California Native Plant Society

CNPS eNewsletter

February 2012

Wanted: Ideas for Chapter Education Programs

Joshua Tree Field TripThe CNPS State Education Program would like to hear your ideas for developing great chapter Educational Programs that could be used statewide and adapted regionally. Educational programming includes field trips, school programs, evening programs, newsletters, and plant sales- in other words, any opportunity to pass on information to members of the public. You could weigh in by email with ideas or you could come to the CNPS Chapter Council Meeting at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden on March 10, for an after lunch breakout session on education. We will hold regular Education breakout sessions at chapter council meetings over the next year to brainstorm with anyone who would like to attend. You may also relay information to your chapter's delegate to the Chapter Council or via email to We welcome your input!

Some suggestions from chapter members include:

  • Creating/adapting top notch Powerpoint presentations on popular topics to be used by any chapter and given by any member
  • Having a set of presenters that could travel to chapters to give presentations- including John Muir Laws, Native American basket weavers, or pollination experts
  • Creating and assembling nature exploring packs for children and holding “Grandparent” hikes
  • Developing a table top display for hands-on activities for kids at public events
  • Making available more Spanish translations of native plant educational materials
  • Family friendly “Art in Nature” events, where adults and children alike could come and be encouraged to write poems, prose, stories, plays, or to draw what they see or feel in the outdoors
  • Holding art shows that raise money for preservation or heighten awareness of a threatened area

If you cannot attend meetings, please send your ideas to

Rare Plant Treasure Hunt Leader Training

RPTHThe Rare Plant Treasure Hunt is announcing training opportunities for trip leaders and chapters that want to get involved in the project. A training manual for Treasure Hunters was recently completed, and will soon be posted to the Rare Plant Treasure Hunt website.

Several Chapters have training events coming up, including a talk at the El Dorado Chapter on March 20th, as well as a training and rare plant survey for Erythronium tuolumnense with the Sierra Foothills Chapter on April 7th. See the RPTH Calendar for more details.

If your chapter would like to set up a training event, send an email to

CNPS Chapters Search for Rare Plants Around the State

Erigeron parishii (rare and federally threatened)The Rare Plant Treasure Hunt staff are proud to report that many chapters are continuing to stay actively involved in the program, and new chapters are joining too! Some highlights from around the state:

  • The San Gabriel Mountains Chapter is going into their third year of surveying for rare plants as part of a larger phenology study known as the Lily Springs Area Survey.
  • The San Diego Chapter is continuing its surveys of rare plants of coastal dunes in San Diego County.
  • The Redbud Chapter recently made plans to join the Rare Plant Treasure Hunt, and members plan to organize a whitewater rafting trip to survey rare plants growing in steep rocky canyons of the American River.
  • The Mt. Lassen Chapter has many trips lined up for the summer, including a boating trip to search for the rare water plant Brasenia schreberi.
  • The Sierra Foothills Chapter is kicking off their RPTH program with a training event and hunt for the Tuolumne fawn lily.

We’re looking forward to an exciting Rare Plant Treasure Hunt season, and this year’s unusual weather is sure to bring about some surprises.

Search for Rare Plants on Mt. Tamalpais

Rare Plant Treasure Hunters found two populations of western leatherwood, Dirca occidentalis (CNPS 1B.2), Neal Kramer.

This year the Rare Plant Treasure Hunt is teaming up with the Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) to bring volunteer rare plant surveys to the northern SF Bay Area. To celebrate their centennial anniversary, the MMWD is organizing lots of volunteer activities, and we are glad to join them in helping to monitor and conserve their rare plant populations. A tentative schedule of events is listed below, but be sure to check the RPTH calendar for more details.

  • Sat, Mar 10 - Bolinas Ridge
  • Thur, Mar 29 - Cascade Canyon Rd.
  • Thur, Apr 12 - Sky Oaks Meadow
  • Sat, Apr 14  - Rocky Ridge
  • Wed, May 9  - TBD—nongreen plant search
  • Wed, May 23; Thur, Jun 7  - Carson/San Geronimo Ridge
  • Sat, Jun 9 - Old Air Force Base
  • Thur, Jun 14; Thur, Jun 21 - Carson/San Geronimo Ridge
  • Thur, Jun 28; Thur, Jul 19 - Serpentine seeps

2012 Student Projects Available

The California Native Plant Society is offering multiple student research projects for students interested in researching California’s rare native desert plants, and their associated pollinators. These projects are designed for students in search of valuable field research experience who plan on pursuing careers in a science field such as botany, entomology, ecology, and natural resource management. Projects will be designed to parallel flowering cycles beginning in the spring of 2012. Guided experimental design, field research and technical research reports will be components of the project. Available funding helps cover travel expenses and supplies. Click here for more information.

Santa Clara Valley Chapter Scholarships Available to Graduate Students

The Santa Clara Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society is offering scholarships to graduate students doing research on plant systematics, plant ecology, plant physiology, plant community restoration or other related botanical studies of native plants that grow in habitats in Central and Northern California. Three $1,500 scholarships are available for the 2012-2013 academic year, with one of the scholarships (SCV Chapter Conservation Scholarship) specifically reserved for studies related to native plant or native habitat conservation. Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate program in an accredited College or University. Applications must be postmarked by April 6, 2012. Scholarship recipients will be invited to attend the May Santa Clara Valley Chapter Meeting to receive their scholarship and make a brief presentation on their research. The meeting will be held at the Los Altos Public Library on May 18, 2012 at 7 PM. For more details and scholarship application, click here.

2012 CNPS Training Workshops Scheduled to Date

Further details will be posted as soon as they become available at Contact Josie Crawford for more information.

May 15-17 - Measuring and Monitoring Plant Populations with John Willoughby – Santa Barbara , Coal Point Reserve, UC Santa Barbara

Using classroom and field exercises, the workshop will focus on the role of plant population monitoring for adaptive management. Participants will learn how to develop good management objectives. Topics cover principles of sampling and several sampling designs, field techniques for measuring vegetation, analyzing monitoring data and presenting results. Participants will receive a copy of the BLM-published book, Measuring and Monitoring Plant Populations, by Caryl Elzinga, Dan Salzer, and John Willoughby. Cost: CNPS members $395; Non-members $420.

June 19-20 - Mountain Riparian Plant identification on the Yuba River with Stew Winchester

Details TBA very soon.

July 10-12 - Vegetation Rapid Assessment and Relevé protocols with Todd Keeler-Wolf and Jennifer Buck-Diaz -  Sedgwick Reserve, Santa Inez

The course will be a combination of lecture and field exercises in vegetation sampling with a focus on collecting data using the CNPS-DFG combined vegetation rapid assessment / relevé method. We will discuss applications of fine-scale vegetation sampling, classification and mapping, how to document rare natural communities, and how vegetation information fits into planning documents. Cost: CNPS Members $325; Non-members $350.

January 2013 - Vegetation Mapping, with Todd Keeler-Wolf and Julie Evens - UC Berkeley, TBA

More information will be available soon at Details TBA.


Chapter Events

Mount Lassen Chapter

Field Trip: Upper Yahi Trail, Upper Bidwell Park

Saturday, March 3, 9:30 AM

Meet at Horseshoe Lake, parking lot E in Upper Park at 9:30 am with lunch, water and hiking shoes. We will drive on up to Diversion Dam and climb up to the north ridge for marvelous views and early spring flowers. Leaders: Wes Dempsey, 530-342-2293 and Gerry Ingco, 530-893-5123.

Milo Baker Chapter

Field Trip: Pomo Canyon Trail
Saturday, March 10, 10:00 AM

Meet at 10am in the Sonoma County Shell Beach Parking lot to carpool to the Pomo Canyon Campground. We will take an early spring hike from the Pomo Canyon Campground to the ocean and back around the Red Hill trail, approx 6 miles. It is time to discover what is blooming in the redwood forest and along the trail. Bring a lunch. Heavy rain will cancel. Questions/RSVP: Cindy Tancreto

Channel Islands Chapter

Evening Program: Biocontrols of Riparian Weeds in California
Wednesday, March 15, 2012, 6:30 PM

Speaker: Dr. Tom L. Dudley. Tom is the Primary Research Biologist in weeds of riparian (streamside) habitats at the UCSB Marine Science Institute. Dr. Dudley states: “My recent work involves understanding the ecological role of invasive plants in western riparian areas, particularly tamarisk (Tamarix spp.), Cape Ivy (Delairea oderata), and Giant Reed (Arundo donax), and how to manage them to restore ecosystem properties. A key goal is to develop biological control as a weed management tool and to evaluate how a new herbivore changes community and ecosystem dynamics.” Bring a native plant to exchange with other attendees, and that mystery plant you need identified.  Meet at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden's Library, at 1212 Mission Canyon Road, Santa Barbara. Contact Andrea Adams-Morden for more information at 805/684-8077.

Field Trip: Natural History Walk - Rattlesnake Canyon
Saturday, March 25, 1:00 PM

Enjoy one of Santa Barbara's most popular trails known for its diversity and its recent recovery from fire. The nature walk will emphasize native plants, but also discussion of the history of the canyon and consequent high incidence of planted and invasive non-natives. Bring lunch, water, hiking shoes, and sun protection for the day will probably be sunny with great views from the heights. Meet by the bridge over the creek. For more information, contact hike leader Diana at 805/683-8905. Hike limited to 12 people, so RSVP now to reserve your space!

Kern County Chapter

Field Trip: Tejon Ranch
Saturday, March 17, 8:45 AM

The Kern County chapter will have a field trip March 17 to Comanche Point/Tejon Hills (600’-1,200’ elevation). This area is notable for supporting a number of special status plant species and the area burned in the Comanche fire in September 2011. Be sure to bring lunch, water, hat, sunblock, layers of clothing, and wear sturdy boots. Please bring a 4WD vehicle if you have one. Pets and smoking are not allowed on Tejon Ranch. There are no restroom facilities in this area of the Ranch. Please be there at 8:45 AM. For directions from Bakersfield, San Luis Obispo, and all points east, see the chapter website.

El Dorado Chapter

Evening Program: Rare Plant Surveys
Tuesday, March 20, 7:00 PM

Danny Slakey, the CNPS Statewide Rare Plant Treasure Hunt Coordinator, will talk about how to set priorities for rare plant surveys by using online resources, and how to use GPS to navigate and accurately map rare plants. Filling in these information gaps can keep plant population information current, as well as help land managers to protect rare plants. He will discuss what other Chapters have been able to contribute toward these goals. The meeting location is at the El Dorado Public Library, 345 Fair Lane, Placerville.

Contributors and Photo Credits


  • Josie Crawford
  • Danny Slakey
  • Trey Hudgins
  • Stacey Flowerdew
  • Mark Naftzger
  • Laura Camp


  • Josie Crawford- Joshua Tree Field Trip
  • Amber Swanson - Desert RPTH
  • Amber Swanson - Erigeron parishii, Parish's daisy (Rare and Federally engangered).
  • Neal Kramer - Rare Plant Treasure Hunters found two populations of western leatherwood, Dirca occidentalis (CNPS 1B.2), while hiking near Alpine Dam on Mt. Tamalpais. This was the first Treasure Hunt of the year with the Marin Municipal Water District, Feb. 23, 2012.


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