Conservation Update, 2012 Mar | Nature Reserve of Orange County, DRECP, Fire Hazard Maps, Cal-IPC
OC RESERVE LANDS FOCUS GROUP
Volunteers are needed to participate in focus group discussions about how restoration in the Nature Reserve of Orange County (NROC) affects communities and people on NROC’s borders. NROC, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Irvine Ranch Conservancy (IRC) are working with a group of ecologists and social scientists to study alternative approaches to natural lands management and ecosystem restoration. The overall purpose is to develop a better understanding of how conservation lands are important to—and valued by—the general public.
Two sessions are scheduled: March 12 or 13, 5:30-7:30 PM, at IRC’s Field Office (4727 Portola Parkway, Irvine). Volunteers would attend either session, not both. The sessions will generally consist of informal discussion; some of it will involve reacting to a survey exercise. To participate, email the sessions’ organizer at . Indicate which session you can attend; if you can do either you will be contacted re which one to attend. If you are unable to attend either session but would like to be involved, ask to be advised of additional volunteer opportunities that will occur between now and the end of summer.
SOLAR ENERGY DEVELOPMENT
State CNPS is an active partner in the strong environmental coalition working to ensure that the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation plan (DRECP) and the BLM programmatic EIS for solar power fully acknowledge and protect California’s desert plants, animals and cultural heritage. Greg Suba, CNPS’ Conservation Program Director and representative to the coalition, recently updated all chapters on the current state of solar and wind project development in California’s desert regions. He included an outline of CNPS’ positions and comments to date, extensive background on solar energy development, and links to several very important online petitions. See all of this on our web page and on OC Facebook. ACTION NOW: Sign the petitions ASAP, and read the info.
NEW MAPS OF OC’S FIRE HAZARD ZONES: See the new maps, fire hazard criteria, and other background at http://ocplanning.net/FireHazard.aspx.
CAL-IPC SPONSORED Habitat Restoration Workdays give hands-on field experience in controlling invasive plants while working towards a Cal-IPC Trained Wildland Manager Certificate. Theory behind various invasive plant control techniques will be discussed, and participants will be able to practice these techniques under expert guidance. The workdays are half-day events, designed to be both learning and volunteer opportunities; they are offered at a minimal registration fee of $20 unless otherwise noted. The closest one to OC that is scheduled at press time: Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, Black Mountain Rd. and Mercy Rd, San Diego, Saturday, March 17, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Mike Kelly, long time practitioner of habitat restoration, will be demonstrating the “drill and spray” method to kill palms and hardwood trees in place. This method kills the tree standing, avoiding removal costs and in some cases creating habitat for nesting birds. Contact re registering. See sandiego.gov/park-and-recreation/parks/penasq.shtml for directions to the Preserve. Check cal-ipc.org/fieldcourses/ for future Workdays.
—Celia Kutcher, Conservation Chair