Channel Islands - Santa Rosa Island
Santa Barbara, CA
Beginning in 2015, Restoration Packaging partnered with Channel Islands Restoration to help restore damaged areas of the Channel Islands. This site deals in particular with Santa Rosa Island. For more information visit cirweb.org and read more about the site restoration engagement below:
Channel Islands Restoration staff and volunteers joined other stakeholders in mapping all known populations of Yellowspine Thistle and Silverleaf Nightshade with GPS units. They then pruned the natives surrounding the invasive plants while also removing any growing fruits from the invasives in order to prepare the sites for herbicide treatment. Once the invasive plants were killed, we planted native plants in the open areas to impede invasives from resprouting.
Yellowspine thistle (Cirsium ochrocentrum) is designated by the California Department of Food and Agriculture as an "A" rated noxious weed. 1 Populations of this weed are of very limited distribution in California. In Santa Barbara County, it is only known to occur on Santa Rosa Island. Large infestations could ruin a landscape for rangeland, recreation, and wildlife habitat. - Santa Barbara Agricultural Commissioner.
Silverleaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium), also known as white horsenettle, is designated by the California Department of Food and Agriculture as a "B" rated noxious weed.2
Populations of this weed are of limited distribution in California. In Santa Barbara County it has been found on Santa Cruz Island from the Christy Barn area to the Christy airfield area and in Cebada Canyon, but is still very localized. It is found on Santa Rosa Island as well. These Channel Islands populations have received repeated treatments as part of the SBCWMA's Santa Rosa Island Noxious Weed Survey and Eradication Project. A population was found in 2009, and treated [by CIR], on the San Marcos Foothills. Additional historical collections have been made at the Bishop Ranch near Goleta, along a Solvang roadside, along Meigs Road in Santa Barbara, and at the mouth of Rattlesnake Canyon.
Natives Plant Protection:
During the ranching era deer and elk were introduced to the island for sport hunting. These non-native herbivores easily grazed upon the endemic island plants which had not adapted to withstand grazing.
As management of the island was nearly finished transferring from the ranchers to the National Park Service, CIR stepped in to install fencing and cages around important plant populations and around newly planted natives around our restoration sites.
When deer and elk were completely removed from the island we underwent the arduous task of removing all of our now-obsolete fencing.
Channel Islands Restoration assisted park biologists with their work to conserve the endangered and endemic Phacelia insularis var. insularis. We raked large areas of dead nonnative grass detritus in an effort to increase fertilization and germination of the Phacelia. The experimental section had a slightly higher success rate when compared to a control, but it wasn't substanial.
We also propagated and planted a species of extremely rare and endemic Dudleya at China Camp on the southwest side of the island.