California Native Plant Society

Vegetation Program

Rare Plant Communities (RPC) Updates

Workshops Held in Southern California

Enjoying the shade in a Tamarix sp. grove, BLM employees learn about mapping vegetation. Photo by D. Stout.

In late April 2011, Vegetation Program staff held two Rare Plant Community sampling and mapping workshops in southern California.

Danielle Roach and Deborah Stout led a 2-day workshop in the Chuckwalla Wilderness for BLM Palm Springs Field Office staff. During this workshop, 11 BLM staff members learned how to survey using the CNPS/DFG combined Rapid Assessment and Relevé protocols. This workshop provided BLM Palm Springs staff with the tools needed to undertake vegetation assessment and mapping in wilderness areas that they manage.

The Chuckwalla Wilderness encompasses myriad vegetation types including creosote shrublands, desert wash scrublands and woodlands, and desert pavement habitats. Nine surveys were completed, four of which were conducted in rare plant communities including the Parkinsonia florida – Olneya tesota Woodland Alliance. Stand locations have been plotted in GIS and survey data entered into our ever-expanding database for use in future classification and mapping efforts. CNPS extends a special thanks to BLM staff for assisting in planning this successful workshop.

Workshop participants gather under a sunny sky to sample a wash scrubland community with California sagebrush (Artemisia californica). Photo by D. Stout

Immediately following this workshop, a second 1-day workshop was held in Orange County for the Irvine Ranch Conservancy staff and CNPS Chapter members. Twenty-one participants from the Conservancy, Riverside-Corona Resource Conservation District, US Forest Service, and the Orange County and Riverside-San Bernardino Chapters. In addition to conducting surveys in rare alluvial scrub communities, CNPS staff forged new relationships with the Irvine Ranch Conservancy staff and renewed ties with southern California Chapter members. Vegetation Program staff held a similar workshop earlier in the year in a continued effort to train the public in sampling and mapping techniques, while strengthening ties to our distant southern California chapters. We are looking for additional funds to continue this important work.


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