The East Bay Chapter is currently beginning work on two big conservation projects that will continue to be a chapter priority for the foreseeable future. Both of these projects deal with areas that make up part of our chapter's Botanical Priority Protection Areas of the East Bay (BPPA). A .pdf version of our BPPA guidebook and a description of how it was created can be downloaded and viewed at ebcnps.org
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at Richmond Field Station
Richmond Field Station. Photo credit: 2007 URS Botanical Survey Report of Richmond Field Station for UC Berkeley
The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) has selected the University of California Richmond Field Station as the preferred site for its second campus. This is an exciting time for both the University of California and the City of Richmond however, the Richmond Field Station is part of our chapter's "Richmond Shoreline" Botanical Priority Protection Area, and as such, this project will require special attention. EBCNPS is working with the Citizens for East Shore Parks and the Sierra Club to ensure that sensitive botanical resources such as the native coastal prairie at the site remain protected as part of the project plan and that any unavoidable impacts to this sensitive natural community are properly mitigated for. We have already scheduled preliminary meetings with LBNL and UC reps to discuss the sensitive resources of the site and make recommendations for avoidance and mitigation in the botanically valuable areas. This is a project that is just beginning, but the Conservation Committee is anticipating a lot of work will be required in the future to ensure that LBNL's second campus benefits not only the City of Richmond, but also the precious natural resources of our Richmond Shoreline BPPA. East Bay Conservation Analyst Mack Casterman is hopeful that working with the lab at the front end of this process will allow us to help shape a development plan that protects and even celebrates the valuable natural resources of the site.
EBCNPS signs on as supporting organization for Friends of Tesla Park
Off road vehicle damage. photo credit: Mack Casterman
Mitchell Ravine Tesla Park. photo credit: Friends of Tesla Park
Our Corral Hollow Botanical Priority Protection Area is currently being threatened by a proposed expansion of the Carnegie State Vehicle Recreation Area. Carnegie SVRA is a motorcycle park in eastern Alameda County. It is operated under the Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division of State Dept of Parks & Recreation. Several years ago, adjacent property (called the Tesla - Alameda Purchase by State Parks) was purchased to enlarge the motorcycle park, but after 3 attempts, the State has not been able to accomplish a successful EIR in order to open the land to off road vehicles. However, another attempt at getting an EIR passed is in the works that will accompany a new General Plan for Carnegie SVRA. The property in question contains expansive blue oak woodlands, rolling grassland habitat, and a sensitive natural community of Desert olive scrub. In order to ensure that this special area is spoken for during the upcoming General Plan process, EBCNPS has signed on as supporters for a group called The Friends of Tesla Park. We will be assisting them by providing botanical information and commenting on the process as this plan moves forward. Currently, East Bay Conservation Analyst Mack Casterman is working on putting together a letter on behalf of EBCNPS for the scoping process of this project. Our letter will detail the botanical value of this land in the hope that alternatives to this potentially damaging expansion project will be considered.
Alakali Meadow, Black Rock field trip
Saturday, June 2, 8:45 AM
Come see what an Inyo County Water Department-certified pumping impact looks like, as well as an example of very successful groundwater-dependent meadow management. We will explore an area from the Fort Independence reservation north to 8-mile Ranch/Blackrock hatchery area. Meet at Fort Independence travel plaza/casino parking lot at 8:45 am. Bring water, snacks, hat, and sunscreen. Trip will end by noon. Contact person: Daniel Pritchett at 760-873-8943.
Bodie Hills Field Trip
Sunday, June 10, 8:30 AM
Let's see what's in bloom in this mélange of the floras of the Sierra Nevada and the Great Basin high desert. This will be an all day hike, moderate to strenuous, so please bring plenty of water, a lunch, snacks, and the usual outdoor stuff (sunscreen, hat, hiking shoes, etc.) Meet at the end of the pavement at Highway 270 (the rd to Bodie State Park) to carpool, 8:30am (subject to change). Don't forget your hand lenses! Call Drew at (805) 405-7577 for more information.
Oak Creek Field Trip
Saturday, June 23, 8:00 AM
Oak Creek hosts two native tree oak species found in the Eastern Sierra, and one is only found in this drainage. The hiking portion is moderate to slightly difficult and it could be warm at the lower elevations, bring plenty of water, lunch, field guide, hand lens, sunscreen and hat. We should be done by late afternoon. We will meet at 8:00 AM at the intersection of Fish Hatchery Rd. and US 395, 2.3 miles north of Independence and 0.5 mile south of the Fort Independence gas station. For more information contact Jerry Zatorski at (760) 3987-2920 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Coast Chapter
Lewisia kelloggii Rare Plant Treasure Hunt
Saturday, June 2, 8:00 AM
Can we find another population of Lewisia kelloggii, and for the first time in Del Norte County? Six Rivers National Forest Service botanists have studied maps and chosen likely habitat to explore for this rare, diminuitive plant with a showy flower. Some of us will consider spending Saturday night and part of Sunday in the mountains too, camping, or lodging in Orleans. Meet at Pacific Union School (3001 Janes Rd., Arcata) at 8 a.m. or at the Orleans Ranger Station at 10 a.m.. Bring lots of water, plenty of lunch, and layers appropriate for the weather. For directions, see the chapter website. For information contact John McRae: 707-441-3513, email@example.com. If you want to camp, call Carol 707-822-2015.
Umbelifer Quest: Arcata to Cold Spring
Sunday, June 17, 8:30 AM
How many members of the carrot family will we find along the way to Cold Spring and exploring the meadow there? This will be our focus for a trip from coastal plain to mountain fir forest on Titlow Hill Rd off Highway 299 in Six Rivers National Forest. Besides roadside stops we will explore the meadow and informal trail (about 3 miles) at Cold Spring. We will surely see many non-umbelliferous flowers as well. Bring lunch and water; dress in layers for changeable mountain weather at 4,000 feet. Meet at 8:30 a.m. at Pacific Union School (3001 Janes Rd., Arcata) or arrange another place. Return late afternoon. Information: Carol Ralph 707-822-2015.
East Bay Chapter
Mount Diablo State Park field trip
Saturday, June 10
This is a moderate round trip of 5 miles with 1200 feet elevation gain on the way out. It will be mostly downhill on the return trip, and we expect to be out 4-5 hours. Bring lunch and at least 1.5 liters of water. We will start on Clayton Oaks trail, and proceed from there to Bruce Lee Spring trail, lower Donner trail, and on to Wasserman and Falls trails. Expect to see Monardella douglasii and Collinsia tinctoria in flower, along with several paintbrush species, Clarkia biloba, Sedum radiatum, Campanula exigua, Silene californica, Pickeringia montana, Asclepias californica, and lots of common plants. We should arrive back at the parking lot around 3 pm. The trip leader is Gregg Weber, and you can call him at 510-223-3310 if you have questions. See the chapter field trip page for directions.
Mount Diablo State Park field trip
We will go through woodland, grasslands, chaparral areas, with Pickeringia, Salvia, Arctostaphylos, Garrya, Calochortus splendens, and lots of oaks and Clarkia rubicunda. This can be a very hot walk, so dress for heat and bring at least 1.5 liters of water, and lunch. The road loses about 500 feet down to a creek, and then gains 700 feet to the top of the loop, with elevations reversed on the way back. We should arrive back at the parking lot at 4 pm. The trip leader is Gregg Weber, and you can call him at 510-223-3310 with questions. See the chapter field trip page for directions.
Sunday, June 17
Monterey Bay Chapter
French Broom Weed Bash East Side of Point Lobos State Reserve
Saturday, June 2, 1:00-4:00 PM
We'll use several techniques to remove French broom and help restore this area that wants to thrive with native plants. Meet at 1pm in Carmel at the Rio Rd. Park n' Ride (across from the Chevron Gas Station). All supplies provided. Bring a friend, water, and a snack. Contact Bruce Delgado at firstname.lastname@example.org or 831.277.7690 for more info.