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 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

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!

Building California’s “Green Wall”

Since the November 2016 elections, we’ve seen news on a daily basis of attempts to repeal environmental laws and weaken the federal agencies tasked to enforce them. The U.S. EPA, the BLM, the USFS and the lands and resources they manage are all facing threats from the current administration and Congress in Washington D.C. The most recent example is this week’s executive order to review national monuments for possible repeal or modification of their designations.

Carrizo Plain

National Monuments like Carrizo Plain are now under attack with the President’s recent executive order.

CNPS is working on several fronts to help establish a “green wall” around California by helping federal agencies to pick up the slack where they no longer have support from D.C., and by ensuring environmental protection in California remains at or even improves from today’s nation-leading standards. Some of this is work CNPS has always done, and some is new. Both take on added urgency and importance because of the assault on the environment coming from D.C.

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Behind the Scenes of the Biggest Wildflower Show in the Northern Hemisphere

Monterey County is one of the most bio-diverse regions in the nation and is home to the world’s oldest and largest wildflower show in the Northern hemisphere. This year’s show, which the CNPS Monterey Chapter organized and hosted from April 14-16 at the Pacific Grove Natural History Museum, featured 722 plant specimens!

Monterey Wildflower show specimens

Specimens on display at the 2017 Monterey Wildflower Show

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CNPS De-Extinction Project

By CNPS Board Member Vince Scheidt

How do you know when something is really extinct? And is extinction always forever?

Franciscan Manzanita relocation.

Relocating the Franciscan Manzanita, discovered after presumed extinction.

CNPS has embarked on an exciting new project to help answer those questions for California’s native plants. With this, we hope to not only stem the tide of plant extinctions, but to possibly reverse it! Sound like some sort of science fiction? Not exactly.

The CNPS De-extinction Project is a science-based effort to re-evaluate the 22 species currently ranked as “1A” (Plants Presumed Extirpated in California and either Rare or Extinct Elsewhere) by first attempting to rediscover them in the field. If not seen in the field, the next step would be to revisit botanical gardens where a species may persist, and the last involves visiting herbariums where viable seeds may remain as part of historic vouchers. In the latter scenario, scientists could possibly revive an extinct species through seed captured sometimes more than a century ago!

In other cases across the world, species thought to be extinct have been rediscovered in recent years. This fact gives us hope that some of the 22 native plant species thought to be extinct in California will be found again.

Certification – A Step Forward for Botany

In this post, we’re discussing the new CNPS Consulting Botanist Certification, starting with Why. Why do we need certification, and why should someone go to the trouble of getting certified?

Botanists in the field.

Botanists in the field. Photo courtesy of David Magney.

To help answer this question, we spoke with Dan Klemann, deputy director of long range planning for the Santa Barbara County Planning and Development Department. Dan has been instrumental in working with two of the most forward-thinking planning departments in the state and shares his perspective on challenges and possible solutions toward effective environmental review in the planning process.  

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