What effect do changes made to the forest - for wildfire management or timber harvest, for example - have on California spotted owl? That question prompted the organizers of the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project (SNAMP) to incorporate an owl team into its wide-ranging effort.
The owl team recently gathered at the UC Blodgett Forest near Georgetown with members of the public and representatives of agencies involved in SNAMP. They explained the scope of the on-going spotted owl research program and the smaller subsection that is part of the SNAMP project.
Project manager Doug Tempel and assistant project leader Sheila Whitmore, both affiliated with the University of Minnesota, said the owls are humanely trapped using a snare pole, a blood sample taken for genetic testing and colored bands attached to the legs for easy identification of the owls in the wild.
Because each owl has a different color band and tab combination, they need never be captured again.
Tempel said one owl pair lives in an area called the "Last Chance." That area will be subjected to Forest Service treatments, then observations by the owl scientists will indicate the impact of the treatments on those owls' lives.
Kim Ingram of UC Cooperative Extension is the SNAMP representative for the northern Sierra Nevada.
She said information from the spotted owl study will be integrated with data collected by other teams to better understand how forests can be managed to ensure sustainable timber resources, minimize wildfire risk to people and structures and conserve wildlife habitat.
Besides the spotted owl team, other teams that are part of SNAMP are:
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Many gardeners are looking for aquatic plants that will not be a problem in the local streams and creeks. This publication provides beautiful alternatives to many of the aquatic or bog plants that are considered invasive species.
For example, some of the suggested plants that could be used to replace Vinca include: Serbian Bellflower (Campanual poscharskyana),Bear’s-foot Hellebore (Helleborus foetidus), Heartleaf Bergenia (Bergenia cordifolia and hybrids),Pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis), Wild Ginger (Asarum caudatum, and finally Sarcococca (Sarcococca hookerana humilis). These are all beautiful plants that will grow well in the shade with only a moderate amount of water.
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I live along an historic boulevard of beautiful Canary Island Date Palms, Phoenix canarensis. They are really majestic but they do drop a lot of fronds during much of the year. Anytime there is a breeze, one can expect to see the large fronds or flower clusters littering the ground around the base of the trees and the street. The dropping fronds are not really a huge issue in our area because the road is quite rural, and infrequently traveled. However, there are many plantings that are considered quite hazardous because there are a lot of cars and pedestrians under the trees. To reduce the possibility of injury, there are those who will drastically prune palms just to prevent the fronds from dropping later. I call this "preemtive pruning". Excessive pruning can be quite harmful. It reduces the surface area of the “energy system” of the leaves thereby weakening them. Excessive pruning can also open the palm up to serious decay and disease issues. The key to proper palm pruning according to palm expert Don Hodel, UCCE Environmental Horticulture Advisor in Los Angeles County, is to never prune the fronds off above the middle of the horizontal plane of the head of the palm. If you were to think of a clock, the fronds located below the 9:00 and 3:00 O’clock position are fine to remove. Don’t prune off any fronds above that point.
When you do prune your palm trees, the ideal time is when the weather is dry to prevent disease problems from occurring.
The bark may appear dark with an amber colored gumming on the branches.
To combate that the disease and reduce the potential for Eutypa to infect trees, you should begin pruning your apricot and cherry trees during the later part of summer and early fall at least 4-6 weeks prior to rainfall. However, realize that you may be opening your trees to sunburn with summer pruning so be sure to paint exposed branches with a diluted white latex housepaint with 50:50 water to paint mix. Also avoid pruning if you are going to have an extended period of 100 degree plus weather.
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