose, ssp. immaculate, also occurs along this trail. Both of these species are listed by CNPS as extremely rare 1B.1 plants. Please RSVP the EcoSLO docent listed below to hold a place for the hiking date that suits you and to receive more information about the hike.