Invasive Weed Management

Goats eating cape ivy

The California Invasive Plant Council (Cal-IPC) defines invasive plants as plants that are not native to an environment, and once introduced, they establish, quickly reproduce and spread, and cause harm to the environment, economy or human health. Cal-IPC has an Inventory which categorizes these plants that threaten California’s natural areas. The Inventory includes plants that currently cause damage in California (invasive plants) as well as “Watch” plants that are at a high risk of becoming invasive in the future.

Cape Ivy

Cape ivy, an invasive weed brought from South Africa, is a perennial vine that climbs over riparian vegetation, forming a solid cover that blocks light and smothers plant communities.

Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District (CSLRCD) has been battling this invasive plant for years on property the CSLRCD owns called Chorro Flats. In 2019, we made some headway by adding goat grazing to the mix, which allows us the ability to manage more ground.

Partners:

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Funders:

National Resource Conservation Service

RCD Contact:

Lindsay Ringer, lringer@coastalrcd.org

Iceplant

Invasive Iceplant is treated in Morro Dunes Natural Preserve.

Iceplant is a coastal perennial herb native to the coast of South Africa, where the climate is similar to that of coastal California. It was introduced by the Coast Guard and CalTrans and planted along roads and beaches in the mid 1900s. Iceplant spreads easily, and it has become invasive in coastal California. When established, it forms a large, thick mat that outcompetes all other native plants and alters the soil composition by increasing salinity.

CSLRCD works with State Parks & Recreation to assist with their iceplant eradication program on Morro Dunes Natural Preserve, Montaña de Oro State Park. The Preserve is a sandpit, approximately four-miles long and bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Morro Bay Estuary to the east. In the foredunes, Iceplant can spread rapidly and cover the bare sandy areas used as nesting habitat for the Western Snowy Plover, a species federally listed as threatened. Other displaced species include native dune scrub vegetation and Morro Shoulderband Snail, federally listed as endangered.

Partners:

CA Dept. of Parks & Recreation, San Luis Obispo Coast District

Funders:

CA Dept. of Parks & Recreation, San Luis Obispo Coast District

Morro Bay National Estuary Program

RCD Contact:

Lindsay Ringer, lringer@coastalrcd.org

Russian wheatgrass

Russian wheatgrass

Russian wheatgrass is a nonnative plant in California; it was introduced from elsewhere and naturalized in the wild. Its only known locations in the state are in the Oceano Dunes complex and South San Francisco.

CSLRCD works with State Parks & Recreation in the Oceano Dunes to eradicate this invasive plant. According to the California Invasive Plant Council, there is a high risk of this plant becoming invasive in California. The Wildlife Conservation Board is funding a coordinated effort to eradicate nonnative invasive weeds located at wetland and upland sites in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. Four other invasive plants are included along with the Russian wheatgrass—Canada thistle, Dalmatian toadflax, Sea lavender and Japanese dodder. Since 2015, CSLRCD has worked to eradicate 95 percent of the Russian wheatgrass on the Oceano Dunes.

Partners:

CA Dept. of Parks & Recreation, Oceano Dunes District

California Invasive Plant Council

Upper Salinas-Las Tablas Resource Conservation District

Cachuma Resource Conservation District

Funders:

California Wildlife Conservation Board

CA Dept. of Parks & Recreation, Oceano Dunes District

RCD Contact:

Mark Skinner, mskinner@coastalrcd.org

Veldtgrass

Aerial treatment of veldtgrass
Aerial treatment of veldtgrass

Veldtgrass (Ehrharta calycina) is a perennial grass native to South Africa and was first introduced to California in the early 20th century. It spreads rapidly and is known to outcompete native grasses and herbs in dune habitats. Since its introduction, it has sprawled across much of Guadalupe and Montaña de Oro.

CSLRCD works with various partners to control veldtgrass on the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes and to protect and enhance naturally occurring populations of the federally endangered Nipomo lupine. The methods include winter herbicide treatment via helicopter, with follow-up hand-spraying crews outside the lupine cores. Successful habitat enhancement and expansion of the Nipomo lupine may include selective hand removal of dune scrub, scarification of Nipomo lupine seeds to speed germination, out-plantings and other measures.

Partners:

CA Dept. of Parks & Recreation, Oceano Dunes District

Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

CA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife Service

Federal Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Funders:

A settlement with Union Oil Company of California (“Unocal”) provides “Restoration Funds” for the restoration of natural resources on the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes (National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is the trustee of these funds).

RCD Contact:

Lindsay Ringer, lringer@coastalrcd.org

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