Owing to public outcry, the tree cutting in Montara has been paused. Now a walk has been announced for October 30, 2017, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM, in Montara, presumably for explanations about why the trees were cut and what is planned for the future.
We understand that the “restoration” project is about a tiny yellow flower called Hickman’s Cinquefoil or Hickman’s Potentilla. The picture here is from a Wikipedia article about it, and is used under a Creative Commons license.) It’s very rare.
It’s been seen in Monterey, growing in a quarter-acre patch of grassland in a pine forest. They tried planting more in Monterey, but a combination of predators, competition from grasses, and low reproduction defeated this effort.
Montara has the largest known population, and maybe half of it is in Rancho Corral de Tierra. Here’s a 2009 USFWS report on the plant: UFWS report on Hickmans Potentilla 2009
The key question: Will chopping down the trees actually help this plant? There’s some speculation that maybe the trees are shading out the flowers. But the real issue for the Potentilla seems to be a combination of being over-run by grasses, eaten by gophers, deer, and slugs, and not reproducing vigorously.
The trees have been there a long time, and are part of the environment for the Potentilla already. It’s quite possible that the drastic change from cutting down the trees will just make everything worse; the effects of their removal is quite unpredictable when you need to address it down at the level of grasses, wind, erosion, and water movement in small patches of land. The best results are more likely to come, not from disturbing the environment, but from clipping the grass around the plants, and figuring out how to protect them from predators.
DETAILS OF THE WALK
Time and Place: October 30, 2017, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Montara
Here are the details that were sent to us. The invitation came from C. Fitzgerald at the Parks Conservancy:
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Rancho Corral de Tierra Grassland Restoration
Public Meeting and Walk
Please join National Park Service staff and Congresswoman Jackie Speier for a public meeting and walk at Rancho Corral de Tierra to discuss grassland restoration efforts and recovery actions for the Federally endangered Hickman’s potentilla. Project staff will discuss the project goals, review park planning processes and discuss future restoration plans. Park restoration efforts include removing invasive vegetation, such as grasses and trees, and revegetating with native plant communities.
RSVP REQUIRED | Please RSVP here so that we can accommodate all participants. A Rancho meeting location will be sent to all registered attendees at least 5 days prior to the event.
MEETING & WALK | This gathering will begin with a 30 minute meeting/talk at the trailhead which will be followed by a walk to view the project area for further discussion. The walk terrain is moderately strenuous.
PARKING | Parking is limited. Carpooling or walking is highly encouraged.
ATTIRE | Please wear comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots.
ACCESSIBILITY | Accommodations will be made for all interested attendees. Please call 415-561-4994 to request alternate accommodations.
QUESTIONS | For more information or questions, please call 415-561-4994.