The Conservancy has been busy this fall and winter removing invasive, non-native plants from the Rose Creek watershed in the heart of suburban San Diego near University City and Claremont. Non-native plants can act like slow-motion bulldozers, displacing native plants and eliminating important wildlife habitat in San Diego’s canyon nature preserves. Non-native plants also often grow in dense clumps near homes that increase the risk of wildfire. To address these threats, the Conservancy applied for and received a grant from the California Wildlife Conservation Board to fund professional treatment of the plant pests. The Conservancy’s consultant, RECON Environmental, has treated over fifteen acres of non-native invasive plants including twelve acres of Pampas grass and over two thousand invasive trees like Eucalyptus and Brazilian pepper. Work will be suspended during the breeding bird season that starts on February 15 but will resume in fall 2013.
The Conservancy is pleased to announce that three habitat restoration projects are now underway following years of planning, permitting, and other preparation: The Carmel Mountain Vernal Pool and Uplands Habitat Restoration Project, the Proctor Valley ORV Site A Vernal Pool and Uplands Habitat Restoration Project, and the Rose Creek Watershed Invasive Plant Control Project. The Conservancy has retained expert consultants HELIX Environmental Planning for the two vernal pool projects, and RECON Environmental for the Rose Creek project. Most grading has been completed for the vernal pool projects though follow-up work will be conducted after this rainy season. In Rose Creek, most invasive plant removal work this season will be conducted prior to the breeding bird season that begins February 15.
Long before any shovel can touch ground or seeds spread in our habitat restoration projects, complicated and time-consuming paperwork is needed to secure permits from several local, state, and federal agencies. For the Conservancy’s two flagship vernal pool restoration projects, six different permits were required, ranging from a right-of entry permit to conduct work on City of San Diego properties, to state and federal clean water and endangered species permits. These permits in turn required review under seven different environmental laws, the California Environmental Quality Act, National Environmental Quality Act, National Historic Preservation Act, and others. The Conservancy has been dedicated to complying with all regulations to make for the best possible projects and is thankful for the incredible support and assistance we’ve received from agency staff. We plan to finish permit processing this summer and restoration work on the ground this fall.
Want to help protect rare vernal pools? Join The Chaparral Lands Conservancy and the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department for a “Backyard Wilderness” work party to install fencing around vernal pools at the Carmel Mountain Preserve in Carmel Valley on four dates this winter and spring: February 4th and 25th and March 10th and 24th. Events run from 9am – noon and begin with a short walk to introduce the special nature of the preserve followed by fence construction. Please bring water and suitable work clothing you don’t mind getting dirty and to keep the sun off. Please RSVP to David Hogan for directions: firstname.lastname@example.org or 619-756-3864. Participants will be required to sign a liability waiver, and parents or guardians must sign a waiver for minors. Heavy rain cancels. For more information on our Carmel Mountain Habitat Restoration Project please visit our Projects page.
Slowly but surely The Chaparral Lands Conservancy is making progress on complex planning and permitting for our first two vernal pool restoration projects. The projects are on Carmel Mountain and in Proctor Valley and we expect to break ground in summer 2012. We are also grateful for a grant from San Diego Gas and Electric to support the Conservancy’s “Backyard Wilderness” public outreach program for the Carmel Mountain vernal pool restoration project.
The Chaparral Lands Conservancy has been honored with 2 new grants for restoration of sensitive vernal pool habitat. For the second year in a row, the San Diego Foundation has funded the Conservancy’s Proctor Valley Vernal Pool Restoration Project. This year funding was provided to begin work at the first priority vernal pool restoration site in Proctor Valley located on land owned and protected by the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department. Another grant and technical assistance for our Carmel Mountain Habitat Restoration Project has been pledged by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife and Coastal programs. We are grateful for this incredible support.