California Native Plant Society

CNPS eNewsletter

February 2015

Gearing Up for Rare Plant Hunting in 2015

Rare Plant Treasure HuntThe Rare Plant Treasure Hunt is gearing up for 2015, and we have lots of exciting news to report! We are in the process of planning out the field season by helping volunteers to plan their own trips for 2015. If you are interested in leading your own RPTH trips this year and have prior plant ID experience, please fill out our 2015 trip leader survey before March 13 to get started!

The need for RPTH trip leaders is particularly apparent in light of a recent review of the Rare Plant Inventory. In an effort to closely align the project with conservation outcomes, the CNPS Rare Plant Program developed a list of critical rare plant data needs from across the State. There are several different reasons why plants got added to this list, but one theme unites them all: we urgently need updated data on these plants! Far too many of the plants on this priority list are on it for one important reason: they have not been seen anywhere in California in over 20 years, and may be in serious danger of extinction or extirpation from California. Other plants are included because they are on our rare plant watch list (Rank 4), but are actually known from very few sites in the State.

We are also pleased to announce an increased focus of the RPTH on specimen collecting through our collaboration with the Jepson Herbarium. Documenting rare plant populations with voucher specimens, when done ethically and with a collection permit, is key to advancing rare plant science and ensuring the proper identification of populations. Additionally, some of the specimens collected by our volunteers will be used in a phylogenetic study of the entire California flora, which will help to identify new areas of high conservation priority in the State. Along with faculty from the Jepson Herbarium, CNPS will be hosting a weekend of training on specimen collection at the McLaughlin Reserve (Lake/Napa Counties) from April 24th to 26th for interested volunteers with prior plant ID experience. To sign up or for more details, email .

Photo Caption: Rare Plant Treasure Hunters gearing up for a rare plant backpacking trip to Pine Valley in the Ventana Wilderness.

Announcing the 2014 Rare Plant Treasure Hunt Results and Award Winners!
2014 marked the first year that we were unable to host trips in the California Deserts, but we still had great turnout and results from the project! The Central Coast RPTH was a huge success, with many new and historically-documented rare plant populations being discovered. Volunteers came all the way from the Bay Area in the north to Sal Luis Obispo County in the south. We also had a particularly strong showing of volunteers who led their own trips and submitted valuable rare plant data - in fact, these independent trip leaders accounted for about half of the 361 rare plant observations in 2014! We greatly appreciate all of the work that our volunteers do, and admire their passion for rare plant science and conservation! Our 2014 award winners are listed on the Award Winners webpage:

Individual Awards - Rare Plant Occurrences Reported
1st Place: Keir Morse
Southern California botanist Keir Morse took first place for the data he submitted on a variety of San Diego County rare plants. It's particularly impressive that Keir began his rare plant trips this year in August, yet still managed to take first in this category! We're excited to add Keir to our list of "super-volunteers" who go out time and again in search of rare plants.

2nd Place: Jane Tirrell
Jane Tirrell has been a tireless rare plant hunter for several years now. She regularly ventures out in to the mountains of Southern California on the search for rare plants, and manages to find new populations on many of these trips. She has taken a keen interest in all things Apiaceae, and managed to track down the only two known populations of Lomatium shevockii (Owens Peak lomatium). She also documented an impressive 8 populations of Oreonana purpurascens (purple mountain-parsley) this year alone!

3rd Place: Brian and Eileen Keelan
The Keelans have been tracking not just rare plants, but also common plants, birds and bats, and other creatures in their quest to experience firsthand the vast biodiversity of California. Their most memorable rare plant find of the year was Heteranthera dubia (water star-grass), which was added to the Rare Plant Inventory based on Brian's initial suggestion last year. Having finally seen this plant, the Keelans have now documented a wild specimen from every native plant family in California!

Most Trips Led: Brian and Eileen Keelan

Most Trips Attended: Bill Waycott

Photo Contest
1st Place: Keir Morse, Baccharis vanessae
2nd Place: Belinda Lo, Jepsonia heterandra
3rd Place: Kathy LaShure, Erythranthe sierrae

 

Announcing the 2014 Rare Plant Treasure Hunt Results and Award Winners!

Keir Morse, Baccharis vanessae2014 marked the first year that we were unable to host trips in the California Deserts, but we still had great turnout and results from the project! The Central Coast RPTH was a huge success, with many new and historically-documented rare plant populations being discovered. Volunteers came all the way from the Bay Area in the north to San Luis Obispo County in the south. We also had a particularly strong showing of volunteers who led their own trips and submitted valuable rare plant data - in fact, these independent trip leaders accounted for about half of the 361 rare plant observations in 2014! We greatly appreciate all of the work that our volunteers do, and admire their passion for rare plant science and conservation! Our 2014 award winners are listed on the Award Winners page here.

 

California Native Plant Week 2015

Native Plant WeekIn 2010, our state legislature adopted Resolution ACR 173 to inaugurate California Native Plant Week. This year, this festive celebration of our heritage will take place April 11- 19, 2015. CNPS chapters and others are encouraged to plan events for members and the general public.

In honor of California Native Plant Week, a new set of resources has been added to the California Native Plant Week page on the CNPS website This site has event history and links to the Horticulture Calendar where all of the CNPS events are on display.

Additionally, we have put together a special section, for CNPS chapter use that is the California Native Plant Week Toolkit. Here, chapters and partners will find a project guide, templates for events and press release information, as well as ideas for celebrating, and some fun heritage facts.

For questions and more information on CNPW, please contact Horticulture Program Director, Susan Krzywicki ().

 

2015 BIG Day of Giving

BIG day of Giving

BIG Day of Giving is a collaboration of GiveLocalNow and local community foundations in the Greater Sacramento region. This year CNPS is excited to participate in the 2015 BIG Day of Giving on Tuesday, May, 5, 2015. For 24 hours, online donations will be accepted through bigdayofgiving.org with a goal of $5 million for hundreds of regional nonprofits. Donations made to California Native Plant Society at bigdayofgiving.org on May 5 will be eligible for additional Incentive Pool funds- a donation of only $25 may help CNPS win a $2500 prize! Watch for our campaign on our Facebook page as the date approaches.

Upcoming CNPS Plant Science Workshops

We are working on finalizing details for our 2015 Plant Science Workshops, and have an exciting schedule in the works! More details, pricing, and registration information will be posted very soon on the workshops webpage. Please contact Becky Reilly (), CNPS Events Coordinator, for more information.

Rare Plant Survey Protocols: A Scientific Approach
Borges Ranch, Walnut Creek
March 24-25

CNDDB & BIOS
CDFW Office of Training & Development, Sacramento
March 26

Vegetation Rapid Assessment - J. CrawfordMeasuring & Monitoring Plant Populations
Sierra Foothills Research & Extension Center, Browns Valley
April 21-23

Vegetation Mapping
Sacramento Area
TBD

Introduction to Plant Family Identification
Center for Earth Concerns, Taft Gardens, Ojai
May 6-7

Vegetation Rapid Assessment/Releve
El Portal Community Center, Yosemite National Park
June 3-5

Introduction to Plant Family Identification
Sagehen Field Station, Truckee
July 6-8

Vegetation Rapid Assessment/Releve
Redding Area
Mid/Late Oct.

CEQA Impact Assessment
Ventura Area
Nov 4-5

 

Chapter Events - A Sampling from Around the State

To connect to your local chapter, or to find other events in your region, see this page for a list and map of CNPS chapters. Even more events from CNPS chapters and partners can be viewed on the Horticulture Events Calendar.

Sequoia Chapter
Fresno Home and Garden Show
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, March 6-8

Friday (11am-7pm), Saturday (10am-7pm), Sunday (10am-6pm)
We need 8-12 volunteers who can stay for a few hours and talk to the public about California native plants and the California Native Plant Society. You don't need to be an expert to smile and help us spread the word about the value that native plants bring. You will get free admission to the Home and Garden Show and free parking. Contact Marian Orvis if you can volunteer. Fresno Home and Garden Show, Fresno Fairgrounds, 1121 South Chance Ave., Fresno.

Bristlecone Chapter
Field Trip: Wildflowers of Short Canyon
Saturday, March 7, 9:00 AM

Join Friends of the Inyo and the Bristlecone Chapter on a wildflower exploration of Short Canyon, an Area of Critical Environmental Concern with spectacular botanical resources at the edge of the Owens Peak Wilderness. Nearly 300 species of plants have been described in this canyon, and we'll be taking advantage of a spring day to see what we can find. This outing is limited to 24 participants. Please RSVP to reserve your spot. Meet at the trailhead parking lot at 9am. For questions, to RSVP or carpool from the Hwy 395 and 14 junction. To RSVP or for more information, contact Jora or call 760-873-6500.

Napa Valley Chapter
Field Trip: Fritillary Trip: Knoxville, Aetna Springs and Snell Valley
Saturday, March 14, 9:00 AM

Land Trust of Napa County Missimer Wildflower Preserve. Leader: Jake Ruygt (707)253-1839. Unless otherwise stated, field trips begin with a carpool/caravan leaving from the parking lot between Target and Pharmaca in BelAire Plaza off Trancas Street in Napa near Highway 29, at 9:00 AM. Bring snacks, lunch, ample drinking water and sturdy hiking shoes Steady rain cancels.

Sanhedrin Chapter
Talk: Grasses of California
Wednesday, March 17. 7:00 PM

Grasses of California: An Evening with Botanist James P. Smith, Co-Sponsored by Peregrine Audubon Society and Sanhedrin California Native Plant Society. Grasses and grasslands provide a number of ecological and economic services. Despite their general dominance by non-native species, California grasslands remain one of the most bio-diverse systems in the world. There are more than 550 grass species found in California and over 300 are native to the Golden State. Grasses are found in almost every climate—from cool, wet forests to hot, dry deserts. These reduced flowers are also among the most difficult plants to identify. Join us for an evening celebrating the past, present, and future of California grasses with our very own agrostologist. James will guide us through the grass family; he will explain grass structure, their economic and ecological importance, and why they are so successful around the world. JP Smith will have copies of his book available for sale and signing. Ukiah Civic Center, 300 Seminary Ave. Open to the public.

Channel Island Chapter
Talk: The Best Wildflower Spring Spots
Thursday, March 19, 7:15 - 9:15 PM

Speaker Spencer Westbrook, an outstanding nature photographer, will share his knowledge of where the best places to find spring wildflower spots in California. His talk and slide show will be just in time for us to experience a great wildflower display in the spring of 2015 because of all the rain we will get (fingers crossed). Channel Islands Chapter Board meeting will precede talk beginning at 6PM. Bring your unknown native plants to ID before the talk. Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Library, 1212 Mission Canyon Road, Santa Barbara, California.

San Luis Obispo Chapter
Field Trip: Tejon Ranch
Saturday, March 21, 9:00 AM

Join us for a day-long visit to the Tejon Hills, part of the Tejon Ranch Land Trust, located on the western slope of the Tehachapi Mountains south of Arvin, CA. We will meet at the Sebastian Road gate (eastern terminus of the road near Mettler, CA) at 9 am and join the Conservation Science Director for a tour that will run much of the day. Be sure to bring water, food, sturdy shoes, sunscreen, a hat, and layered clothing for warmth, if needed. High clearance/4WD vehicles are preferred on the ranch. Carpooling is available. Please RSVP if you plan to participate: Bill Waycott (805) 459-2103. Rain cancels.

Marin Chapter
Ring Mountain Restoration Work Party
Saturday, March 28, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Come help restore the native grasslands in this special preserve. We will continue to remove noxious weeds and take care of the native plants that were planted this past winter. Volunteer work is mildly strenuous and involves bending, pulling, and kneeling, and usually requires a short hike to the site. Dress in layers, you can get dirty, wear sturdy shoes, and bring water. Please bring gloves if you have them. Snacks and extra water will be provided. RSVP's are appreciated but not required. Location: Ring Mountain Phyllis Ellman Trail head parking. Link to Google map here. Here's a link to Google Map. Questions or to RSVP: Contact Ring Mountain Stewardship Coordinator Sarah Minnick (415) 473-5058.


Mount Lassen Chapter
Field Trip: Divide Ranch Walk and Bear Valley Drive
Sunday, March 29, 9:00 AM

Meet at Chico Park and Ride west lot in time to leave by 9 a.m. Bring sturdy walking shoes, weather appropriate (layered) clothing, sun and insect protection, lunch, water and money for ride sharing. As the guests of the Landini family at Divide Ranch, nestled in the foothills of western Glenn County between Willows and Elk Creek, the group will walk to an overlook on Divide Ridge for lunch and wildflower gazing. If driving time permits and the wildflowers are promising, the group will drive south, looping inland on country roads over rolling hills to Bear Valley. Phone leader Woody at 530-588-2555 for more information.

 

Contributors and Photo Credits

  • Danny Slakey
  • Susan Krzywicki
  • Becky Reilly
  • Deidre Kennelly
  • Stacey Flowerdew
  • Mark Naftzger
  • Rare Plant Treasure Hunters gearing up for a rare plant backpacking trip to Pine Valley in the Ventana Wilderness - Danny Slakey
  • Baccharis vanessae - Keir Morse
  • Field of poppies - Stacey Flowerdew
  • Workshop participants - Josie Crawford

 

 

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