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Old 08-23-2001, 08:02 AM
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Default Bulldozer is coming. Grab the seeds?

I dig up fossils for a living. I am there with those huge yellow machines when they start taking down hills to turn into tracts of homes. I prefer the hills.

I am familiar with many of the native plant species in my area, southwestern Riverside County. Sadly, if I am working, native plants are being wiped from the face of the earth. Sometimes I watch them bulldoze 100s of acres and sometime just little pockets of natives that somehow made it through until now.

I used to try to transplant the youngest but overall, it didn't go well. So I have started collecting the seeds. I gathered the seeds that I shook from some White Sage yesterday.

I do come across a lot of natives before they are bulldozed and if it is the right time of year I grab the seeds if I can. Seldom more than a day or two after I spot something, they are gone forever. It is usually a quick pick-up as I am only a step ahead of the scrapers during this part of the operation. Once they are deep enough for fossils, I follow the equipment instead.

I could use suggestions about necessary label information and proper storage. Also, about sharing these potential survivors with other people.

Any suggestions,comments or questions are very welcome. Thank you.Deanna La Cava deanna@pe.net</p>
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Old 08-27-2001, 12:53 AM
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Default Re: Bulldozer is coming. Grab the seeds?

Deanna -

Seeds should be dried first usually takes only a day or two, and inspected for small insects. Then the seeds should be stored in paper, not plastic. I use small manilla envelopes, but I believe some people use glassine - that slick, semi-clear material. Seed envelopes must be kept in a shaded, dry, cool place.

Viabilitiy periods vary greatly. Many seeds are viable for a few years, some much longer, and some for only a short period. I'm not sure if these viability periods are documented anywhere.

Label the envelopes with the species, collection date and place collected. Rather than keep the seeds around for a long time, you could share them with the Riverside/San Bernardino Chapter of CNPS, contact info for which is to be found on the CNPS Website.

Thank you for rescuing the seeds from the path of destruction!

Lori</p>
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Old 08-28-2001, 08:41 AM
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Default Re: Bulldozer is coming. Grab the seeds?

Deanna,Just a few scattered afterthoughts to Lori's useful comments. Since it is not always seed time have you considered taking cuttings?This is a great technique for propagation. Used maily on pereniel plants, a small drawback may be that cuttings should be handled properly and 'planted' relatively soon after cutting for best results. For instance, lets say you have just clipped of the tops of a 'rarish' monkeyflower. Morning is best put the cutting into a ziplock baggie with a tablespoon or so of water and zip it tight. Then shake it well to coat the leaves with moisture to stop excess water from exiting the leaf surfaces and place the ziplock in your igloo lunch-sized ice chest. A bit of ice will keep it cool and allow the cuttings to stay fresh until you get home. Then you can place them in the fridge overnight if you are too bushed to get out the perlite and rooting hormone right then.Some plants can be saved whole, like small Dudleyas, or the cuttings can be treated a bit less professionally and still produce results.Key in this whole procedure is your knowledge of the plants so you don't spend alot of effort on the most common things and miss what could be some rather rare items, which could benefit most from your activities. This you will learn as you go. Of course the better you get at propagation the happier you will be, its really not all that hard. Perhaps someone in the local chapter of CNPS is good at such things and willing to take the material and grow them. Perhaps a small number being sold at the Anual plant sale would serve as a fund raiser and a way to spread Local flora in or near the area they were removed from.Be sure the data you collect includes those things mentioned by Lori and perhaps add a couple other things such as soil type, exposure direction facing, slope or flat, plants growing nearby coastal sage scrub yes, but what kind? The names of a few plants can tell alot about its associated community, and some description hiegth/width etc if you are not quite sure about what specie it is. Talk to the folks at Rancho Santa Ana such as Dylan Hannon or Mike Wall. I know you could get some excellent info from them! Call Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont and ask for their educational brochure. It talks about classes, etc. I know Dylan is teaching a propagation class this time. I think it may highlight seeds this time around. Pick their brains, they are a great resource! I could go on and on but will simply say i think your job must be a sad one, watching the habitat be scrapped away but am glad that you are looking into ways to make something good come of your involvement, beside the discovery of fossils and their protection.Officialy, I'm not sure if you need a collection permit and will leave that rather small point considering the situation for others to debate.Best of luck and thanks for your efforts-Dan</p>
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Old 09-08-2001, 07:39 AM
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Default Re: Bulldozer is coming. Grab the seeds?

Thanks for your information both Lori and Dan.To: Dan,The collection permit you mention is of interest to me. In order to be permitted, I would be required to know certain things prior to receiving one. This is probably exactly what I want to know. Who does this permitting? A state agency? Federal agency? Please provide me with a little more information. I have just printed out the membership application to join the CNPS and plan to follow this up as well. Thanks again. Deanna</p>
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