The Flora, Fauna and Controversies of the Sepulveda Basin

Chapter Fall Program

A World Class Urban Restoration Project
The Flora, Fauna and Controversies of the Sepulveda Basin
Presented by Steve Hartman

Saturday, November 5, 2016 at 7 pm

Social time and doors open at 6:30 pm
College of the Sequoias – Ponderosa Lecture Hall
(Free Parking in Lot #4 on NE Corner of Campus)
915 S Mooney Blvd, Visalia, California


Author and dedicated conservationist, Steve Hartman is a dynamic speaker, who is a native of Van Nuys, and has spent more than three decades watching the native flora and fauna return to the Sepulveda Basin. He has served on the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Area’s Steering Committee (sponsored by L.A. City Recreation and Parks) since its inception. He has also served on numerous conservation and restoration projects throughout the state. He is currently President of the Board of Directors for CNPS

In 1990, the City of Los Angeles set aside the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve to protect native plants and animals. Over 200 species of birds have been seen in the basin. Many birds, attracted by the water, gather here in the fall and winter.

photo © Steve Hartmanphoto © Steve Hartman


Thousands of native plants have been planted in the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve. Many other plants have volunteered — meaning grew on their own from seeds, underground shoots, or from broken pieces of plant that rooted and took hold. While certain native plants have volunteered (coyote bush, mulefat, California walnut, elderberry, western ragwort, and mugwort), many non-native plants have also taken advantage of disturbed soils or the remoteness of certain areas to invade, and in some cases, threaten to take over the landscape. There are approximately 100 native California plants found in the Wildlife Reserve, and probably an equal number of non-native plants and weedy species.    Since the Reserve is located in a flood control basin that does indeed flood, weed management will be an ongoing practice: every time the Basin floods, every weed seed (and native seed as well) in the upper Los Angeles River watershed gets caught in the Basin. As the flood waters recede, a one-half to one-inch layer of silt is left, covering up every portion of the
Basin that was flooded. This silt layer is the perfect example of exposed disturbed soil, the kind of condition that weed seeds are highly adapted to and thus can easily germinate…that is, if the seeds are also exposed to light. So weed management will be a continuing effort in the Basin.

There are scant historical records depicting the habitat of the Sepulveda Basin before it was dammed in the 1940’s. While the soft-bottomed portion of the Los Angeles River has always been a “wildlife area,” it wasn’t until the late 1970’s when the Army Corp of Engineers began to revegetate the east portion of the Sepulveda Basin with California native plants. Since then, the 200-acre Wildlife Reserve was established and the Bull Creek Ecosystem Restoration Project was completed. Alas, in December of 2012, the Army Corp destroyed 43 acres of wildlife habitat.

Located in the San Fernando Valley near the intersection of the 101 and 405 Freeways, the 2,000-acre Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area is a flood control basin managed by the Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks. Features include two parks, an 80-acre sports field, an archery range, three 18-hole golf courses, Balboa Lake with boat rentals and fishing, the Balboa Park and Sports Center, playgrounds, a velodrome, bike paths, hiking trails, tennis courts, a Japanese garden, an off-leash dog park, a premiere wildlife preserve, and the only unpaved stretch of the Los Angeles River.

Chapter Winter Program on February 6, 2016

“A Botanical Exploration of the Tule River South Fork Watershed”
presented by Jessica Orozco, graduate student in botany at Claremont Graduate University

February 6, 2016 at 7 pm,
Doors open at 6:30 pm for meet and greet time

Springville Veterans Memorial Building on Highway 190 in Springville
Link to map for location.

Tule River Drainage © Jessica Orozco[photo © Jessica Orozco]

Jessica Orozco has spent the past three years exploring the area south of Springville, within the drainage of the South Fork of the Tule River, including the Tule River Indian Reservation, carefully documenting her wanderings and vegetation surveys with color slides. The Tule River Indian Reservation was established in its current location in 1873 in the ancestral land of the Yaundachi Yokuts people of the Central Valley. Leaders of the Tribe, and those responsible for managing these tribal lands, have offered Orozco support as she has surveyed the area as they understand the mutual gain from her botanical explorations.

The slide program will describe vegetation that includes oak woodland, grassland, chaparral, riparian areas that changes seasonally along the river and temporal streams, as well as coniferous forests and Giant Sequoia groves. This is a special, and mostly unexplored place, with a river that drains mountains with giant Sequoias, foothills that lie adjacent to and beyond Cow Mountain, and includes the entire Tule River Indian Reservation. Slate Mountain is the eastern boundary of the lands, and to the west, Lake Success takes water from the three forks of the Tule River.

Slate Mountain is an ideal place for a floristic study because it represents a botanical black hole.  Access to the area by botanists has been previously limited as is the case with many tribal trust lands in California.  Poorly documented plant diversity on tribal lands, including the Tule River Reservation, speaks to the need for collaboration between Native American communities and interested plant and animal biologists. All benefit from exchange of knowledge, working together towards an improved understanding of the California flora.

As a graduate student in botany, Orozco’s interests lie in the floristics of the California flora. She is also interested in researching the relationships between people, culture and plants and how anthropogentic forces have influenced plant selection and  distribution of species. She is currently a Director-at Large for Southern California Botanists and is a student representative for botany on the graduate student council at Claremont Graduate University (Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont, CA). She currently a recipient of the Ford Fellowship and CNPS research grant.

For more information, call 559-561-1907.
See jessicaorozco.wordpress.com

Tule River © Jessica Orozo

Tule River Indian Reservatin © Jessica Orozco

photo © Jessica Orozco

[all photos © Jessica Orozco]

Fall Program Set for Saturday, September 19

“Creating Drought-Tolerant, Wildlife-Friendly Native Landscapes”
presented by Bobby Kamansky, Biologist and Ecological Consultant

Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 7 pm

Meeting and Greeting at 6:30 pm
Three Rivers Arts Center
41673 North Fork Drive

This program is free and open to the public.

For this timely program, Three Rivers’ own Bobby Kamansky will be sharing his perspective and considerable experience on landscaping and restoring lands using California native plants. He will describe landscape methods and designs he has found that will minimize water use, while increasing drought resilience as well as beneficial insects, pollinators, birds and other desirable animals. Using various examples, he will compare, contrast and illustrate site concepts, plant color pallets and costs.  Applying these practical principles in many kinds of landscapes will conserve essential natural resources, while creating an appealing, sustainable and successful landscape in the increasingly challenging climate.

Kamansky, owner and principal biologist for Kamansky’s Ecological Consulting, has nearly twenty years of biological and ecological experience across a broad range of project complexities, habitats, communities and ecosystems on two continents.  Knowledgeable and passionate about all things natural in the Sierra Nevada Foothills and throughout the Central Valley, he has accumulated an impressive resume managing land planning projects, doing biological assessments and impact studies, research, restoration projects on a variety of habitats. His expertise includes planning for endangered species conservation and restoration, natural lands management and restoration, mapping, and natural resource interpretation.

NativeLandscape © Melanie KeeleyCalifornia Native Plant Garden Landscape” © Melanie Keeley

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Other Fall Events with Alta Peak Chapter

October 3: Native Plant Landscape Design Clinic

October 10: Field Trip to Intermountain Nursery

An Introduction to Phenology Workshop on Feb 28

An Introduction to Phenology Workshop:
Tracking plants to Detect Responses to Climate Change
Winter Program on Saturday, February 28, 2015, from 2 to 4:30 pm
Three Rivers Arts Center on North Fork Drive in Three Rivers

Ann Huber, a biologist with the Sequoia Riverlands Trust, will lead an introductory workshop about phenology, the study of the various seasonal developmental stages that plants and animals undergo, such as leafing and flowering, migration of birds, and emergence of insects.

Do you like to observe plants? Are you interested in how an observation, such as the first day that a lilac blooms, or how the first opening of a flower on a California buckeye tree, might help us understand how native plants respond to changes in climate? If you have ever noted a sycamore tree’s leaves changing color and dropping, you were making a phenological observation.

Paying attention to phenological changes is not a new phenomenon for people, but linking these observations in native plants to the current changes in climate that we are observing is a relatively new field. Scientists are looking for help from all corners of the globe with people observing plants. Much more is known about agricultural plants than native California species.

After about a one hour presentation, participants of this workshop will move outdoors to get hands on experience with Nature’s Notebook, a free online resource produced by the National Phenology Network.  When you participate in Nature’s Notebook, your observations are added to a national database that scientists and land managers can access for research and make better informed decisions about natural resources in their care.

You will also be introduced to the free resources available for observing native plants in our area via the California Phenology Project’s website. While it can serve a greater purpose, it’s also a lot of fun to observe nature!

Alta Peak Chapter programs are open to everyone.
Bring a hat, pencil, notepaper and clipboard.
Call 559-561-4562 for more information.

Directions to Three Rivers Arts Center: Go east on Highway 198 to Three Rivers. Turn left on North Fork Drive. Cross bridge over Kaweah River. The Arts Center is the first building on left.

National Phenology Project Website: usanpn.org

PhenologyTalkWEB

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photo credit: Lynn Firpo “Observing a California Buckeye Tree in the Foothills”

Special Program: Landscaping with California Native Plants

Making the Switch:
Landscaping with California Natives
for Regional Beauty and Water Conservation

Friday, September 26, 2014, from 7-9 pm

Alta Peak Chapter Fall Program presented by Melanie Baer-Keeley
To be held at College of the Sequoias, 915 S. Mooney, Visalia
Program will be in the Hospital Rock Building, Room 134. Park in lot 4, North of the COS Theater.
You will need to buy a daily parking pass from a kiosk in the parking lot.
Link to COS campus map.

Consider this presentation a short-cut to transforming your yard into a beautiful, natural haven, that is low care and uses significantly less water. Become familiar with which of California’s many native species work well in the Central Valley’s hot, dry climate. Learn best practices for landscaping with them, whether you are integrating them into an existing garden, or removing your lawn and starting from scratch. Drought tolerant native plants will be colorfully illustrated, showing growth habit and desirable characteristics. Maximize your garden’s blooming seasons, create habitat for birds and butterflies, and learn simple, manageable landscaping principals to enable you to make the leap into a less stressful, more sustainable way of gardening.

Melanie Keeley has many years’ professional experience focused on a variety of aspects involving native plants: education, conservation, cultivation, propagation, landscaping and even botanical illustration. She is currently Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ horticulturist/botanist and is also the president of the Alta Peak Chapter,

For more information call 559-799-7438.

Photo © Cathy Capone

photo © Cathy Capone

Re-imagining the California Lawn and Garden
 Using California Native Plants

Alta Peak Chapter Fall Program
September 15 , 2012 at 7 pm

Presenter: Bart O’Brien
,
Horticulturalist and Director of Special Projects
at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont

Three Rivers Arts Center
Directions: east on Highway 198 to Three Rivers. Turn left on North Fork Drive (just before Anne Lang’s Emporium).The Arts Center is the first building on the left after crossing the bridge over Kaweah River.

Bart O’Brien is one of the authors of Reimagining the California Lawn, along with Carol Bornstein and David Fross. They are visionary horticulturalists, who also wrote the award-winning book California Native Plants for the Garden. In this program, he will share his passion for water-wise plants and landscapes to help us discover the many possibilities and pleasures that come with reimagining our California lawn and garden.

This talk will cover the basics of gardening with California native plants (What is a California native plant? Why should I be interested in growing these plants? Why are these plants different from the usual plants found in nurseries?) as well as providing examples of some of the most beautiful and useful native plants from some of our best gardens and landscapes. These spectacular plants are then showcased through the prism of our five senses: touch, smell, sight, taste, and sound.

 

Bart O’Brien is Director of Special Projects at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) in Claremont an educational institution dedicated to research, conservation, and horticulture of California. A fifth generation Californian, he is an authority on the native flora of the state and of northern Baja California, Mexico and is an accomplished collector, grower, photographer, lecturer, and author.

His most recent publication is a 514 page edit of a Percy Everett manuscript which was completed and published online earlier this year (2012) and is titled Second Summary of the Horticulture and Propagation of California Native Plants at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden 1950-1970. Bart’s ongoing work with the rivers of Los Angeles County resulted in the collaborative publication of the Los Angeles River Master Plan Landscaping Guidelines and Plant Palettes for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works in 2004, and his Plant Lists for the San Gabriel River Watershed for the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy in 2007.

Bart was named Horticulturist of the Year in 2005 by the Southern California Horticultural Society. O’Brien was listed as one of “The 100 Most Powerful People in Southern California” by the editorial staff of the Los Angeles Times/West Magazine (Aug. 13, 2006). Bart was also editor of Fremontia, the journal of CNPS, from 2006 to 2009.

Also, Bart is currently working on a wide array of native plant projects, including the following:

• Leading the rare, endangered, and endemic vascular plants of northwestern Baja California, Mexico project (primarily funded by the Jiji Foundation; The project cooperators are: José Delgadillo Rodriquez, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Ensenada, Mexico; Steve Junak, Herbarium Curator, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Santa Barbara; Thomas Oberbauer, Chief Land Use Planner, San Diego County Department of Planning and Land Use, San Diego; Jon Rebman, Curator of Botany, San Diego Museum of Natural History, San Diego; Hugo Riemann, Departamento de Estudios Urbanos y del Medio Ambiente, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Tijuana, Mexico; and Sula Vanderplank, Herbarium Collections Manager, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont).

• Co-curating (with John Wickham of the Theodore Payne Foundation, Carolyn Bennett, and Kitty Connolly of The Huntington) the exhibit When They Were Wild of California native plant folk art at The Huntington’s Boone Gallery in the spring of 2013.

Summer Program: Native Plant Restoration

“Native Plant Restoration 
in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks”

June 30 , 2012  10am to 2 pm
Presenter Melanie Baer-Keeley
, Restoration Horticulturist for the National Parks

Melanie will lead a tour of the Ash Mountain Native Plant Restoration Nursery facilities and give a talk on restoration projects within the Parks.  Bring a sack lunch, water and hat for lunch along the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River. 
The nursery is at an elevation of about 1700′, and the tour involves a short, slow, mild walk on roads and gravel (not handicapped accessible).  For lunch along the river, we will walk down a gentle 1/4 mile zig-zag trail that drops down about 300 feet. Most any ambulatory individual can make this short walk, taken at one’s own pace.

Directions: take Hwy 198 to Three Rivers, meet in the parking lot of the Three Rivers Memorial Building on the right hand side of the highway at 9:30 am. Please bring your Park Pass if you have one. We will carpool to the Ash Mountain Visitors Center, a short distance past the Park entrance station.

(photo by Melanie Keeley)