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!

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!

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.

 

Northern California Botanist Certification Exam

Caulanthus californicus photographed by Greg Suba, CNPS Conservation Director

The first-ever Botanist Certification Exam at a Northern California venue is scheduled for October 30th, 2017, at the Blue Oak Ranch Reserve (BORR) near San Jose, CA. While CNPS has already put on two exams in Southern California, one in Ojai and one at the Cal State Fullerton Arboretum, an exam had yet to happen up north! We are very excited to hold the event at BORR, one of the UC Berkeley-managed lands in the wonderful UC Reserve system.

Amidst such treasured habitats as blue oak woodland, valley oak woodland, and native perennial grasslands, botanists from all over Northern California will come together to showcase their abilities during the certification exam. The test consists of written, keying, and sight identification portions in order to set a high standard of excellence in the profession. The Board of Certification, which is currently administering the certification, recommends that botanists have at least five years experience in the botanical consulting field, in the case of the Field Botanist certification level, and eight years of experience, in the case of the Consulting Botanist certification level, before considering taking the exam.

Wondering why the Botanist Certification is so important? Check out this wonderful article on the CNPS Blog.

If you are interested to register for the exam, please visit the Botanist Certification website or contact Catherine Curley, Assistant Botanist for the Rare Plant Program, at ccurley@cnps.org, with questions.

CNPS Garden Ambassadors

Are you passionate about California native gardening?  Ready to inspire others?  Become a CNPS Garden Ambassador!

CNPS Garden Ambassadors are a community of individuals who are willing to share their enthusiasm, experience, and knowledge to demonstrate the beauty and possibilities of California native plant gardens.  As an ambassador, you will help kick-start a movement in California native landscaping, and inspire others to “restore nature one garden at a time.”  You will make a difference in your community, and receive lots of ambassador rewards and recognition too!

There are many ambassador activities for you to choose from depending on your interests and experience.  Here are a few ways you can be involved:

  • Share photographs of your California native garden.
  • Host garden talks/visitor events in your garden.
  • Contribute to CNPS Garden Ambassador social media.
  • Participate in CNPS Garden Tours and events.
  • Volunteer at retail nurseries to educate customers about California native plants.
  • Teach workshops on California native gardening.

To acknowledge and honor all of your enthusiasm and dedication, here are a few fun rewards you will receive!

  • CNPS Membership Discount
  • Annual Nursery and CNPS Store Discount
  • CNPS Garden Ambassador of the Month recognition
  • Garden Ambassador Appreciation Events
  • Profile featured on the Garden Ambassador webpage
  • Free CNPS Natives Live Here sign
  • Brochure about your garden
  • Photography of your landscape
  • Garden Ambassador name tag, and more!

 

Apply for the Garden Ambassador program today!  Click here to complete the online questionnaire: http://bit.ly/2gQu4QY

 

Out on the Range

Big basin sage – Jaime Ratchford

In the northeastern corner of California along the California-Nevada border, between Mt. Shasta in the west and the Warner Mountains in the east, lies a massive volcanic plain known as the Modoc Plateau. Shaped by vast basalt flows, this landscape is covered by a sea of sagebrush and perennial grasses and is more typical of the Great Basin. Although this may be the most undeveloped region of the state, the ecosystems here are considered among the most threatened in North America. Threats include invasive species, over-grazing, woodland expansion, and altered fire regimes, amongst others. Until recently, we have had very little vegetation data from this region.  Now, partners at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Natural Resources Conservation Service, and others are providing dedicated funding and support for resource-level assessment and mapping of vegetation.

Mule ears – Jaime Ratchford

With support from the BLM, the CNPS Vegetation Program spent 12 days sampling vegetation in the Modoc Plateau. The BLM selected three areas managed by the Applegate Field Office to be surveyed and mapped. Although these three areas are separated only by approximately 20 miles, and have dominant vegetation types typical for the Modoc Plateau, each one also has unique qualities. Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi) stands are common in the southwestern-most unit, with impressive displays of mule ears (Wyethia mollis) in the understory, and sometimes producing stands of its own in areas of recent burns. The centrally located site, near the Likely Tablelands, is strongly influenced by shallow soils on basalt flows with vast areas of low sagebrush (Artemisia arbuscula ssp. arbuscula) and various phases of western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) including old growth stands along the basalt rims. At the eastern-most site, along the east side of the south Warner Mountains is white fir (Abies concolor) and curl-leaf mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius) at the higher elevations, and low sagebrush and perennial grasslands dominated by Thurber’s needlegrass (Stipa thurberiana) at lower elevations. Basin big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. tridentata) is found at the lowest elevations near Lower Lake.

CNPS Veg Staff survey Thurber’s needlegrass – Jaime Ratchford

This June we collected 64 vegetation surveys across the three sites. The data, along with hundreds more collected by CDFW and Chico State’s Geographic Information Center at nearby areas, will be analyzed to create a vegetation classification for the region and will aide in future vegetation maps of the region.

The Modoc Plateau is a beautiful and unique part of California. Much of the vegetation here is at the edge of its range and more typical of our neighboring states to the north and east. The remoteness and lack of urban development give a sense that this may be a “forgotten” part of the state but also reminds us of the added diversity of California’s ecosystems and the importance of understanding and protecting these wildlands.

– CNPS Vegetation Program

 

 

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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