Urban Wildlands | Fremontia Vol 46 No1

In this special issue of Fremontia, we explore a few of California’s urban wildlands through the lens of native vegetation and wildlife recovery

A common theme runs through the issue: In the 21st century, urban wildlands face new and varied challenges, including invasive species, pathogens, homeless encampments, lack of pollinators, and the genetic isolation of native species. CNPS volunteers are partnering with other organizations statewide to address these concerns and preserve the many benefits these oases provide urban residents.

CNPS Board President Steve Hartman is the guest editor of the Urban Wildlands issue and shares his decades-long experience in working with the Sepulveda Flood Control Basin, a world-class urban wildlife reserve located in the Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley.

I have long been fascinated by these areas because, as a life-long resident of Los Angeles, when I visit these pieces of heaven, even as jets roar overhead and traffic zooms nearby, I can relax and find peace,” Steven Hartman.

Thanks to a grant from the Schwemm Family Foundation, CNPS has been able to provide thousands of additional copies to the public at no additional cost. Now, you can download a free copy for yourself.

In this issue:

A View from the 21st Century: The Historical Sepulveda Basin Ecosystem
By Paula Schiffman

The Sepulveda Basin in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley is an island of green surrounded by a vast urban sea. Its novel ecosystem is the source of mostly intangible benefits. In the future, it will be important to the restoration of regional hydrology.

Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve: A World-Class Urban Refuge
By Steve Hartman

Nearly a million people live in the San Fernando Valley, but this region is home to a world-class wildlife refuge. Today, its re-created riparian habitat is home to the federally endangered Least Bell’s Vireo, and offer valuable lessons in both the success and struggles of urban wildland management.

Bull Creek Ecosystem Restoration Project: Not Quite a Success Story
By Steve Hartman

Sometimes the best intentions still achieve suboptimal results due to flood, drought, lack of funding, and human-induced habitat destruction. Fencing and long-term weed  control are necessary to successfully manage urban wildlands.

Weed Control Efforts in the Sepulveda Basin
By Steve Hartman

Persistence pays off! Even a small group of dedicated volunteers can make a significant difference by weeding regularly. Experience shows that removing seeding, non-native mustard plants for three years allows the soil to heal for native plants to germinate.

The Value of an Urban Forest
By Julie Clark DeBlasio

Trees are anchors of many native California ecosystems. Neighborhoods with numerous trees have more pollinators and wildlife, better aesthetics, improved air quality and carbon capture, and decreased heat and crime.

Nature in the City: Restored Native Habitat Along the L.A. River Sets a New Model for Southern California’s Urban Rivers
By Esther Feldman

Community Conservation Solutions’ Los Angeles River Greenway Trail uses an ecosystem-focused approach, replacing non-native plants with native plant communities of trees, shrubs, and grasses.

A Life Uncultivated
By Jake Sigg

In the dense city of San Francisco, natural biological communities are surviving,. Here, political skills are as valuable as biological knowledge in setting priorities and securing needed resources.

Book Reviews

Citizen Science: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction, by Mary Ellen Hannibal
Review by Chelsea Leu

Kumeyaay Ethnobotany: Shared Heritage of the Californias, by Michael Wilken-Robertson
Review by Tom Oberbauer

Download the Fremontia Urban Wildands issue here.

A few remaining print versions of the Urban Wildlands issue are still available, to order a free copy, please complete our request form.

Fremontia journal is a bi-annual publication of the California Native Plant Society. CNPS members receive a free copy of each new issue by mail. (You can join CNPS, starting as low as $10/mo or $45/year.)

An archive of all past issues of Fremontia are available for download here.  Past print issues are available for purchase at a discounted rate on the CNPS store.

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