CNPS 2018 Conference Thank You!

Conference Stats Infographic_7.5x11A huge thanks to all who helped make our 2018 CNPS Conservation Conference a huge success:

  • To our Conference Chairs, Brad Jenkins and Laura Camp — For your vision, guidance, and support from day 1 of planning all the way to our final day of the event!
  • To our Sponsors — This event wouldn’t be possible without you! Thank you for your generosity and commitment to California’s native plants.
  • To our Dream Team, Volunteers and Local Chapters — You are indispensable. Thank you for your hard work, stellar organization, and smiling faces! (Special shout-out to Robert and Judy Fenerty for more than three 10+hour days by our side.)
  • To the CNPS Board (Present and Past) — Your leadership has made CNPS what it is today!
  • To our Session Chairs and Presenters — Your expertise, insights, and passion inspire all of us to do better and be more!
  • To our Live Auction Conservation Donors – Wow! Grace and generosity under pressure. We thank you!
  • To All Attendees — You make the conference what it is: an incredible, fun gathering of like-minded people. Each person brings something special to this event.
  • To our Abstract Review Team — Thank you for the many hours spent reviewing abstracts and selecting the best of the best to present at our conference.
  • To our Workshop and Field Trip Leaders — For bringing our love of native plants into the world with practical skills and information.
  • To the Student Engagement Team — You’re helping to build the future of California conservation!
  • To our Art/Photo and Tattoo Contest Judges, Poetry Organizers, and Music Jam Makers — You bring the beauty of native plants to life even within the walls of a hotel!
  • To Coyote Brush Studios — We LOVE our T-shirt design! Because of you, hundreds of Californians are now wearing their CNPS t-shirts with pride.
  • A special thanks to Jennifer Jewell of Cultivating Place — For hosting our first Native Plant Story Booth, where she captured the moving stories of the people behind this native plant movement.
  • And to our CNPS staff — Congratulations on a job well-done! Thanks especially to Becky Reilly and Elizabeth Kubey for your steadfast, detailed, and very hard work to bring this conference to life.

Don’t Forget!
It’s not too late to take the conference survey. Please tell us what you think!

#ReOak Wine Country Update

ReOak Hand ModelIn October, at least 31,000 acres of Oak forest and woodlands burned in the devastating wine country fires. These Oaks support hundreds of different species of wildlife and are critical to the health of local ecosystems. In the wake of the fires, CNPS called on volunteers to help “Re-Oak” the region. Since then, thousands of Californians have signed up to help gather acorns, which will be used to reintroduce Oak trees in the fire affected areas.

“The response has been incredible,” says CNPS Executive Director Dan Gluesenkamp.

So first, thank you to ALL who have helped in so many ways. To community members who have gathered acorns and mailed them to our offices; to the volunteers in Sacramento and Wine Country who have tirelessly processed the acorns, ensuring best practices for the restoration; and to our donors, who have made possible the needed staff  and materials to make this effort a success, we thank you!

What’s Been Happening

The CNPS state office at 2707 K Street in Sacramento has been the hub for receiving and processing acorns sent in by members and volunteers from around the state. Numerous volunteers from the CNPS Sacramento Valley Chapter have handled receiving,  sorting, and processing acorns that will be distributed to help with the Re-Oaking effort. All acorns from the fire-affected areas of Wine Country have been sent on to the CNPS volunteers in Sonoma county, led by restoration expert Betty Young.

Due to the amazing response from people sending in acorns, we are now looking for additional volunteers to help continue the sorting effort at Elderberry Farms Native Plant Nursery in Rancho Cordova, CA.

If you or someone you know is interested in helping out at this location, please email for more information. You can also signup for updates on this project or learn more about the effort by visiting

Our deepest thanks and appreciation goes out to all of the community members, school groups, CNPS members and volunteers who took the time to collect, package, and send us specimens. Your contribution is key in helping restore oak woodlands in the fire affected areas of wine country. Please stay in touch for updates on this project and future endeavors. Together we can accomplish great things.

More Information:

CNPS #ReOak news release

CDFW Expands Land Pass Program in 2017-18

Places such as North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve will require a CDFW Lands Pass

By Julie Horenstein and Peter Tira, California Department of Fish and Wildlife

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is expanding its Lands Pass Program to 42 wildlife areas and ecological reserves this fall and winter and will soon require a CDFW lands pass of all visitors 16 or older. Those carrying a current hunting or fishing license are exempt from this new requirement.

CDFW’s Land Pass Program began in 1988 as a way to broaden the funding base beyond hunters and anglers to pay for the management and operation of some of the state’s most popular and frequently visited wildlife areas and ecological reserves. In 2012, the California Legislature directed CDFW to expand the program to more properties as a way for all visitors to contribute to the management of the places they enjoy and appreciate.  A list of the lands pass properties, where the lands passes will be required, plus additional details is available at

A daily lands pass costs $4.32 and an annual lands pass costs $24.33 ($25.10 in 2018). Lands passes can be purchased online at, by phone at (800) 565-1458, and in-person wherever hunting and fishing license are sold (locations at The passes, which are good at any lands pass property, are not sold on site and should be purchased in advance. Though lands passes can be purchased from a smartphone and used immediately, many of CDFW’s wildlife areas and ecological reserves are in remote locations with limited or no cell service or Wi-Fi availability. Signs will be posted notifying visitors of the need for a lands pass and explaining how to obtain them.

Other exemptions from the lands pass requirement include school and organized youth group field trips (including accompanying adults), volunteers while they are working on a lands pass property, and researchers who are carrying a valid letter of permission to conduct research on the property.  Note that CDFW considers school groups to include preschool through graduate school classes, as well as school clubs that provide science or environmental education.

All lands pass revenue will go to managing California’s native species and habitats on CDFW lands. Providing the name of the property you plan to visit is not required during the purchase process, but it is requested.  Providing it assists CDFW with directing funds to that property.  For additional information about the Lands Pass Program, please contact Julie Horenstein at

Manzanita Cider

We’re appreciating native plant recipes this holiday season! The fall issue of the new CNPS magazine, Flora, features a collection of seasonal native plant recipes from Alicia Funk, founder of the Living Wild Project and co-author of Living Wild — Gardening, Cooking and Healing with Native Plants of California. This week, we’re sharing her recipe for manzanita cider, both non-alcoholic and alcoholic!

Manzanita cider is a traditional drink of California, enjoyed by indigenous inhabitants in many parts of the state. Although all species have edible berries, Alicia uses Arctostaphylos viscida, since it is abundant in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada where she lives. The cider is easy to make, high in antioxidants and naturally sweet. Fill a blender with the dry berries and grind on low-medium for about a minute. This is a modern technique to crush the berries and expose the sweet powder, without crushing up the large seeds. Cover the crushed berries with cold water and soak for several hours to overnight. Strain and enjoy cold or hot.


Collect berries in summer.
Makes 1 gallon. Ready to drink in 2 months.


4 quarts manzanita cider (see above for method)
2 pounds raw cane sugar
8-quart pot
1-gallon jug
 for jug
1 packet dry wine yeast
Flip-top bottles
Iodine (for sterilizing)


Pour cider into pot, add the 2 pounds of sugar, and allow to simmer over heat until sugar dissolves.

Let cider cool and use a small amount of iodine to sterilize the jug.

Pour cider into sterilized gallon jug and add yeast.

Seal jug with the airlock and store in a cool location, 65-75 degrees F.

Let the cider bubble for approximately a month. After 
the bubbling subsides, allow it to sit for another week.

Siphon the cider into sanitized bottles, avoiding the 
yeast that has settled on the bottom of the jug.  Seal bottles and allow cider to sit for another 2 weeks or more for added flavor.

Avoid problems with wild plant collection

CNPS generally advises against collecting wild native plants, since toxic species can be misidentified as edible plants and wild collection runs the risk of harming sensitive species and habitats. Growing your own native habitat is a great solution that gives you easy access to an abundance of useful plants.

Holiday Native Plant Recipes

Madrone_Berries wikipedia

Late fall is a great time to collect madrone berries.

The holidays are here, and native plants are a great way to enjoy the season. The fall issue of the new CNPS magazine, Flora, features a collection of seasonal native plant recipes from Alicia Funk, founder of the Living Wild Project and co-author of Living Wild — Gardening, Cooking and Healing with Native Plants of California. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing a few of our favorites, so give them and try and let us know what you think!

This week, we’re starting with Alicia’s recipe for Madrone “Beyond Cranberry” Sauce. Late fall is a great time to collect madrone berries, but unless you are picking from a tree on your property, please see our notes below the recipe. (Want to grow a madrone tree for your garden? See its profile on to discover where it grows, get landscaping tips, and find out which native nurseries near you carry these beautiful trees.)

Madrone “Beyond Cranberry” Sauce

Collect berries in late fall.


1 3⁄4 cup fresh madrone berries (stems removed)

1⁄4 cup fresh toyon berries (stems removed)

1 cup water

1⁄2 cup apple juice, plus 2 tablespoons, divided

1⁄2 cup honey

1 tablespoon arrowroot or organic cornstarch

1 tablespoon grated orange zest


Mix berries, water, apple juice and honey in a pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.  Stir arrowroot or cornstarch into 2 tbsp apple juice.  Pour into berries and stir constantly while bringing 
to a boil. Remove from heat and add orange zest. Allow to cool before serving. Store in refrigerator for 
up to 2 weeks.

Variation: If toyon berries are plentiful, instead of madrone berries, simmer 1 cup dried toyon berries, 1 cup water, 1 cup apple juice and 1⁄2 cup honey, and then follow the same recipe.

Avoid problems with wild plant collection

CNPS generally advises against collecting wild native plants, since toxic species can be misidentified as edible plants and wild collection runs the risk of harming sensitive species and habitats. Growing your own native habitat is a great solution that gives you easy access to an abundance of useful plants.

Next week: Manzanita Hard Cider!

Wildflowers of the Trinity Alps

Wildflowers of the Trinity Alps

Wildflowers Galore! New guide to the Trinity Alps

Wildflowers of the Trinity Alps

Wildflowers of the Trinity Alps ISBN 978-1-941624-11-1

For the last 50 years, Ken DeCamp has been capturing images of wildflowers from around the world. But a personal passion for one California mountain range has captivated him more than any other. His father was a dam builder, working on projects all over the Pacific Northwest and eventually Pakistan and Australia. It was in the late 1950s when they moved to Lewiston, California to work on Trinity Dam. Being lifelong wilderness enthusiasts it was here his family fell in love with the Trinity Alps.

Ken has spent 60+ years exploring the Klamath Mountains but is particularly fond of the Trinity Alps and the Russian Wilderness where he developed a deep love for these wild places. In fact, he loved the area so much that he never left. He retired from the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in 2007 after a 38 year career in Fire, Land Management Planning, and Public Affairs. He still lives in Shasta County.

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