Map currently dedicated conservation easements, document their past and present condition, and evaluate their ecological value,
Design recommended baseline characterization and monitoring programs for newly-dedicated conservation easements,
Evaluate the potential for a maritime chaparral conservation banking program in the watershed and,
Investigate habitat restoration strategies on Elkhorn Slough Foundation and other chaparral lands in the watershed.
Objective 2: Reduce loss of maritime chaparral due to habitat type conversion.
The Research and Education staff will increase understanding of chaparral fire ecology, wildland fire issues, and the use of prescribed burning. In order to accomplish this we will:
collaborate with community partners to raise awareness of chaparral fire issues.
partner with interested community organizations to increase understanding of the issues associated with living at the chaparral wildland interface and the potential benefits of a prescribed burning program.
The CTP staff will host a decision-maker workshop on chaparral fire ecology and the use of prescribed fire for habitat maintenance and restoration. In order to accomplish this we will:
bring together fire ecologists, wildland fire practitioners, fire protection agency staff, and land managers for a workshop to advance the theory and practice of disturbance-based maritime chaparral conservation and restoration.
The Research staff will support development and implementation of recovery plans for maritime chaparral habitat and associated sensitive species. In partnership with ESF we will:
monitor and map occurrences of sensitive species in the watershed.
participate in the development of threatened and endangered species listing and recovery plans.
The Research staff will initiate research on maritime chaparral response to modified disturbance regimes.
The Research staff will map historic chaparral habitat changes and disturbance history.
The Research staff will develop a historical ecological analysis of long-term habitat change across the watershed’s chaparral lands.
The Research staff will initiate a maritime chaparral restoration science research project. In partnership with ESF we will:
initiate long-term manipulative field studies to address some of the following questions:
Can degraded former maritime chaparral sites be restored? Are some settings (e.g. disturbance or land use history or adjacency to intact habitat) more conducive to restoration?
Can oak woodland invasion be reduced by these treatments?
Can invasion by exotic species such as pampas grass and iceplant be managed by these treatments?