Conservation Update, 2015 Jan | Stinkwort, Saddle Crest, Madrona, Banning Ranch
From the Desk of Celia Kutcher, Conservation Chair
STINKWORT PULL A SUCCESS!
On Nov. 30, 20 doughty weedfighters tackled the infestation of stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens) in the southerly end of O’Neill Regional Park. This was the first known site in OC for stinkwort; its discovery there was reported in our previous newsletter. The removed stinkwort filled 10 large trash bags, which were taken to the landfill.
The Stinkwort Pull was the inaugural event of a collaboration between OCCNPS, the Irvine Ranch Conservancy (IRC), and OC Parks to act quickly to control newly emerging invasives in OC’s reserve lands. Such infestations, usually small, are likely otherwise to “fall between the cracks” in the management of OC’s public lands.
In the stinkwort’s case, the plants had begun to disperse seed so we felt some urgency about removing the infestation before it could expand any further.
The Pull was organized by Jutta Burger, IRC Managing Director for Science and Stewardship. She is also an OCCNPS Board member and head of our newly reorganized Invasives Committee. Henry DiRocco, OC Parks volunteer and Invasives Committee member, was the onsite leader. The weed-fighting group included OCCNPS members and IRC and OC Parks volunteers and staff. OCCNPS will continue to monitor the area. It is likely that ongoing removal efforts and several years of monitoring will be needed to ensure complete eradication.
ACTION NOW: Keep your eyes peeled for stinkwort, and any other uncommon non-native plants, as you walk OC’s trails. If you see such a plant, take notes and pictures about its location and email them to Jutta Burger, Ron Vanderhoff, or Celia Kutcher. See address page of this newsletter.
COMING SOON: Our website will soon host an expanded “Have You Seen This Plant?” page, with pictures and info to help you ID and report OC’s known invasives. Watch for it!
SADDLE CREST: On Dec. 16th, an Appeals Court panel of three justices heard oral arguments from both sides of the Saddle Crest
appeal, and then took the matter under submission. Their opinion will be issued within 90 days from Dec. 16. OCCNPS is one of five defendants in the appeal. See past newsletters for details on OCCNPS’ part in this long and involved issue.
ACTION NOW: Donations to the Saddle Crest legal fund are still needed; make them online at fhbp.org/programs/saddleback-canyons.html.
MADRONA: Hills for Everyone has entered litigation against the City of Brea’s approval of the Madrona development, proposed for land next to—and which should be part of Chino Hills State Park. OCCNPS is a colitigant in this action. For more info, and to donate to this litigation fund, see HillsForEveryone.org.
BANNING RANCH: The Banning Ranch enforcement action, which had been scheduled for the January Coastal Commission meeting, was postponed to a future meeting. The action is on the proposed Commission administrative order directing Banning Ranch landowners to, among other things, cease and desist from engaging in alleged unpermitted development, including mowing, and to restore certain areas to Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area status. See banningranchconservancy.org. for details on what’s at stake.