California Native Plant Society

CNPS eNewsletter

April 2010
CNPS 2012 Conservation Conference

We have a title, dates, venue, and Steering and Program Committees, for our next CNPS conservation conference!
CNPS 2012 Conservation Conference: Conserving and Restoring the Roots of California’s Richness
January 13-15 with workshops Jan 16-17, 2012
Town and Country Hotel, San Diego

This summer we will be recruiting volunteers to help on the Arrangements Committee for the 2012 Conservation Conference.  Volunteers from San Diego are needed! We are planning to add a public education day with field trips, workshops, and children’s programs for this conference.

We also are planning to host a Science Café, art and photography contests, poetry reading, and offer a range of student events. The conference will be followed by two days of workshops (Jan 16-17) on a wide variety of topics. The Call for Abstracts will go out in early spring of 2011.

Up to date developments and opportunities to contribute will be posted on the conference webpage at
New CNPS Curriculum for Children

In mid-April, we successfully field tested a curriculum for children that will work in a multitude of settings such as school yards, CNPS chapter events, various youth camps, and family outings. It is geared primarily toward children age 8 and up; grades 3 through 7.

Opening the World through Journaling: Integrating Art, Science, and Language Arts, is the title of the new curriculum written for CNPS by John Muir Laws and Emily Breunig. Its primary purpose is to teach children how to become keen observers of the natural world by drawing and writing abo
ut the plants and animals they see. In a set of nested exercises, students will use games to gain confidence in drawing and writing as a way to gather information. Later, they employ these skills to create a field guide, make treasure maps, and write short stories and poems. John Muir Laws says,
"Keeping a field journal develops and reinforces the most important science process skills; observation and documentation. All other parts of the process of science depend on these skills. We assume that we are naturally good observers, but learning to really see is a skill that must be learned and developed. Journal activities tie directly to the State of California’s science framework content standards and the visual and performing arts framework content standards." 
This summer will be spent perfecting the curriculum and it should be ready for roll-out in the fall, with easy downloading on the CNPS Education webpage. If you are interested in using these materials, please contact Josie Crawford. Note that teachers and group leaders do not need to know the names of any plants or animals to use these materials effectively with their students.

Phase I of this project has been funded by the JiJi Foundation. If you are interested in contributing to the development of Phase II, please contact Josie Crawford at the email address above.

Rare Plant Treasure Hunt Goes for the Gold

The CNPS Rare Plant Treasure Hunt is in full-swing throughout the state. >From the Mojave to Marin, groups of volunteers have found rare plants that have not been seen for decades! This is invaluable information for both CNPS and land managers who lack resources to conduct professional surveys. We have many groups scheduled to go out during the month of  May, but we are still looking for volunteer botanists to help lead outings while plants are still flowering. We will move the Treasure Hunt outings to the coast and higher elevations as the deserts and valleys dry up. In the fall we will return to capture the rare fall-flowering plants.

The Rare Plant Treasure Hunt is a new statewide effort, initiated by the Rare Plant and Education Programs, to update data on rare plants and their associated habitats. We will team experienced botanists with amateurs to conduct searches for historical (>20 years since last documented) and new occurrences of rare plants. Potential projects at the local or chapter level include surveys for rare plants in areas with little history of botanical exploration, documenting the relocation of historical rare plant occurrences, and updating known occurrences of high-priority rare plants.

We are gathering defensible data in several critically threatened areas. A team from the Sanhedrin Chapter of CNPS is going out to help document rare plants on Walker Ridge in Lake County where an impending wind project threatens damage or extirpation. Solar and wind projects are slated throughout the Mojave desert in areas that have never been sampled. A fast track Natural Communities Conservation Plan could be in place for the Mojave as early as June. We need data now!

Chapters have an excellent opportunity to recruit and engage members by organizing and advertising Treasure Hunt forays in your region. We will support your efforts by coordinating groups, producing maps of historic rare plant occurrences, and providing photos of the plants you will be looking for. We can also suggest areas with high concentrations of rare plants. Please contact us at if you would like to join us.

Chapters currently in the process of organizing trips include: East Bay, Sierra Foothills, LA/Santa Monica, Marin, Sanhedrin, Sacramento Valley, Santa Clara Valley, Yerba Buena, and San Luis Obispo. If you or your chapter is interested in participating please contact coordinators Amber Swanson (Mojave and Carrizo Plain) and Shannon Still (the rest of the state) at

Please use the Treasure Hunt (CNDDB) survey form found here. This can be mailed, faxed, or emailed directly to the CNDDB and to help us track the success of the project.

Follow Amber Swanson’s blog about her efforts in the Mojave and Carrizo Plain
Find scheduled events on our calendar link
or for more details about the project go to

Upcoming Plant Science Training Workshops

Registration and details on CNPS workshops available here.

May 18-20.  Riparian Ecology and Restoration
. Davis and various field sites. Bruce Orr, Amy Merrill. $395 members and $420 non-members for one-day of lecture followed by two days of field trips in the Sacramento Valley and Marin County.
June 1-3.  Wetlands Plants and Ecosystems. Hopland Field Station, Hopland. Kerry Heise, Gerri Hulse-Stephens, Joel Butterworth. Evening presentation followed by two field days interspersed with lab identification exercises. $310 members and $335 non-members. Lodging available at the field station.

June 15-17.  Treasures in an Ancient Landscape: Rare Plants of the Eastern Klamath Ranges. Shasta County. Jim and Julie Nelson. $310 CNPS members and $335 non-members for first evening presentation followed by two field days.

For more details or to register for these and other workshops visit:

Work-Exchange Program

The CNPS Work-Exchange Program provides workshop fee reductions or waivers for students and CNPS members who are underemployed. If interested in the program, you must apply online at A limited number of work-exchange spaces are available in each workshop,  and applicants are awarded space on a first come first serve basis. In 2010, applicants that attend a workshop on the work-exchange program will also  receive a free one year membership in CNPS. Funds for the Work-Exchange program are made available through grant awards from the June Bilisoly Legacy funds and the JiJi Foundation.

Botanist Certification Committee Formed

The California Ecological Conservation Organization (Cal-ECO) has formed a committee to address the need for a certification program for botanists. This group is a consortium of California botanic and wildlife organizations that formed to tackle issues of interest to all member organizations. The group's agenda includes developing  a botanist certification program as well as  developing initiatives to support students in the natural sciences, botanic and wildlife academic programs and institutions. Stay tuned.

Plant Taxonomy Curriculum by Glenn Keator

If you have ever dreamed of teaching a plant taxonomy class at the local junior college/ extended education level but never had the time to develop the curriculum, we have an opportunity for you. Glenn Keator has been teaching plant taxonomy for many years at Bay Area Junior Colleges and has offered to provide his curriculum to others who  are interested in teaching a plant taxonomy course in their region. He has authored the book, California Plant Families, West of the Sierra Crest and Deserts, [2009 UC Press], that will serve as a text for the course. Glenn is offering to provide a two-day teacher’s training to bring potential teachers with an initial understanding and experience of plant taxonomy up to speed to teach this sorely needed curriculum. We think this course would be perfect for extended education programs since so many junior college classes are being canceled due to budget cuts. This is an opportunity to earn extra money and provide an important service to people of all ages that are interested in learning more about plant taxonomy in California. Contact Josie Crawford at

Chapter Events
A Sampling from Around the State

Willis Linn Jepson Chapter
2010 Spring Plant Sale Saturday
May 1, 9 am - 3 pm
Benicia Community Garden 
Perennials, trees, shrubs and groundcovers for a drought tolerant, wildlife friendly and attractive garden. Join CNPS same day and save 10% on your plant purchases! Benicia Community Garden is located at the northeast corner of Military East and East Second Street in Benicia. For more information or a list of plants for sale, visit the Jepson chapter website or call (707) 747-5815.

San Diego Chapter
Field Trip to Crestridge Ecological Preserve
Sunday, May 2, 1 pm - 4 pm
One of the great benefits of CNPS membership is going to wildlands and learning from experts how to identify the native plants growing there. CNPS members and guests will be delighted to explore this 2600+-acre California state fish and game preserve in the rocky foothills east of El Cajon.  The preserve protects a magnificent stand of Ceanothus cyaneus and Anthamintha ilicifolia. Botanist Patricia Gordon-Reedy will guide our group to several sites, and Cathy Chadwick, director of the preserve's caretaker group, the Earth Discovery Institute, will be host for the afternoon. This is a CNPS member-only event, but if you are not a member you may join at the beginning of the field trip. RSVP required. Email or visit the chapter's website for more details.

Field Trip to Tecolote Canyon
Saturday, May 15, 10 am - noon
This is a public field trip lead by Frank Landis and Deborah Benson. Exit Interstate 5 east at SeaWorld Drive/Tecolote Road; continue past the cul de sac to the Tecolote Nature Center at the end of the parking lot. Bay Park.

Field Trip to Torrey Pines Extension
Saturday, May 22, 10 am - noon
This is a public field trip lead by Adrienne Heinzelman and Dave Flietner. Exit I-5 west at Del Mar Heights; left on Mar Scenic Drive. Meet at the end of Mar Scenic Drive.  Del Mar.

For further information about any San Diego chapter field trips or events, please visit the chapter website at

Shasta Chapter
Annual Mother’s Day Wildflower Show
Sunday, May 9, 10 am - 4 pm
Sponsored by the Shasta Chapter of CNPS and the Klamath National Forest. Hundreds of native plants and wildflowers will be on display at the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds in Yreka (first northbound exit off of I-5). This is a fantastic display, a special place to take Moms, and best of all- it’s free! If you would like to volunteer Saturday or Sunday for this event, please contact Jay and Terri Thesken at (530) 221-0906 or Marla Knight at (530) 468-1238. For more information, visit the Shasta Chapter’s calendar:

San Gabriel Mountains Chapter
Field Trip: Glendora Ridge Road
Saturday, May 15, 9 am-?
Glendora Ridge Road is one of the best and one of the least known nearby wildflower hot spots. Jane Strong says that on her first trip there in late May several years ago, there were at least 100 species in bloom. We may see elk clover, a yellow Calochortus and a Sedum, all unusual plants locally. Coulter pine is planted along the road and there is a native population east of Cow Canyon Saddle as well. The leader for this trip is Bob Muns, an expert on this entire route. For additional information including what to bring and alternate routes to this location, please visit the San Gabriel Mountains Chapter events page here.  

Sanhedrin and Milo Baker Chapters
Vegetation Workshop
Friday May 7, 10 am-4 pm and Saturday, May 8, 9 am-3 pm
Pepperwood Preserve 
Sponsored by the Pepperwood Foundation, California Native Plant Society (CNPS), and the CNPS Milo Baker Chapter. Instructors Julie Evens, CNPS Vegetation Program Director, and Peter Warner, botanical consultant will lead this information-filled workshop at Pepperwood Preserve, Franz Valley Road, 10 miles north of Santa Rosa. Cost: $25. This workshop will review the recently released second edition of A Manual of California Vegetation and provide initial training in the CNPS rapid assessment and relevé vegetation sampling protocols. Participants will learn about the essential role of vegetation inventories and classification in ecological management and conservation, and will practice compiling data in support of widely adopted classification standards.  Access to a copy of A Manual of California Vegetation during the workshop is recommended and is available for purchase online from CNPS. For further information, please contact Peter Warner at or (707) 829-1183.
Sanhedrin Chapter
Family Wildflower Day
Saturday, May 8, 11 am-2 pm
Howard Forest Picnic Grounds, Willits
Howard Forest Picnic Grounds are located at the top of the ridge on Hwy 101 behind the Calfire station, 5 miles south of Willits. Come learn the wildflowers on short guided walks given by CNPS members. Free cookies, lemonade, activities, and games will be offered. A free magnifying glass will be given to the first 50 people. Great fun for kids and all who want to know the local wildflowers. Bring a picnic and enjoy the day. For info contact Geri (707) 459-3689.

Cache Creek and Walker Ridge Field Trip
Saturday and Sunday, May 15-16
This 2-day adventure will take us into the recently designated Cache Creek Wilderness, a rugged land of oaks, chaparral, and serpentine grasslands. We’ll start on Saturday with a walk along the Cache Creek Ridge Trail – an area renowned for its wildlife diversity, including eagles, elk, and yes, rattlesnakes. On Saturday, meet at 9 a.m. at the Judge Davis Trailhead parking area, about 17 miles east of Clearlake Oaks, (about 4 miles west of junction with Hwy. 16) on State Hwy. 20 at mile marker 46.07. For those who will camp overnight, we’ll head to Walker Ridge later in the day to look for a suitable site along the ridge or near the Indian Valley Reservoir. Camping may be in an unimproved area, so be prepared with all you need: food, water, shelter, etc. On Sunday, meet at 10 a.m. immediately north of Hwy. 20 at the south end of Walker Ridge Road (there are a couple of larger turnouts there). We’ll travel along the ridge during the day, making stops to explore several plant habitats, including serpentine barrens, chaparral, and cypress woodlands. This area is not a showcase like Bear Valley, but botanically much richer and full of surprises.  If you plan to attend, please contact Peter Warner at or (707) 829-1183 as plans may change.
Plant Propagation Workshop
Saturday, May 22 10 am- 2 pm
This workshop will be held from 10:00 to 2:00 at 1800 Muir Mill Rd in Willits. Bring a bag lunch and beverages will be provided. Also bring hand pruners, gloves, fresh cuttings in plastic bags of plants you are interested in propagating, and your questions! The fee for this workshop is $25. Call Larry at (707) 459-2681 for more information.

For more information about Sanhedrin chapter events, please visit their event page at:

For Chapter Events in your area, please visit the CNPS Website at

Photo Credits
  • Eric Peterson
  • John Muir Laws
  • Amber Swanson
  • Nick Jensen
  • Bruce Orr
  • Kerry Heise
  • Stacey Flowerdew

  • Josie Crawford, Tara Hansen, Stacey Flowerdew, Mark Naftzger, and countless CNPS volunteers

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