2016 Abstracts


18th Annual Central California Invasive Weed Symposium

Thursday, October 6, 2016


Keynote Address – Managing Whole Systems: Understanding the Ecological Context of Invasive Species. Tao Orion, Author of Beyond the War on Invasive Species: A Permaculture Approach to Ecosystem Restoration

Permaculture design is often considered in the context of gardening, but the ethics and principles can be applied to any field, from economics to urban planning. Applying permaculture to the practice of ecosystem restoration offers a unique design challenge – how to best create linkages between ecosystems of the past, present, and future. In this presentation, Tao Orion, will explore how the tools, techniques, and philosophies of permaculture design can enhance the practice of restoration.

Intersection of communities and biodiversityBill Henry, Director, Groundswell Coastal Ecology

We will examine the relationship and interdependencies between ecological and modern cultural communities. What is the process of the failing community, how did we arrive here? What are the elements of strong communities? How can community redevelopment build functional resilient social-ecological systems?

Harding grass (Phalaris aquatica). Ryan Diller, California State Parks, Santa Cruz District

Lessons learned utilizing fire and glyphosate to treat Harding grass.

Biodiversity effects and rates of spread of eucalyptus in central California. Susie Fork, Research Biologist, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve

A brief review of research on habitat value and invasion by eucalyptus in the Monterey Bay region, comparing the biological communities of nonnative eucalyptus woodlands to native oak woodlands, and examining whether planted eucalyptus groves have increased in size over the past decades. Degree of difference between native and nonnative woodlands depended on the indicator used. Eucalyptus had significantly lower cover by perennial plants and species richness of arthropods than oaks. Eucalyptus had lower abundance of native plants with ranges limited to western North America, and lower abundance of amphibians. In contrast, eucalyptus and oak groves had very similar bird community composition, species richness, and abundance. Our time-series analysis revealed that planted eucalyptus groves increased 271% in size, on average, over six decades, invading adjacent areas. Our results inform science-based management of California woodlands, revealing that while bird communities would probably not be affected by restoration of eucalyptus to oak woodlands, such a restoration project would not only stop the spread of eucalyptus into adjacent habitats but would also enhance cover by western North American native plants and perennials, enhance amphibian abundance, and increase arthropod richness.

Eucalyptus removal in Palo Colorado Canyon.  Nadia Hamey, Forester, Hamey Woods

Strategies and tactics required to implement the removal of a significant grove of Tasmanian blue gum on Big Sur Land Trust Property in Palo Colorado Canyon. This community was recently severely impacted by the Soberanes fire and Nadia will share with us how her project impacted fire suppression efforts.

Stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens) Identification, Biology, and Management. Rachel Brownsey, Botanist and Restoration Ecologist, Environmental Science Associates

Stinkwort is a rapidly spreading annual plant that presents major challenges for identification and management because of its unique life cycle and biological characteristics. A very wide range of germination conditions, tolerance to repeated habitat disturbance, fall/winter flowering and fruiting, and sticky oils on the leaf surface make this plant difficult to identify and contain. This presentation will give an overview of the annual life cycle and habitat requirements and will provide tips for early identification as wells as timing of mechanical and chemical treatments. Steps for preventing stinkwort introduction and recognizing new introductions will also be discussed.

Stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens). Daniel Ontiveros, Biological Services Technician, BLM Fort Ord National Monument

An account of a local stinkwort removal project including planning, methods used, efficacy, and follow up.

Coastal prairie restoration. Green Burns, University of California, Santa Cruz

An account of implementing seeding methods as competitive strategy against weeds to restore coastal prairie habitat.

Mapping perennial veldt grass (Ehrharta calycina) using UAV aerial imagery. Corey Hamza, Stewardship Assistant, Elkhorn Slough Foundation

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles can offer a bird’s-eye view of the lands we manage, and with coupled with Geographical Information Systems can offer a power mapping tool that can help us do our jobs better. Corey presents a case study from the Elkhorn Slough watershed: he is using UAV images and ArcGIS to map veldt grass on conservation lands.  Results will help with weed control strategies, including areas to prioritize and how to allocate time on money on veldt grass control.


Option 1. Field Trip to Elkhorn Slough.

Tool demonstration: Brush masticator, by Mike Filbin, owner of Central Coast Clearing, will show us how to use a brush masticator on coyote brush on the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve.

  • Veldt grass control: what has worked and what hasn’t. Andrea Woolfolk, Stewardship Coordinator will discuss the evolution of veldt grass control over 20 years at the Elkhorn Slough Reserve. Corey Hamza, Stewardship Assistant will address experiments to restore native plants after control.
  • How-to demonstration: removing small eucalyptus by Rob Thompson, owner of Thompson Wildland Management.
  • What happens after you remove eucalyptus? Bree Candiloro, Stewardship Specialist at the Elkhorn Slough Reserve will lead a tour through 13 acres of oak, scrub and grassland, an area that was a large eucalyptus grove until 1990.
  • Working with volunteers to remove weeds at Moss Landing State Beach. Katie Pofahl, Outreach Coordinator at the Elkhorn Slough Foundation, who has been collaborating with State Parks on dune restoration, will lead a discussion about engaging volunteers in weed and restoration work.

Option 2. Field trip to Salinas River, Arundo Removal

Working together on the Salinas River on a watershed-based weed control program – the view from partners, including permitting agencies, landowners, and NGOs. Arundo removal techniques, based on work now in progress over much of the length of the Salinas River. Confirmed speakers on the bus and on-site include:

  • Paul Robins, Resource Conservation District (RCD) of Monterey County, will discuss how this project has helped bring together various stakeholders for a classic win-win, and will address Arundo treatment methods
  • Brian Cary from the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB), will provide an overview of the components of stream enhancement program, Prop 1 $200M grant process, and how the grant program fits with WCB mission to work for more water in streams
  • Donna Meyers from Conservation Collaborative who will discuss project design, The Nature Conservancy-designed stream maintenance channel demo project work near Gonzales, and how Arundo control was integrated as mitigation in the 401 permit process.

Option 3. Laws and regulations continuing education session, and Fort Ord Field trip


Laws and Regulations Update. Sergio Moreno, Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office

Overview of Voluntary Respirator Use regulations, Pesticide Use Reporting, Required PPE for handheld applications.

Is Glyphosate a Carcinogen?  Joel Trumbo, Senior Environmental Scientist, California Department of Fish and Wildlife

A presentation on the risks posed to applicators by glyphosate-based herbicides and how chronic toxicity risk is assessed as part of the registration process.

Field trip to Bureau of Land Management, Fort Ord

The habitats in the northern portion of Fort Ord National Monument include vernal pools, meadows, oak woodlands and chaparral, along with the diverse native flora are invasive plant species such as French broom, jubata, iceplant, Klamath weed, stinkwort and poison hemlock. We will walk the trails learning about BLM’s 20 years of work in this area and discussing invasive plant control.