California Native Plant Society

CNPS eNewsletter

July 2016

CNPS September Conservation Symposium Will Focus on Climate Change

Conservation Symposium

Each fall, the CNPS Chapter Council dedicates one day to host the annual September Conservation Symposium. This year’s event, Managing Native Plants for Climate Change, will be held in Morro Bay on Saturday, September 10th. Speakers will present a range of topics that address native plant conservation within the context of climate change. Throughout the day, a series of presentations will provide opportunities to discuss emerging climate change-related planning concepts and management practices. This information will help inform CNPS volunteers engaged in conservation efforts across the state.

Symposium topics will include how climate change considerations are being incorporated into restoration projects, habitat models and projections, gene-regulation studies, land management practices, and conservation planning.

Chapter Council meetings are open to CNPS members and invited guests. Registration and additional Symposium information will be posted to the CNPS website as September's date approaches. Chapter Conservation Chairs and Chapter conservation advocates are strongly encouraged to attend. Please contact CNPS Conservation Program Director, Greg Suba, for more details at , 916-447-2677 x-206.

Regional Conservation Frameworks are a New Flavor of Conservation Planning

Conservation planning
Antelope Valley Regional Conservation Framework (AV RCF) Study Area (teal) in the context of the DRECP area (yellow). CNPS sits on the AV RCF Advisory Committee. view larger

There are several conservation planning instruments employed in California today. Those most familiar to CNPS members, and that CNPS Chapters continue to engage in throughout the state, include Natural Community Conservation Plans (NCCPs), Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs), Sustainable Community Strategies (SCSs) associated with Municipal Transportation Plans, and conservation-related elements of City and County General Plans.

In the past few years, the largely interagency-focused Regional Advanced Mitigation Plans (RAMPs) developed from efforts to identify and prioritize conservation areas that could benefit from mitigation resources resulting from state infrastructure projects like highway and other transportation improvements. Today, another conservation planning concept, the Regional Conservation Framework (RCF), is being piloted in regions across California.

A Regional Conservation Framework (RCF) is a voluntary, conservation planning tool for species and natural communities that gathers and shares data to create a regional vision for wildlife protection and habitat connectivity. By identifying high priority conservation areas, conservation actions for native wildlife and natural communities in areas where no conservation plans currently exist, or that expand the geographic area and scope of species and natural communities addressed in existing plans, an RCF proposes to guide strategic conservation investments to a Framework's region via a system of advanced mitigation credits.

Developing concurrently with RCF pilot projects is a parallel legislative campaign to establish RCFs within California Fish and Game Code statute.  Assembly Bill 2087 (Levine) defines elements and requirements of an RCF, would establish an RCF approval process through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, as well as rules for mitigation bank credits associated with an approved RCF.

A key element that still remains to be resolved through both the pilot planning and legislative processes is how "conservation" will be defined through an RCF. What standard of conservation will the framework be built around? One, like the NCCP standard, that identifies land, management actions, and mitigation requirements that can lead to the recovery (i.e., delisting) of a listed species? Or one that measurably advances the conservation within a Framework region according to a separate standard?

Supporters are optimistic that RCFs will provide a more expeditious way of both identifying strategic conservation areas and funneling mitigation dollars to protect those lands without impinging upon NCCPs. Framework development timelines are forecast for completion within 12-18 months with 30-day comment periods. Those critical of RCFs warn that, in practice, Californians will trade away the hard-fought higher standards of conservation associated with NCCPs, and siphon away funding to achieve this conservation gold standard, as more RCFs lead to fewer NCCPs. Can RCFs achieve regional conservation goals without selling ourselves and California's wildlife short? The CNPS Conservation Program remains engaged in RCF development as these questions continue to be debated and resolved. For questions and more information about RCFs, contact Conservation Program Director Greg Suba.

916-447-2677 x-206

CNPS Seeks Director of Communications and Marketing

CNPS is seeking a Director of Communications and Marketing who will be responsible for all communications, marketing, and product planning at CNPS. This is a senior position reporting directly to the CNPS Executive Director and managing a team of employees and outside contractors. Finding the right individual for this position will make a big difference in CNPS's outreach and impact. If you or someone you know has a proven track record of public relations, product planning, and team leadership, please see or share our job description here.


Upcoming CNPS Plant Science Workshops

The CNPS Education Program is gearing up for another year of exciting plant science training workshops! Full details and registration will be posted at as it becomes available, or contact Becky Reilly at for more information.

Vegetation Mapping
Aug 1-3, SF Bay Area
Taught by Julie Evens, Vegetation Program Director, CNPS; Todd Keeler-Wolf, Senior Vegetation Ecologist, VegCAMP Program, CDFW; John Menke, Senior Vegetation Mapping Specialist, AIS

Introduction to Plant Identification, Southern CA
Dates, exact location, and instructor TBA


Chapter Events - A Sampling from Around the State

To connect to your local chapter, or to find other events in your region, see this page for a list and map of CNPS chapters. Even more events from CNPS chapters and partners can be viewed on the Horticulture Events Calendar

North Coast Chapter
Del Norte Weekend
August 5-7

From coastal bluffs and wetlands to serpentine ridges, botanical wonders are in every direction in Del Norte County. On this weekend, from headquarters in Rock Creek Ranch, a group camping facility run by the Smith River Alliance on the South Fork Smith River, some people will head out rare plant treasure hunting, while other people head for trail hikes. For rare plant details contact Greg at or 707-599-4887. For camping and hiking contact Carol at or 707-822-2015. Come for all or part. Please tell us now if you are thinking of coming.

Los Angeles/Santa Monica Mountains
LAX Dunes Volunteer Day
August 6, 9:00 AM - Noon

Help remove non-native plants. Free parking is available in the dunes. Enter through the gate across Trask Triangle Park at the Trask and Waterview Streets intersection in Playa Del Rey, CA 90293. Please bring water, snacks, sun protection, gloves, long pants, and closed-toe shoes. Please be on time and plan to stay until the end of the volunteer event as this is a secured area. Info: 818-782-9346.

Shasta Chapter
Garden Work Party
Sunday, August 7, 9:00 AM

Work session starting at 9 AM at the Matson Mowder Howe Celebration Garden adjacent to the North Valley Art League Carter House Gallery at 48 Quartz Hill Road in Caldwell Park, Redding. Bring tools, gloves, and water. For more info contact Mindy Graves at or 530-245-9860.

Bristlecone Chapter
Field Trip: East of Mono Lake
Saturday, August 13, 9:00 AM

Last year we re-located populations of several CNPS listed species in the Anchorite Hills area, including Astragalus kentrophyta var. ungulatus, Mentzelia torreyi, and Eriogonum alexandrae, and also found that the area had an infestation of halogeton, which we pulled. We will be again pulling any halogeton we find while visiting this diverse corner of Mono County. Meet at the intersection of Highway 395 and Highway 167 at 9:00 am. Part of the trip is a few miles on a sandy bumpy road that needs 4WD and some clearance, with a short hike on sandy soil. Bring lunch, water, gloves, and sun protection. For questions, contact Sue Weis at or 760-873-3485.

Sacramento Valley Chapter
Field Trip: Glass Lake
Sunday, August 14

Carol Witham and Greg Kareofelas will lead a trip to Grass Lake, north of Luther Pass on Highway 89, near the California/Nevada border. Grass Lake is a unique floating sphagnum bog, one of only two in California. The area is also home to several rare plants and insects. We will “trampoline” (actually “tremble and sway”) on the floating bog and also explore the unique plants and animals surrounding this lake. Greg Kareofelas will share his expertise on the butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies of the area. We will meet at 10:00 AM at a "pull off" along the west side of the Highway 89 just north of Luther Pass.
From Highway 88, go north on Highway 89 for ~4.1 miles. From Highway 50, go south on Highway 89 for ~7.1 miles. The "pull off" parking area consists of a gravel area between a paved pull off passing lane and a series of wooden 6x6" posts. It is the only pull off with wooden posts. Please RSVP to . Any questions or last minute issues: 916-761-7886 (but reception is iffy at Luther Pass).

Channel Islands Chapter
CNPS Botanist Certification and RPTH
Tuesday, August 16, 7:00 - 9:00 PM

CNPS Rare Plant Program Manager, David Magney, will talk about CNPS's new program to certify consulting and field botanists in California. David will also talk about the Rare Plant Treasure Hunt citizen science initiative which CNPS has been leading for a few years now. David will discuss what rare plants are being targeted in the Channel Islands Chapter's region. For more information, call David at 916-447-CNPS. Topping Room, E.P. Foster Library, E. Main Street, Ventura, California. Park in the back of the library, or on Main Street if you can find a spot.

San Diego Chapter
Seed & Bulb Sorting Party
Saturday, August 20, 10:00 AM - Noon

Please email to RSVP or for more information.

Redbud Chapter
The Physics of Flora: Light, Color, and the Science of Beauty
Friday, August 26, 7:00 PM

Evan Jones, Physicist, Adventurer and Educator, will discuss the Physics of Flora as part of the Redbud Chapter's free public "Passionate about (Native) Plants" 2016 Lecture Series. Madelyn Helling Library, 900 Helling Way, Nevada City 95959.

Alta Peak Chapter
DIY Native Landscaping Workshop
Saturday, August 27, 9:00 AM - Noon

The traditional garden of expansive lawns, lolly-popped shrubs, and sporadic trees are a thing of the past.  With California’s unprecedented drought, it is time for a beautiful new model. California native plants not only use a fraction of the water that typical gardens do, they are attractive and colorful as well.  In this class, designed for native plant novices, we will help you learn 1) how to ditch your lawn, 2) how to select tried and true native plants, 3) how to combine them for maximum effect and 4) how to design your own drought tolerant native garden.   With a plan in place, you can landscape your garden in manageable steps. This is a great opportunity to transition from a high care, water indulgent garden into a natural, sustainable low water use, beautiful garden. Class size is limited, so register early. Registration fee: CNPS members – $40, Non-members – $50. Call 559-799-7438 for questions and registration. Directions to location will be given at time of registration.

Mount Lassen Chapter
Field Trip: Ridge Lakes, Lassen Volcanic National Park
Sunday, August 28, 9:00 AM

Meet at Chico Park and Ride (Hwys 99 & 32). Ridge Lake trailhead is at the Sulfur Works parking lot, 1 1/2 mi north of the Visitor Center in Lassen Volcanic National Park. The trail is clean and easy to follow, but will feature a 1000 ft elevation gain over a mile's distance of trail. Bring lunch, water, sun/insect protection, and money for ride sharing. Leader: Woody Elliott or 530-588-2555.


Contributors and Photo Credits

  • Greg Suba
  • Becky Reilly
  • Mark Naftzger
  • Stacey Flowerdew
  • Conservation Director Greg Suba addresses delegates at the September Conservation Symposium - Stacey Flowerdew
  • Antelope Valley Regional Conservation Framework (AV RCF) Study Area (teal) in the context of the DRECP area (yellow). CNPS sits on the AV RCF Advisory Committee.



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