BEN # 66

Adolf Ceska aceska at CUE.BC.CA
Tue Dec 14 23:51:21 EST 1993

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No. 66                            December 14, 1993

Address: aceska at         Victoria, B.C.


Several  conspirators  met  on December 9 in the house of Hannah
Nadel in Victoria and decided  to  establish  "Vancouver  Island
Mycological Society" (please note that the name is provisional).
The  society  will have its monthly meetings each first Thursday
of the month, starting on February 3, 1994. Meeting  place  will
be  announced,  but  it  is  highly probable that it will be the
Pacific Forestry Centre on West Burnside Road. Watch for further

From: "Gail M. Berg" <GBERG at>

The rafting company I hired to take us down the Columbia for the
Botany BC field trip has been charged with taking  a  trip  down
that  river without having a licence to do so on that particular
piece of waterway. They refused to pay a $100.00 fine (for  some
reason) so the Conservation Officer out of Golden has taken them
to  court.  Peter  Holmes  (the Habitat Biologist from here) and
myself have been subpoenaed to go to court on February 22,  1994
to  act  as  witnesses.  Hopefully I will make it to the meeting
next year in the Queen Charlotte Islands and  will  be  able  to
show  some slides complete with me being led into court in hand-
cuffs. Does Botany BC have any sort of a defence fund  for  this
type of incident ?

From: J. Sigg's article, Fremontia 21, No. 4.

San  Bruno Mountain is a long ridge (1,314 feet) in northern San
Mateo County adjacent to San Francisco. The area has  long  been
of  interest of botanists because of the presence of many plants
that reach either the northern or the southern  limit  of  their
ranges.  It  has  geographic  variants  of  widespread  species,
several rare or uncommon plants  and  two  or  three  endangered
butterflies.  The majority of the mountain is a state and county
park, with several hundred privately owned acres  on  the  lower
slopes  and  ridges.  Much  of  the  prime habitat for the three
butterflies is on private property. The  specific  goal  of  the
1982 Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP), the first in the U.S., was
to  protect  the  ecosystem  of the entire remaining undeveloped
portions of the mountain.

Several large developments that would destroy butterfly  habitat
had  been  proposed for the lower slopes and ridges of the moun-
tain. Using the new 1982 HCP process, development on  San  Bruno
Mountain could now proceed.

The  main  threat  to  the mountain ecosystem and its endangered
species - other than development - was and  is  the  advance  of
invasive  exotic  plants: gorse (Ulex europaeus), Tasmanian blue
gum (Eucalyptus globulus), French broom (Genista monspessulana),
Scotch  and  Mediterranean  broom  (Cytisus  scoparius  and   C.
striatus),  fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), and Andean pampas grass
(Cortaderia jubata). Other  alien  species  scattered  over  the
mountain  are  Monterey  pine  (Pinus radiata), Monterey cypress
(Cupressus macrocarpa), Himalayan blackberry  (Rubus  procerus),
cotoneaster  (Cotoneaster  spp.),  pyracantha  (Pyracantha sp.),
English ivy (Hedera helix) and German ivy (Senecio mikanioides).
Singly or in combination, these species  are  able  to  displace
even healthy native plant communities in this climatic regime.

Compared  to  1982, there are greater numbers of invasive plants
on the mountain, and they occupy a larger area, displacing  more
native  plants.  For  eleven  years the HCP has concerned almost
exclusively on gorse, ... but there is as much gorse today as in
1982, possibly more. The county has chained, bulldozed, sprayed,
burned, and mechanically removed acres of gorse, yet the  stands
have  remained  essentially  the  same  over  the  years because
patches are allowed to regenerate from roots  and  seeds.  While
the  HCP  was locked into obsession with gorse, other aggressive
plants were freely proliferating and destroying prime habitat.

Once a weed has been extirpated, the area should  not  be  aban-
doned. Native plants do not automatically recolonize a disturbed
area.  The  science  of  restoration  must be employed if native
plants are to reclaim their rightful place. Otherwise  the  same
weed will return or others will replace them.

By  1990  the Yerba Buena Chapter of the California Native Plant
Society was disturbed that no one had looked at the HCP and  its
results  in the field since the plan began. For over the decades
the chapter members had been fighting weeds in natural areas  in
the San Francisco area. Since September 1990 the chapter members
logged  over  2,200 person-hours of weed control work. The Yerba
Buena Chapter has formed  a  San  Bruno  Mountain  Committee  to
comment  on  the  gorse management draft and the HCP and offered
its knowledge and energy to  revise,  revitalize,  or  make  San
Bruno Mountain HCP work to restore butterfly habitat.

From: JIR at MITVMA.BITNET (modified by BEN, without a permission!)

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