#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 acorns@cnps.org for more information. You can also signup for updates on this project or learn more about the effort by visiting cnps.org/acorns.

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 https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/lands-pass.

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 www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales, by phone at (800) 565-1458, and in-person wherever hunting and fishing license are sold (locations at www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing). 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 julie.horenstein@wildlife.ca.gov.

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.

MANZANITA HARD CIDER

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

YOU’LL NEED:

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

INSTRUCTIONS:

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 Calscape.org 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.

YOU’LL NEED:

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

INSTRUCTIONS:

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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CNPS Holiday Gift Guide

What to give the plant lover in your life? We’re so glad you asked!

*A CNPS membership…Mt Lassen Chapter at Sutter Buttes - Woody Elliott

is one-size-fits-all, never goes out of style, and lasts all year long. When you give a gift of membership to CNPS, your recipient becomes a member of a wide network of nature and native plant enthusiasts – and best yet, you help contribute to the success of CNPS to protect and promote the native species and landscapes that help make California so special.

The recipient of your gift will receive the full suite of benefits available to all CNPS members, including subscriptions to Fremontia and Flora, discounts on workshops and plant sales, membership to their local CNPS chapter, and a letter that informs them of your generosity. Click here to give the gift of CNPS by December 14 to ensure delivery of your acknowledgement by December 23.

*A lush, photo-rich volume of California’s beautiful landscapes!

California’s Botanical Landscapes: A Pictorial View of the State’s Vegetation provides a vivid exploration of the Golden State’s Native Vegetation. It is a must-have book for anyone interested in the botanical diversity of California: botanists, ecologists, environmental scientists, natural historians, and plant lovers of all kinds. With over 600 inspiring photographs as well as in-depth, naturalist prose written for the public, the work explores California through 14 ecoregions with a look at the important plant communities found within each.

*For the proud gardener:

Let them tell everyone, “Native plants live here!” Encourage other gardeners to go native and inform them where they can find helpful information to do so! Available in both English and Spanish, and in two sizes (6.75″ x 9″ or 9”x 12”), this full-color aluminum sign can be posted on a wall or a post and is a must for any Californian native garden.

*For the botanical professional, academic, or student:

Register your favorite conservation professional or native plant nerd for the CNPS 2018 Conservation Conference, a pre-conference workshop, or field trip! The conference is Feb. 1-3 in Los Angeles, with the pre-conference workshops taking place Jan. 30-31. With over 20 technical conference sessions, 21 workshops in interests ranging from photography, gardening, legislation and GIS, quickly-filling field trips in the L.A. basin, and a lively banquet –plus art, music, auctions, student events, and contests– there is something offered for everyone, no matter what their botanical level or interest.

*For the adventurous cook or someone who wants to learn how to heal with California’s native plants…

Living Wild: Gardening, Cooking, and Healing with Native Plants of California, 2nd Edition by Alicia Funk & Karin Kaufman is an essential guide to the uses of over 100 native plant species. The expanded 2ND edition offers a deep awareness of the landscape with advice on cultivating, harvesting, and preparing wild food cuisine and herbal medicine recipes. We heard recently that the Madrone “Beyond Cranberry” Sauce recipe in particular was a big hit at holiday dinners, and we’re sure the Elderflower Champagne would help usher in anyone’s new year in style.

*For the budding botanist or nature lover:

The CNPS Nature Journaling Kit is perfect for children of all ages! Featuring a blank nature journal, recycled ruler, hand lens, and easy carry sling pack, and designed to be the perfect companion to the CNPS Children’s Curriculum, this gift can inspire children young and old to start observing and recording the world around them.

*Because you can never have too many hats:

The CNPS Logo Hat: look smart, and protect your face from the sun, all while representing the preeminent native plant conservation organization in California! Neutral khaki color with full colored embroidery and adjustable buckle closure.

 

Islands of the Californias

Fremontia V.45 N.3 •  November 2017

From the editor

Fremontia V45 N3 is printed in English and Spanish.

After a childhood enchanted with island literature, aptly including Island of the Blue Dolphins, it took nearly 20 years to find myself on a real island. While teaching for the Los Angeles County Outdoor Science School, I ventured to Santa Cruz Island in 1998 with ten other young, eager naturalists. Marooned for the weekend, we gained our first place-based experiences with island biogeography while hiking and kayaking.

On this adventure we witnessed island endemics including island scrub jay (Aphelocoma insularis) and island fox (Urocyon littoralis). Checking these and other species off our life lists, our appreciation for island time deepened over a sunset staring back at the mainland—our love for biogeography was burgeoning.

Around a campfire under the eucalyptus at Scorpion Canyon we pondered speciation events, biogeographic patterns, and the audacity of invasive species. Falling asleep that evening, I contemplated my study of Lord of the Flies in high school and further understood all the mainland offers an island.

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