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Conservation

Vote NO on Measure B!

Measure B,the Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative which claims to benefit seniors and veterans will be on the San Jose ballot in June, 2018. Despite its claims, it is not in the best interest of the environment or the citizens of San Jose, nor will it help seniors and veterans. The California Native Plant Society-Santa Clara Valley Chapter, the Sierra Club, Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, Committee for Green Foothills, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, plus the entire San Jose City Council oppose this measure. (See link below for other elected officials, groups and individuals opposed.)

“Evergreen homes initiative isn’t about housing shortages; it’s about greed.” ̶ The Mercury News, Oct. 8, 2017

The Conservation Committee (formerly LIVeCoRP - Legislation, Invasives, Conservation, and Rare Plant) is involved in multiple aspects of the conservation of California native plants and their habitat.  In addition to direct activity, it acts as an umbrella organization for all of the chapter's conservation activities.

The committee meets at 7pm on the first Thursday of every month in the  Peninsula Conservation Center, 3921 East Bayshore Rd., Palo Alto. Check the calendar for updates to meeting dates and times. Meetings are open to all interested members. For more information, please contact the committee chair, Carolyn Dorsch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  1. Legislation
    • Advocacy regarding legislation.
  2. Invasive plant species
    • Working with our local Weed Management Area
    • Regular weeding of significant habitat
    • Restoration efforts
  3. Vegetation (Ecosystems and habitat)
    • Restoration and enhancement of existing habitat
    • Creation of new habitat
  4. Conservation/Advocacy
    • Attending and speaking at City Council, County Board of Supervisors, Water District, Planning Department and other pertinent public meetings.
    • Writing letters and submitting comments
    • Collaborating with other environmental organizations
  5. Rare and endangered plants
    • Documentation
    • Monitoring
    • Protection
 
Spring wildflowers at Coyote Ridge
(Photo: Ken Himes)

Imagine a place of sweeping vistas, singing grasses, wildflowers, eagles, falcons, coyotes, but few people.  All this within view of one of the largest metropolitan areas in America. All  this two miles from an interstate highway.  The hills on the eastern side of the Santa Clara Valley, known collectively as the Diablo Range, are in places made up of a rock known as serpentinite, or more commonly, just serpentine. Coyote Ridge is a block of serpentine fifteen miles long and two miles wide just east of  US 101.  In the spring it is a mass of wildflowers, right down to the highway.  Kestrels can be seen along the highway, hovering as they look for prey. Red-legged frogs can be seen in ponds, and pronghorns can be seen in the hills beyond.

At other times of the year the brown hills may go unnoticed. But if you look up, you will see outcroppings of the curious serpentine rock, so named because unweathered pieces can be green and scaly like a snake. And nestled in among these outcroppings, the rare and endangered plants. Perched on the rock may be a horned lark, or a California quail. And somewhere within the dried foliage, the larvae of the rare  Bay checkerspot butterfly listed federally listed as a threatened species.

A key link in the open space belt around Santa Clara Valley

The ridge is contiguous with public and undeveloped lands to the east in the Diablo Range. It is part of a corridor of connectivity through which wildlife can pass from the coastal ranges of the Santa Cruz Mountains to the Central Valley. A map is available here.

Tiburon Indian Paintbrush
(Castilleja affinis neglecta)
(Photo: John Game)

A conservation goal of the Santa Clara Valley Chapter of CNPS

Since the early 1990's, CNPS-Santa Clara Valley has conducted vegetation surveys, monitored rare plant populations, led field trips, produced videos, brochures and articles, held public meetings, and advocated conservation policies before public bodies. Protection of this treasure has been adopted by the City of San Jose, the Valley Transportation Authority, the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority, the Silicon Valley Land Conservancy and the Nature Conservancy.

A treasure house of rare plant species

This area contains at least fifteen plants identified by the California Native Plant Society as rare or endangered.  Four of these are on a federal listing of endangered plants: they are the Santa Clara Valley dudleya, the coyote ceanothus, the Tiburon Indian paintbrush, and the Metcalf Canyon jewelflower. The complete list of special status plants on Coyote Ridge is here.

A butterfly on the edge

Bay Checkerspot butterfly
(Photo: Stuart Weiss)

The last healthy populations of the Bay checkerspot butterfly are found along Coyote Ridge. The caterpillars feed only on California plantain and the adults sip nectar from wildflower species that thrive in the serpentine soils of the ridge. The preservation of this Coyote Ridge population is critical to the survival of this rare and beautiful butterfly.

A natural science laboratory

Scientists from University of California Berkeley, Davis, Stanford University, San Jose State University, Santa Clara University, and elsewhere are studying the effect of soils, temperature, pollinators, and human environmental factors such as air pollution on the ecosystems. A list of research reports is here.

A part of our heritage

The ridge remains much as it was before the development of the valley, a piece of our past frozen in time.

Learn more

Organizations supporting Coyote Ridge Conservation

edgewood-wildflower-walksFriends of Edgewood Natural Preserve (FoE) offers docent training starting every January for their spring Wildflower Walks.  Edgewood’s soils provide displays of grassland wildflowers like those once seen all over California’s landscape.  Docents lead free, 3-hour walks on spring weekend mornings, to educate the public about the many interesting facts and beauties of Edgewood.

FoE’s wildflower docent training provides eight pairs of bi-weekly meetings: Wednesday evening talks (in Redwood City) followed by Saturday morning hikes that demonstrate, or build on, the Wednesday topic.  Trainees also observe at least two Wildflower Walks and go on a one-on-one walk with an experienced docent, to practice elements of leading hikes or to learn more about Edgewood.  There is a $30 fee for training materials.

To register or for more information, please email Mary Wilson or Sandy Bernhard at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.FriendsOfEdgewood.org/docent-training.

For other ways you can support Edgewood, visit the FoE's "get involved" page, at www.FriendsOfEdgewood.org/get-involved.

 

What is the California ISAW about?

The Invasive Species Action Week is to promote public awareness of invasive species issues and encourage public participation in the fight against California’s invasive species and their impacts on our natural resources.

It is usually scheduled during the first week of June. Visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Invasives/Action-Week to find out what you can do to take action, find a volunteer program in your area, and view the schedule of events.

What can you do?

  • Volunteer for invasive species removal/restoration projects.
  • Find out which species threaten California.  ice.ucdavis.edu/invasives
  • Remove invasive plants from your property.
  • Select native or non-invasive plants for your garden.  www.plantright.org
  • Use certified “weed-free” hay, seed, mulch, soil and gravel.
  • Buy it where you burn it: Don’t spread forest pests.  www.firewood.ca.gov
  • Learn which invaders are in your local area.
  • Eat them. Yes, really.  www.invasivore.org
  • Monitor plants and trees for infestation symptoms.
  • Share your knowledge

 Report a Sighting

Have you spotted an invader? Report it!
Visit the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Invasive Species Program web page to fill out a sighting report!

 

Edgewood County Park and Natural Preserve is located just west of Redwood City, in San Mateo County.  Though just 467 acres, Edgewood is widely known for fabulous wildflower displays and amazing diversity.  And as a Natural Preserve, its goal is to protect native species, including over 300 native plants!

Our CNPS chapter has a long and storied history (almost 40 years!) of exploring the Edgewood site before it was even a park, fighting to save it from development, and then working to protect and restore the habitats found there.

Visit our Edgewood Weed Warriors page to learn how you can help with restoration efforts.

Here are some links where you can learn more about the history of Edgewood, what makes it so special, and how CPNS has been involved there over the years:

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This publication is now available documenting over 2,000 species occurring in our two counties. The checklist includes the scientific and common names as in the 2nd edition of The Jepson Manual. Each species also includes the local preserves the plant occurs in, and other information about our local plants. Softcover coil bound (5 ½) x (8 ½), 161 pages.160 pp. The checklist can be purchased at our chapter meetings for $10 or by mail for $12. For mail purchase send an email to Toni Corelli at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Subcategories

Edgewood County Park and Natural Preserve is located just west of Redwood City, in San Mateo County.  Though just 467 acres, Edgewood is widely known for fabulous wildflower displays and amazing diversity.  And as a Natural Preserve, its goal is to protect native species, including over 300 native plants!

Our CNPS chapter has a long and storied history (almost 40 years!) of exploring the Edgewood site before it was even a park, fighting to save it from development, and then working to protect and restore the habitats found there... visit our Edgewood page to learn more of the story, or visit our Edgewood Weed Warriors page to learn how you can help with restoration.

Spring wildflowers at Coyote Ridge
(Photo: Ken Himes)

Imagine a place of sweeping vistas, singing grasses, wildflowers, eagles, falcons, coyotes, but few people.  All this within view of one of the largest metropolitan areas in America. All  this two miles from an interstate highway.  The hills on the eastern side of the Santa Clara Valley, known collectively as the Diablo Range, are in places made up of a rock known as serpentinite, or more commonly, just serpentine. Coyote Ridge is a block of serpentine fifteen miles long and two miles wide just east of  US 101.  In the spring it is a mass of wildflowers, right down to the highway.  Kestrels can be seen along the highway, hovering as they look for prey. Red-legged frogs can be seen in ponds, and pronghorns can be seen in the hills beyond.

The last healthy populations of the Bay checkerspot butterfly are found along Coyote Ridge, and there are at least fifteen plants identified by the California Native Plant Society as rare or endangered.  Since the early 1990's, CNPS-Santa Clara Valley has conducted vegetation surveys, monitored rare plant populations, led field trips, produced videos, brochures and articles, held public meetings, and advocated conservation policies before public bodies. Protection of this treasure has been adopted by the City of San Jose, the Valley Transportation Authority, the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority, the Silicon Valley Land Conservancy and the Nature Conservancy.

For more information, see our Coyote Ridge page

Information can be found at CalIPC.org

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