15th Annual Central California Invasive Weeds Symposium

Connections: Weeding with Cooperative Management

November 7, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Paicines Ranch, Tres Pinos, California.


Includes refreshments, lunch, continuing education units and field trips!

General = $50 (late registration (after 10/24)= $65)*
Student = $25*
*Small processing fee applies for Eventbrite registration.
Volunteer exchange for registration available!

Click here to register!  http://cciws2013.eventbrite.com/

Keynote Address: 

"A Sense of Place"Ken Moore, Executive Director and Founder, Wildlands Restoration Team.

A sense of place means connecting with a place so strongly that it becomes an integral part of you, and you of it. There is also another kind of place, which each of us has within ourselves. Some call it the heart, others the soul. In this place resides the essence of who we really are, and what really matters to each of us. If we are to succeed in our goal of saving biodiversity by restoring ecosystem health, Ken will discuss how it may hinge on us understanding that these two places are, in fact -- one.


Red Alerts and Measuring and Communicating Success about Wildlands Weed Control
Dean G. Kelch, Primary Botanist, California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Dean will share critical Red Alert updates, how to measure wildland weed control project success, and communicating results with various stakeholders and potential funders in grant applications.

Selective Removal of Invasive Weeds & Restoration of Natural Areas Using Growth Regulator Herbicides.
Richard Miller, Pest Control Advisor, Specialty Programs, Dow Agrosciences, LLC.

Partnerships between weed workers, volunteers, product manufacturers, researchers, landowners, and government are critical to successfully address invasive weed issues. Weed workers can benefit from a better understanding of which herbicide to choose when selecting one for treating either of the veldt grasses, Cape ivy, perennial pepperweed, yellow-star thistle, or the various woody broom species. Discussion will include the pros and cons of using Milestone, Transline, and various Garlon formulations on these and other weeds of interest. Rick will address how growth regulator herbicides from the pyridine family work and considerations regarding how to effectively and safely apply them and what to watch out for as far non-target species will also be discussed.

Yellow-star Thistle (Centaurea solstitialis) Integrated Pest Management Control Project on 70 acres of Bureau of Land Management lands in San Benito County.
Ryan O’Dell, Botanist, Bureau of Land Management, Hollister Field Office.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) staff have used brush cutters, tractor mowers, manual removal, prescribed burning, and herbicides to control YST over approximately 70 acres of BLM-managed grasslands and deciduous oak woodlands within San Benito County's Clear Creek Management Area since 2005. BLM Botanist Ryan O'Dell will summarize techniques used and up to date results which are very promising.

Biology of Stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens): Implications for Management
Rachel Brownsey, Restoration Ecologist, ESA Biological Resources and Land Management

Dittrichia graveolens (L.) Greuter (stinkwort; Asteraceae) is a rapidly expanding and poorly studied annual invasive plant that is becoming a focus of resource managers in California. D. graveolens has been reported in 36 of California’s 58 counties but the area and geographic extent of populations are in many cases very small, providing an opportunity for early detection and rapid response (EDRR). But what are the best control methods and when should they be carried out? Our research on the biology of D. graveolens provides the basic tools and knowledge to begin to develop and test effective management strategies as well as predict which ecosystems are most likely to become invaded. This information may strengthen EDRR efforts in newly invaded or highly susceptible areas of California and facilitate better coordination between land management groups. We investigated seed germination, plant growth, and reproductive characteristics in controlled laboratory and greenhouse experiments and as well as typical California Central Valley field conditions. Results indicate that high light environments with late spring precipitation provide the best growing conditions for seedling and mature plants. Primary and secondary seed dormancy appear to be absent- limiting seed longevity, and seedling emergence occurs throughout the wet season (fall-spring in California). Root growth of D. graveolens occurred later in the spring than common grassland annual species, suggesting that this plant may not be competitive in grassland systems when late-spring soil moisture is limited. The majority of canopy growth occurred during the summer months (June-September), and the initiation of flowering occurred in early September in both wet and dry years, and in greenhouse experiments. This last result indicates that reproductive growth may be a response to photoperiod.

IGNITE SESSION-Inspiring Weed Stories! (5 minutes each)

Coordinated Partnership to Remove Giant Reed (Arundo donax) and perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) in Elkhorn Slough Watershed, Monterey County.
Andrea Woolfolk, Stewardship Coordinator, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve.

The Elkhorn Slough Foundation and Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve recently worked with neighbors and other agencies on an early detection/rapid response project for two wetland weeds. Together, with a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, we were able to significantly reduce the abundance of giant reed and perennial pepperweed in the Elkhorn Slough watershed. We removed 58 scattered patches of pepperweed and 20 small stands of giant reed, which comprised most of the patches known to exist in the watershed. Our staff members met with or talked to 20 watershed neighbors, to ask for permission to remove pepperweed and/or giant reed from their parcels, and 16 agreed to cooperate. We also worked with steering committee members and contractors to obtain best methods to treat both species, and worked with a local non-profit research group and county personnel to expand control efforts north and south of the Elkhorn watershed. Control efforts for both species will need to continue into the future, but we believe this grant-funded project has significantly reduced the likelihood that these plants will become widely established in Slough's wetlands.

Lynn Overtree, Land Trust of Santa Cruz County.

The 160-acre Glenwood Open Space Preserve is owned by the City of Scotts Valley with a conservation easement held by the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County. In addition, the City contracts with the Land Trust to manage the property. The preserve was developed as mitigation for a subdivision on Glenwood Drive, across from the Scotts Valley High School. This preserve, formerly a dairy, has many rare plants and animals. The list includes federally endangered Ohlone tiger beetle (Cicindela ohlone) and Scotts Valley spineflower (Chorizanthe robusta var. hartwegii), as well as other rare species such as Opler’s longhorn moth (Adela oplerella), Mt. Diablo cottonweed (Micropus amphiboles), and Gray’s clover (Trifolium barbigerum var. andrewsii). Under the Land Trust’s and the previous developer’s management, Central Coast Wilds was contracted to do weed management on the property. Many years were spent cutting thistles, primarily Italian thistle (Carduus pycnocephalus). The labor took approximately 100 hrs/year, yet the population was not declining significantly. In 2012, we decided to test weed whipping versus glyphosate or aminopyralid (Milestone). The results showed dramatic reduction in seed production with either herbicide. As a result, in 2013 Central Coast Wilds treated the sites with glyphosate (since it had equal affect as aminopyralid, yet couldn’t be spread through animal manure to rare plant populations). The herbicide treatment, along with weed whipping in areas with potential rare species, took 142 hours. This is considerably higher than in previous years, but we anticipate the work in future years will be reduced if the herbicide treatment proves as effective in practice as it was in the trial.

Volunteer Restoration Efforts at Quail Hollow Ranch County Park, Linda Brodman, Team Leader, Habitat Restoration Team, California Native Plant Society (CNPS), Santa Cruz County Chapter

Volunteers from the CNPS Habitat Restoration Team have been working on removal of Genista monspessulana (French broom) for over 10 years at Quail Hollow Ranch County Park, located in Felton, Santa Cruz County. Consistent year to year follow-up maintenance is present (for now) due to a dedicated group of community-based volunteers including school groups. Control strategy is based on maintaining already pulled work sites yearly, and slowly heading into the last remains of existing broom colonies. Containment of broom stands in many areas have been established, (and hopefully) eradication of all old-growth broom will be achieved. We are an all volunteer effort at Quail Hollow Ranch County Park.

Restoring Redwood Understory in The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park Using Volunteers to Remove English Ivy: Juan deDios Villarino, crew leader California State Parks, Santa Cruz District

Volunteer labor in State Parks often comes in the form of large groups that want to spend short periods of time pulling weeds. For control of many species that require consistent, well timed follow-up, this does not work. The strategy of the Santa Cruz District of State Parks is to identify those sites with weeds that can be controlled using this episodic effort. English Ivy, at The Forest of Nisene Marks is one of those sites. English Ivy is slow growing and it can be removed by hand. Additionally herbicide application can cause significant non-target impacts to slow growing understory plants.


Brought to you by Auten Boys BBQ and Catering. Starring the following characters:

Aged Tri Tip
Pasta Marinara
Marinated Chicken Breast
Veggie Burgers (Vegan)
Ranch Beans (Vegan)
Spinach Salad with Craisins, Almonds, Raspberry Vinaigrette, and Feta Cheese on the side (Vegan)
Garlic Bread (Vegan)
Lemonade and Water

Please remember to bring your own refillable water bottle if you can!!

Lunch discussion:  Weed Manager: online system for occurrence, treatment, and assessment data in the cloud
Cynthia Powell*, John Malpas, Matthew Schulz, and Roy West. Calflora, Berkeley, CA.

Weed Manager (WM) is a system being designed by Calflora and partners, based on both current Calflora weed tracking applications and the desktop Geoweed system. It is intended to be used by various organizations engaged in land management in order to track weed infestations over time and the treatments applied to those infestations.
In addition to the online version of this system, Calflora is completing work for Yosemite National Park on an update to their popular Calflora Observer app for smartphones. The Observer application is used by a wide variety of people to collect plant observation data in the field, upload to Calflora to review privately, and then publish to the public or to private groups.

The new version of Observer features off-line maps and a flexible architecture for customizing the app for specific projects. You do not need a data plan or wifi to use the offline maps. We have found that the app works best in combination with a GPS puck, providing 2-8m accuracy under canopy and in valleys.

This phone app is the major data collection component of the Weed Manager system, which Calflora is now building with partners. Once records are uploaded from the phone to the user's account, they are available to other members of the user's organization, and can be edited and viewed from other Weed Manager applications. Yosemite is one of the first organization clients of Weed Manager, but the system is designed so that other organization clients can define their own projects with plant lists (by region, rare plants, plants of concern for other reasons), areas of interest, and custom field sets for observation entry.

Department of Pesticide Regulation Continuing Education Presentations

Mike Nelson, CalTrans.

Mike will provide a description of challenges related to pesticide use along with roadside safety, which is applicable to any user on any roadway. With Caltrans, such challenges are magnified by highway traffic speeds and traffic volume.

Concerns include: prevailing wind, swirling winds caused by traffic, direction of travel in relation to direction of wind, maintaining buffer zones around sensitive sites, how the geometry of slopes affects accuracy of application, controlling drift, avoiding off-target transport of deposited pesticide by wind and water, mobility characteristics of individual pesticides, and the hazards of moving traffic.  This talk will also address accuracy in measuring while mixing, PPE required and desired, environmental monitoring, record keeping, and how to pass a county Pesticide Use Monitoring Inspection with flying colors! 

Making Laws and Regulations Work for Us While Controlling Invasive Plants at Fort Ord National Monument
Sue Hubbard, Ryan Colley, Sarah Chmielewski, and Kelley Bougher, Fort Ord National Monument Weed Crew

A look into the BLM's pesticide program and tips for achieving pesticide regulation compliance. Topics include mixing, storing, transportation and safe application of herbicides, personal protective equipment, and utilizing ATV's for pesticide applications.

Field Trips

One field trip option will be included in your registration.
The Laws and Regulations session is only compatible with the Paicines Ranch field trip.
Transportation to and from field trips will be provided. 
Note:  Restrooms may not be available on field trips.

Hollister Hills Recreation Area:  “A Look Inside”
Wes Gray. Senior Environmental Scientist, California State Parks-Off-highway Motor Vehicle Division.

Hollister Hills State Vehicle Recreation Area is a 6400 acre Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Park located just 6 miles south of the town of Hollister. The park has diverse habitats of annual grasslands, Oak Woodlands, Coastal Scrub, and Chaparral. This field trip will focus on the diverse Natural Resource Management that goes into maintaining an area that receives over 250,000 visitors annually from all over the state to use the hundreds of miles of trails.

The field trip will meet at the Lower Barn area of the park and look at holistic grazing management done by Joe Morris (TO Cattle Co). The cattle grazing operation at the park was created with the intention of reducing fuel loads, and maintaining a healthy ecosystem with fewer weeds. The grazing program also includes goats in the late summer to target Yellow Star Thistle seed production. This section will be led by Wes Gray and Joe Morris. The 2nd half of the field trip will be in the Lower Ranch of the park and will focus on managing the sides of road, trails, and tracks. These highly disturbed areas are often covered with the highest density of weeds. Some of the topics covered will be using targeting herbicides to kill off broadleaf species, then hydro-seeding with grasses to keep soil covered with fewer weeds.

Paicines Ranch & Laws and Regulations:  Managing organic grasslands, wetlands, and riparian areas using livestock.
Sallie Calhoun, Owner, Paicines Ranch.

We’ll walk from the event center at the ranch, down past the wetlands and corrals to the San Benito River, and then through a blue oak woodland. As we go, we will discuss our weed management practices and considerations at the ranch, which is certified organic. We will discuss our use of holistic management and the four ecosystem processes, along with practical considerations like fencing, water, and grazing timing. We’ll be joined by Chris Ketcham, our Ranch Manager. The first part of the walk is on an all-weather road and can certainly be driven, if anyone has problems with walking.

Pinnacles National Park: Brent Johnson, Botanist, Pinnacles National Park, National Park Service

In 2009, Pinnacles National Monument embarked on the initial phase of a large-scale restoration effort on over 140 acres of degraded grassland and valley oak savannah system acquired by the monument in 2006. Past intensive land use likely contributed to the elimination of most native plants while allowing non-natives to thrive, including yellow starthistle (YST). Restoration efforts involved a native perennial bunchgrass revegetation experiment, multiple integrated pest management (IPM) techniques to control YST, and extensive monitoring and mapping of target species and plant community response to treatments. The experiment was designed to determine themost effective revegetation approaches for future, large scale restoration of the site using perennial grasses. IPM techniques included prescribed burning, broadcast herbicide (Milestone) application, timed mowing, goat grazing, and manual hoeing or pulling.This field trip will allow us to tour the restoration site to see the results first hand for each of these treatment approaches. We will discuss specific herbicide applications and application rates and combining multiple treatment types over time (e.g. fire followed by herbicide). We will learn about the particular challenges, effectiveness, and costs for each of these approaches and learn about the next phase of the restoration that will begin in 2014.We will meet at the Pinnacles Visitor Center on the East side of the park. Please come prepared to walk a mile or two on flat ground to see the restoration site. 



Click to view map

Click to view in Google Earth

Note: GPS systems and online mapping systems often give directions that cause visitors to get hopelessly lost.
Directions from San Jose:
• 101 South through Gilroy
• Exit Highway 25 toward Hollister - approx 12 miles to Hollister
• Stay on highway 25 - there is a bypass around the city of Hollister.
• Go 10-12 more miles - past Ridgemark golf course, Tres Pinos (speed limit 35), then past Bolado Park (county fairgrounds).
• Approx. 1 mile after you get to Paicines (general store on left) you will turn right on Cienega Road (about 10-12 miles from when you first entered Hollister).
• Cienega Road runs directly and immediately into the ranch driveway. Do NOT follow Cienega after it turns left - the ranch gate is immediately in front of you.

Accommodations and Trip Planning

For accommodations and trip planning, please link to http://www.sanbenitocountychamber.com/lodging-directory , the official visitor and tourist website for San Benito County. Accomodations are also available at Paicines Ranch, http://paicinesranch.com/index.php.

Many Thanks to Our Sponsors!

Bureau of Land Management
Chuck Haugen Conservation Fund
Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
California Native Plant Society- Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay ChaptersCentral Coast Wilds/ Ecological Concerns Inc.
Monterey Peninsula Regional Parks District
Burleson Consulting Inc.
Resource Conservation Disticts of Santa Cruz  and Monterey Counties
Santa Lucia Conservancy
Target Specialty Products
University of California Natural Reserve System  
City of Santa Cruz Water Department

Dow Agrosciences
Elkhorn Slough Foundation
Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner's Office

Big Sur Land Trust
California Conservation Corps
Land Trust of Santa Cruz County

Brought to you by the Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties Weed Management Areas.
For information please contact Christina McGinnis at mcginnisce@co.monterey.ca.us or (831) 759-7384.