Sent: Monday, November 16, 2009 5:21 PM
Subject: [SBCWMA News] November 2009
New SBCWMA Website and Calendar
The Santa Barbara County Weed Management Area has migrated its old website to a new cleaner looking website. The address for the new SBCWMA website is http://www.countyofsb.org/agcomm/wma/. A calendar of events has been added to the website. Here you can find events of interest for the habitat restoration and weed control realm, including grant application deadlines, workshop and educational presentations, outreach, volunteer days, and meetings. Email David Chang at firstname.lastname@example.org, to have your weed or habitat specific event displayed on the calendar.
Climate Change Makes River Restoration More Important than Ever, Paper Concludes
… press release about a paper in the September 2009 issue of Ecological Restoration
(Washington, DC - September 1, 2009) Restoring river ecosystems and riparian corridors can play an important role in combating climate change impacts to ecosystems by connecting one area to another, enabling plants and animals to move as the climate shifts. It also will create places that shelter fish and wildlife from hotter temperatures, which ecologists call "thermal refugia."
Those are among the conclusions of a new peer-reviewed paper by seven organizations that evaluated how protecting and restoring river ecosystems and riparian areas can enhance the ability of these ecosystems to cope with climate change. This work appears in the September issue of Ecological Restoration (http://er.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/27/3/330) with a collection of articles dedicated to the theme of restoration and climate change. In the paper, the scientists discuss the importance of replanting riparian vegetation and ensuring that rivers have sufficient water to maintain flows that benefit birds, fish and other wildlife, and human communities. Based on these and other benefits of riparian restoration, the authors recommend that river restoration activities continue and expand as the climate changes.
"I often hear people ask: 'if climate change is going to disrupt natural systems, why should we bother to restore them?'" explains Nat Seavy, terrestrial research director at PRBO Conservation Science.
"Restoration, especially of riparian areas, is a critical step toward protecting the integrity of ecosystems and the benefits they provide - including clean water, pollination, and flood protection - to wildlife and humans in a time of rapid climate change."
The authors also discuss the need to modify restoration strategies to prepare for the uncertain conditions predicted to accompany climate change, and for ongoing research and monitoring to evaluate and improve restoration practices. Recommendations include planting a mix of riparian plants that are both drought and flood tolerant, ensuring that rivers have sufficient water to provide for periodic flooding of natural areas, and increasing habitat restoration on private lands.
"Protecting genetic diversity and native biodiversity with restoration projects will boost the resilience of society and nature to potentially catastrophic climate change impacts," says paper co-author Stacy Small, conservation scientist with Environmental Defense Fund's Center for Conservation Incentives. "Working with landowners to restore private lands will also enhance restoration efforts on adjacent public lands."
For decades, conservationists have been aware that increasing human populations, development, and changing land use threaten biodiversity and ecosystem services. Ecological restoration was originally developed to help speed the recovery of landscapes disrupted by human activities.
Today, there is a growing awareness that ecological restoration also must look ahead to consider the potential consequences of a changing climate.
"Because dams and water diversions have disrupted natural water regimes, simply protecting the river isn't enough," explains Thomas Griggs, senior restoration ecologist with River Partners, an organization that has led restoration efforts along the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers. "Over the last 20 years, we've learned how to speed the return of birds and other wildlife to these important habitats by planting the vegetation that would have come back as a result of natural flooding. In the next 20 years, we will need to look ahead to understand how climate change will impact these systems, and ensure that our efforts are successful into the future."
Working collaboratively with partners across disciplines is increasingly important for effective restoration. The authors that collaborated on this project work for government agencies (the United States Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management), academic institutions (University at California Davis), and non-profit organizations (PRBO Conservation Science, The Nature Conservancy, Audubon California, Environmental Defense Fund, and River Partners).
"This paper exemplifies the importance of partnering to prepare for climate change," explains Ellie Cohen, executive director of PRBO Conservation Science. "By building diverse teams with unique knowledge and on-the-ground experience we can develop practical solutions supported by sound science."
Authors were Nathaniel Seavy, Thomas Gardali, and Christine Howell (PRBO Conservation Science), Gregory Golet (The Nature Conservancy), Thomas Griggs (River Partners), Rodd Kelsey (Audubon California), Stacy Small (Environmental Defense Fund), Joshua Viers (UC Davis), and James Weigand (Bureau of Land Management).
CDFA Announces Closure of 2009 Contracts and Request Proposals for New Contracts.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture reminded California’s weed management areas of the expiration of 2009 contracts and that final invoices and reports will be due by February 1, 2010. Partners of the Santa Barbara County Weed Management Area are reminded to prepare their invoices and data for submission to the County of Santa Barbara Agricultural Commissioner's Office prior to the due date.
Requests for proposals for weed control projects for the 2011 calendar year are due by March 1, 2010. There will be two types of WMA Funding in the 2010 WMA Request for Proposals: (1) BASE FUNDING and (2) SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDING.
BASE FUNDING: Each officially recognized Weed Management Area group will receive $16,758.00 of BASE FUNDING. This funding is not competitive, but rather is considered a base-level of funding. No in-kind is required for BASE funding. The California Department of Food and Agriculture is soliciting BASE WORK PLANS and BUDGETS from each WMA. BASE contracts will be for one calendar year, starting January 1, 2011 and ending December 31, 2011.
SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDING: Each WMA has the opportunity to apply for funding through a competitive SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDING request for proposals program. ALL WMAs are encouraged to submit supplemental funding proposals, but NOT required to do so. Supplemental projects that are awarded funding will span two calendar years: starting January 1, 2011 and ending December 31, 2012. A total of $243,000 in SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDS is available. Unlike the Base Funding
Program, these proposals will be competitive. It should be noted that funding for Supplemental Projects is very competitive; in the 2009 cycle only 9 out of 32 WMA groups received funding for one project. All supplemental proposals will be reviewed and ranked by the WMA Oversight Committee. Since the total pot of money available for the supplemental funding program is limited, only ONE project proposal (up to three projects, fewer recommended) for a maximum award of $50,000 PER WMA will be accepted. A minimum 50:50 Cost-Share is required on Supplemental Proposals.
Santa Barbara County Weed Management Area partners are invited to submit proposals for both base and supplemental projects.
EPA Proposes New Pesticide Labeling to Control Spray Drift and Protect Human Health
Release date: 11/04/2009
Contact Information: Dale Kemery, email@example.com, 202-564-7839, 202-564-4355
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has rolled out proposed guidance for new pesticide labeling to reduce off-target spray and dust drift. The new instructions, when implemented, will improve the clarity and consistency of pesticide labels and help prevent harm from spray drift. The agency is also requesting comment on a petition to evaluate children’s exposure to pesticide drift.
“The new label statements will help reduce problems from pesticide drift,” said Steve Owens, the assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. “The new labels will carry more uniform and specific directions on restricting spray drift while giving pesticide applicators clear and workable instructions.”
The new instructions will prohibit drift that could cause adverse health or environmental effects. Also, on a pesticide-by-pesticide basis, EPA will evaluate scientific information on risk and exposure based on individual product use patterns. These assessments will help the agency determine whether no-spray buffer zones or other measures – such as restrictions on droplet or particle size, nozzle height, or weather conditions – are needed to protect people, wildlife, water resources, schools and other sensitive sites from potential harm.
In addition to the draft notice on pesticide-drift labeling, EPA is also seeking comment on a draft pesticide drift labeling interpretation document that provides guidance to state and tribal enforcement officials. A second document provides background information on pesticide drift, a description of current and planned EPA actions, a reader’s guide explaining key terms and concepts, and specific questions on which EPA is seeking input. These documents and further information are available in docket EPA–HQ–OPP–2009–0628 at http://www.regulations.gov.
In a second Federal Register notice, EPA is also requesting comment on a petition filed recently by environmental and farm worker organizations. The petitioners ask EPA to evaluate children’s exposure to pesticide drift and to adopt, on an interim basis, requirements for “no-spray” buffer zones near homes, schools, day-care centers, and parks. EPA will evaluate this new petition and take whatever action may be appropriate after the evaluation is complete. For further information and to submit comments, please see docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0825 at http://www.regulations.gov.
NPS Releases Protocol for Early Detection of Invasive Plants in San Francisco Bay Area Parks
Andrea Williams announced that, after years of toil, revision, and persistence, the protocol for early detection of invasive plant species in San Francisco Bay Area National Parks has been posted at http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/units/sfan/vital_signs/Invasives/docs/SFAN_EarlydetectionV1.4.pdf. Comments are invited, Andrea Williams: firstname.lastname@example.org 415-945-1184 or, if comments are NPS-specific, contact Jenn_Jordan@nps.gov or Marcus_Koenen@nps.gov
USDA Adds Old World Climbing Fern and Maidenhair Creeper to Noxious Weed List.
The U.S. Dept of Agriculture has announced that they are amending the noxious weed regulations by adding Old World climbing fern (Lygodium microphyllum) and maidenhair creeper (Lygodium flexuosum) to the list of terrestrial noxious weeds. This action is necessary to prevent the artificial spread of these noxious weeds into the United States. This interim rule is effective October 19, 2009. They will consider all comments received on this Docket No. APHIS-2008-0097 on or before December 18, 2009.
For additional information go to http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2008-0097.
San Marcos Foothills Coalition is Alive.
Mark Holmgren, Secretary, of the San Marcos Foothills Coalition announced in October 2009 that the “San Marcos Foothills Coalition is alive.” He stated that while you have not heard from them lately, they have re-organized to reconnect with the public on behalf of the foothills ecosystem at San Marcos Foothills.
Here is what they are doing:
1. Working with County Parks, they have helped shape the Interim Management Plan for the SMF Preserve.
2. Working with local experts in restoration ecology, they are soliciting input for a proposal to fund needed restoration on damaged portions of SMFP.
3. Working with Channel Islands Restoration, they have endorsed and offered matching funds for their proposal to the Santa Barbara Foundation to restore a portion of Cieneguitas Creek where a bridge has been proposed to aid walking access across the creek.
4. They will work with other groups (hopefully Channel Islands Restoration) and schools to teach restoration ecology on SMFP and encourage active public participation in restoration once funding is obtained
They also expect to resume an active presence on the property and they are available to receive your thoughts and concerns about issues on the Preserve. Please help them to build a new list of contacts. Send them your best e-mail address and encourage others to give them their e-mails.
You may view the County’s Interim Management Plan at http://www.countyofsb.org/uploadedFiles/parks/Open_Spaces/SMFPInterimPlanDraft.pdf. While it looks a lot like their 2000 Plan for the Preservation and Stewardship of San Marcos Foothills, the maps have been modified and you may be interested in reading Interim Objectives and Implementation on page 11. Both SMFC and the County welcome your comments.
Rediscovering Rangelands, Save the date…
California State University, Sacramento, Jan. 7-8, 2010
The California Rangeland Conservation Coalition will host its fifth annual summit, Rediscovering Rangelands, on Jan. 7-8, 2010 at California State University, Sacramento. In addition to featuring presentations from rangeland advocates, researchers and ranchers, the Summit will also include a second day for a field trip to allow participants to get a first-hand view of the benefits of managed grazing. The event is open to the public with an interest in working landscapes and natural resources. I will forward registration information when I receive it.
Vernal Pool Plant Guide
Kelly Hildner, Restoration Coordinator at Storke Ranch, has created a guide to assist land managers (such as the Storke Ranch Homeowner’s Association) manage vernal pools on their property. It was written to be understandable to a lay audience. It is 77 pages and contains eight pages of introductory material including a short introduction about vernal pools and some general weeding guidance. The bulk of the document is a plant guide with color photos. There are 27 pages dedicated to vernal pool native species with general descriptions of the plants and their habitats and a notation for whether the species is locally rare. There are 28 pages dedicated to invasive species, with a general description, ecological damage, how it spreads, and removal information for each species. The country of origin and the Cal-IPC statewide impact rating are also noted. The plant guide portion of the booklet is organized into sections for monocots and dicots, with plants arranged alphabetically by common name within each section. The final portion of the guide (13 pages) contains some brief reference material including a table of all the plants found in the Storke Ranch open space, a very brief resources section, a glossary, references, and an index of plant names for finding the plant by common name or scientific name.
She has funding to print and distribute 75 copies of the guide, which is titled ‘Guide to Native and Invasive Plants of the Storke Ranch Vernal Pool Open Space: Managing Vernal Pools in the Greater Santa Barbara Area’. She would like the guide to be freely available to every person and group that might benefit from it, but if you, or your organization, have the funds to purchase a copy or at least pay for the shipping, please let her know, so she can provide copies to more users. Because the booklet is full color and a small run, it is expensive to print ($25.73/copy at Wilson Printing).
Contact Kelly Hildner, Kelly@dock.net, (805) 729-2610 to obtain a copy.
Lake Los Carneros Wetland Margin Enhancement Project – Community Volunteer Day
Saturday, November 21, 2009; 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Join Channel Islands Restoration for the first Volunteer Day on this project! They will be hand-removing Cape ivy (Delairea odorata), smilograss (Piptatherum miliaceum), and other invasive weedy plants from two areas in preparation for re-vegetation with native species. Hand tools and gloves will be provided, as well as snacks and drinks. Meet at the parking lot adjacent to the South Coast Railroad Museum off of Los Carneros Road at 9 am for an orientation and tour of the project areas before we begin work. It is a short walk to both sites.
Directions: From the 101, exit on Los Carneros, which is about 10 miles west of Santa Barbara. (North on 101). At the top of the ramp, turn towards the mountains on Los Carneros Rd. past Calle Real. Look for the Railroad Museum on the right. Drive into the fire station entrance, parking lot is towards the back. RSVP to email@example.com if you will be coming to allow planning for enough tools, drinks and goodies for all.
About Lake Los Carneros and the Wetland Margin Enhancement Project:
Lake Los Carneros Nature Preserve has long been a favorite hiking and recreation area for residents of Goleta, Santa Barbara and beyond. Before ranching days it was a wetland at the far reaches of Goleta Slough. It became Stow Pond after the Stow family built a dam in the 1880s to provide water for irrigation on their La Patera Ranch. Today the lake is home to several species of fish and the surrounding natural area provides miles of trails for hiking, birding, viewing of wildlife and other passive recreation. The Preserve, along with Stow House and the Goleta Railroad Museum property, is now a city park, owned by the City of Goleta. The preserve is home to many plant and animal species that once covered the Goleta Valley. Over 220 species of birds live in, nest or migrate through the preserve. Raccoons, gray fox, striped skunk, brush rabbit and the occasional bobcat are known to inhabit it. Native plants include coast live oak, ederberry, Santa Barbara honeysuckle, coastal sage brush, California brome grass, and California sunflower.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Goleta Land Trust and support from the City of Goleta and the Santa Barbara Audubon Society, Channel Islands Restoration has begun this project to help recover declining wildlife habitat around the margins of the lake. Removal of invasive non-native plants is the first step toward this goal. Larger invasives like Arundo donax, Myoporum, Pittosporum and Eucalyptus saplings have already been removed by CIR crews. (Mature Eucalyptus has been preserved for Monarch butterfly habitat). Plants like Cape Ivy, a native of South Africa introduced horticulturally in California, have spread and squeezed out native plants that provide food and shelter for birds and animals. Cape ivy is major threat to coastal habitat. At Lake Los Carneros, it threatens stands of unique Santa Barbara honeysuckle, and is first on their removal list.
Following the removal of the Cape ivy and other problem weeds, like Italian thistle, smilograss and bridal creeper (Asparagus asparagoides), the project will be planting native species grown from seed collected at Lake Los Carneros for this purpose. After planting, the project will continue with follow up mulching, weed control and watering as needed with volunteers on a monthly basis.
Refugio Creek Planting Days – Volunteers Needed
Come help Channel Islands Restoration plant THOUSANDS of native plants at Refugio Creek on the Gaviota Coast, starting with these dates in December. This is the second year of a successful project to reestablish the native plant communities along the creek after the removal of Arundo donax, a highly destructive weed. They are relying on YOUR help to plant native creek species which will reestablish habitat and prevent erosion.
This is also a great opportunity to visit an important riparian area on the coast and to learn about a large-scale restoration project. Many schools require community service hours, so let them know if you want to bring a school or scout group. (They hope to be offering additional dates in early 2010 as well.)
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, if you can join CIR on the following dates, from 9:00 AM to noon:
Saturday December 5
Saturday December 12
This project is sponsored by the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County. For more information on the project, visit web page: http://www.channelislandsrestoration.com/mainland.htm
This newsletter is compiled from various sources, including emails I receive from people who are involved in the invasive weed field, and from listserves. I modify the emails, but sometimes they are inserted here nearly verbatim. I thank those people for this information and for their devotion to protecting and conserving habitat. If you recognize something that you wrote and object to its use here or on my website, contact me and I will promptly remove it from my website.
Agricultural Commissioner's Office
County of Santa Barbara