Eagle Scout Project Focus:
Doty Ravine Preserve Restoration
By Jason Moore
My name is Jason Moore of Boy Scout Troop 121, and I recently completed my Eagle Scout Project restoring native vegetation on Doty Ravine Preserve near Lincoln.
My project leader was Placer Land Trust’s Land Manager Justin Wages. I couldn’t have had a better time working with anyone else.
Areas of the Preserve needed restoration because many non-native and invasive species had overgrown the areas and not allowed the native plants to grow. Past livestock grazing had prevented new tree growth and stunted the few trees that dared defy grazing pressure.
My project was to plant native trees, shrubs, flowers and other wetland vegetation within wetland channels.
My work is a part of a larger project to restore wetland, riparian and grassland habitat with funding assistance from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Partner’s for Fish and Wildlife Fund and the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP).
I started my project last fall but was delayed because of the lack of rain, so we restarted in late January. We placed flags where we wanted to plant all the native vegetation. Soon we were ready to start with the rest of the project but the lack of consistent rain further delayed us.
We rented an auger one morning February morning and proceeded to drill holes to assist in future planting. We used the auger where the larger trees were to be planted. It was a little annoying because I wasn’t allowed to use the auger due to the Boy Scout rules. But, I had a lot of fun that day and knew I was ready for the two big planting days.
In March, we had a huge day of planting. I got four Scout volunteers to come out and help me. Justin brought out a group of AmeriCorps SNAP members, Lincoln High School ROP intern Cory Mitchell, two biologists from the USFWS (Jennifer Brown and Mike Dunphy), and a few more volunteers including Placer Land Trust Board Member Rich Ferreira to help. We had a ‘BobCat’ digging trenches and music to help keep the energy up.
We were out there about six hours. It was all hard work … and even some fun! I was tired and my back hurt, but I was caked in mud (which was refreshingly cool) and I knew it was all for a good cause.
We conducted our last planting a few weeks later and got almost all of it done. The final piece of the project is putting wood chips at the base of the trees and shrubs to keep the weeds under control and retain moisture.
I’m thankful for everyone who helped contribute to the project including Neff Rentals, United Rentals, Sierra Pacific Industries, High Ranch Nursery, Safeway and Raley’s for their generous donation in support of my project. The native vegetation has been restored and now Justin, I, and the wildlife are happy.
From the Board Room
New Community Council Expands Placer Land Trust’s Reach
By Fred Yeager
In March, Placer Land Trust welcomed 37 smart and inspiring community leaders to our inaugural Community Council, a group dedicated to promoting public awareness of Placer Land Trust.
As ambassadors to the community, these individuals have pledged to make an extra effort to help us spread the word and advance our mission to protect Placer County’s natural wonders forever.
Placer Land Trust Honors Volunteers
By Janet Voris
In February Placer Land Trust presented volunteer awards to 2011 Volunteer of the Year Anita Yoder, the, and 2011 Land Steward of the Year Deren Ross.
Placer Land Trust presents these awards annually to volunteers who have made exceptional contributions to the organization.
Anita Yoder has lived in Placer County with her husband Bill since 1976. She became especially interested in Placer Land Trust during the acquisition of the Bruin Ranch property, now called Harvego Bear River Preserve.
Yoder began volunteering with PLT last summer as one of the docents in the newly created docent-led hikes program. As a core member of the docent team she has provided valuable advice and guidance to help improve the docent hike program and played a significant role in its rapid expansion and success.
“The docent hikes are a great fit for my lifestyle,” says Anita. “I get to hike around the beautiful preserve and encourage other people to get involved in conservation in Placer County.”
Deren Ross is a native of Placer County and an avid conservationist and naturalist. He has a passion for discovering, studying, and protecting the flora and fauna of the Sierra Nevada foothills.
Ross has spent many hours researching & studying the California dogface butterfly population on PLT’s Shutamul Bear River Preserve. The dogface butterfly enjoys special status as the California State Insect. Deren has worked with PLT and researchers from UC Davis since 2009 to help add to the body of knowledge.
“I learned about the California dogface butterfly through the Bohart Museum of Entomology at UC Davis,” says Ross. “Dr. Art Shapiro at UC Davis told me there is still much to be learned about this butterfly. Then I discovered a remarkable breeding population on PLT’s Shutamul Preserve.”
“Placer Land Trust is truly honored to have people as dedicated as Anita and Deren volunteering with us,” says Executive Director Jeff Darlington.
Placer Land Trust Board President Fred Yeager presented the awards at the organization’s annual Volunteer Happy Hour in February. Previous recipients include: Karl Mertz Jr., Patty Ruud, Lea Bartels, Nancyjo Rieske, Megan Forester, Bill & Georgia Flake, Janet Voris, Lorri Peltz-Lewis, Gary Wells, and Sandy O’Blenness.
Welcome AmeriCorps Members
By Jessica Daugherty
Placer Land Trust welcomes two new AmeriCorps members: Stewardship Assistants Briana Parsons and Kiri Ando.
For the sixth year in a row, Placer Land Trust will benefit from the Sierra Nevada Alliance AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP). SNAP places AmeriCorps members at different conservation agencies and organizations throughout the Sierra Nevada to conduct watershed restoration and monitoring, watershed education, and volunteer recruitment and support. Briana and Kiri will be serving at Placer Land Trust until November 2012.
Briana Parsons was born in San Francisco. She got a bi-costal perspective when her family moved to New Jersey while she was in elementary school. Since then she’s taken it upon herself to travel as much as possible, going to school in mid-state New York at SUNY Oneonta, then taking classes in Cozumel, Mexico and the Limon Provence of Costa Rica. Scuba diving and primate behavior were some of her favorite subjects as an undergraduate.
Simultaneously, she worked at the community center where she learned about volunteering, non-profit organizations and community outreach. Briana did an invasive species focused internship with the National Park Service at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio. She also interned with the Fish and Wildlife Service at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska where she did research on brown bears and shorebirds.
After earning her Bachelor of Science in Biology she took a seasonal position with the Institute of Renewable Natural Resources at Texas A&M, mapping and surveying endangered warblers. This year Briana is very excited to restore native habitats on Placer Land Trust’s preserves, as well as get the community involved in trail construction and invasive species removal.
Kiri was born and raised in Northridge, CA. She received her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in Earth Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2010. After receiving her degree she began working towards a certificate in GIS at Los Angeles Pierce College.
Kiri also served as a Resource Management Intern through the Student Conservation Association (SCA) at Congaree National Park in Hopkins, South Carolina. Her internship focused on removing and mapping invasive plants, educating 3rd graders about weathering, erosion and deposition, and conducting water quality monitoring.
In her free time she enjoys making soap and jewelry, knitting, preserving homemade jams, and playing outside with her adopted puppy, Tukufu.
Placer Land Trust welcomes both Briana and Kiri to our team and we are excited to have them on board as part of our stewardship team.
By Brianna Parsons
Each year, AmeriCorps Members address community needs such as providing disaster relief, educating disadvantaged youth, improving health services, building affordable housing, managing after-school programs and cleaning parks and streams.
Some AmeriCorps Facts
1. Each year, AmeriCorps offers 75,000 opportunities for adults of all ages and backgrounds to serve through a network of partnerships with local and national nonprofit groups, ranging from environmental organizations to disaster relief groups to literacy programs.
2. Non-profit conservation organizations like Placer Land Trust participate in a program called the Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership, members of which conduct watershed assessment and restoration, watershed education, and volunteer recruitment throughout the Sierra Nevada.
3. Twenty-seven full time AmeriCorps members serve the Sierra Nevada Alliance Partnership each year, in total contributing 236,559 hours of service to the Sierra so far.
4. PLT’s AmeriCorps Members take on enhancement and restoration projects on our properties.including removal of invasive weeds, planting native plants, monitoring stream and river quality, and building hiking trails.
5. AmeriCorps members are serve the United States in ways that channels their passion. They are rewarded with new skills, experiences, and the satisfaction that comes from helping others.
Remembering Skip Outman
We lost one of the finest members of our family to leukemia recently. Skip Outman, past Secretary and six-year member of Placer Land Trust’s Board of Directors, passed away. Please join me in offering your prayers to Skip’s wife Jan, his sons Chad and Troy, and the rest of the Outman family.
Skip joined the Placer Land Trust Board of Directors in 2006, saying:
“I’ve lived in Placer County for over decades and I’ve always been, and continue to be, concerned about the quality of life in Placer County. Our area is under increasing pressure from urban sprawl. To me, it is vital to retain as much land in its open and natural state as possible.”
As a horse and cattle rancher and a much respected realtor with decades of local experience, Skip was known to nearly all the owners of large ranch lands and open space properties in Placer County. As a former teacher, an avid endurance runner, horseman, and a supporter of numerous local charities and causes, he was much loved throughout the community.
Skip was adamant in his view that the best of our agricultural and natural lands must be protected to hand down to future generations. “Our county has a rich history of agricultural excellence ranging from fruit to rice to beef production,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure that this history is protected.”
Over the years Skip’s personal and professional support of Placer Land Trust led to the completion of conservation projects totaling over 3,000 acres.
Skip, on behalf of all of us associated with Placer Land Trust, we will carry on in your memory, but we will always miss you.