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California Fish and Game Department

Tamarisk, Summer & other Observations

by Lorraine on July 1, 2011

Due to my level of persistence in following up with the California Fish & Game “individual”, he finally called me a couple of weeks ago.   Timing is everything, isn’t it?   And of course, he happened to call me when I was driving to a business appointment, making it difficult to talk for too long and just as I pulled up at my client’s house, my phone went dead.   I WAS just going to get his email at that very moment (it figures) to send him the pictures of the tamarisk and a google earth shot with arrows pointing to their obnoxious location.

Fortunately, he had the sense to call me back and leave it for me to follow up with, which I promptly did the next day.   I understand the shortages that many governmental agencies are experiencing at this time and he did indicate to me that they are spread very thin.   The only Botanist in the county is in Ojai and it’s doubtful when she could follow up on my discovery.   He was very concerned to hear about this being found in a watershed and agreed with me that since it’s only a few plants, it would make sense to remove them as soon as possible before they create a huge problem.

So, I did what I could and sent off my contact information and the location of the plants.

In the meanwhile, I’ve had a couple of Forest Service events, the most recent one was on National Trails Days and a large group of people showed up to help us with “brushing” Piedra Blanca trail.   We have had a great deal of rain this year (As a matter of fact the state of CA, has declared our three year drought as being “over”).

We hiked in about 2.5 miles one way but there was so much brush to be cleared, it was overwhelming.   I got distracted along one area on the trail and the group went on without me.   Actually, I rather prefer to be with only myself or a few people, I really don’t like crowds.   Especially on a trail…I want to “hear” things from nature and not conversations.

The benefit of me staying in one area, hacking away at my least favorite plant (Chamise), game me the opportunity to see a Horned Toad run right across the trail.   He was sooooo cool!   He stopped under a bush, posed for me and I swear he smiled as I took his picture.

Horned Toads are quite rare these days and I seldom see them anymore.   This is probably due mainly to habitat loss…. After taking this picture, I hoisted my gear and headed up the trail to meet with the rest of the group.  There was an enormous variety of plants blooming, especially our native Yucca but for the sake of not making this post too long, I will not mention them at this time.  

Plus, I am assuming you want a report about my garden at my home.   It’s beautiful of course, filled with birds, lizards and butterflies and the Salvias are heavy with blossoms and their fragrance permeates the air.

It’s a wonderful place to relax, think or not think and have a glass of Merlot.

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Fish and Game Department

by Lorraine on June 15, 2011

In my last post, I talked about the Tamarisk bush that I found in the stream bed in the canyon behind my house.  I was and continue to be quite concerned about it’s appearance because it is an invasive species of plant that doesn’t belong there.   All I could think of at the time, was that there was nothing I could do about it plus I noticed that there were several smaller bushes that were growing in the area too.

I talked about my discovery on Facebook and also the membership site for the Southern California Native Plant Society.   Some of the responses and suggestions were interesting…couldn’t I simply dig it out?

No, it’s about 10′ tall and they have very deep tap roots besides and it would probably take a backhoe to dig it out.

Another suggestion was to use Ummmm,  RoundUp.   sigh…no, that couldn’t be done either beside it would expose the other plants in the area surrounding this evil intruder.

In the meanwhile, I contacted the Environmental department for the City of SimiValley by email.   Of course, they didn’t respond too quickly but after a lenghtly period of time,  they replied and  suggested I contact the California Fish and Game Department and thus, they gave me the local office.   This person at the City, felt that this was not their concern, even though the area is located within the city limits and that the Fish and Game Department would be this best contact for me.

Really?   The “Fish and Game” Department?

So, I called the individual that works there two weeks ago, left a message and have never heard back from him.   Sigh…again…I’m assuming that due to funding issues with the State of CA the guy is probably over extended in his responsibilities and my message is considered to be not important enough to reply to; a low priority of sorts.

I’m being kind here in my comments.

I don’t ever give up on anything, especially when it is something that I feel is very important.   This is the only time I have ever seen this invasive plant in the area and I think that it’s crucial to get it removed now before it spreads and then becomes impossible to remove.

I’m of the personality, that I never give up once I’ve made a decision to pursue something.  I am going to call this guy again tomorrow and I will also send him an email.   He can’t ignore forever….

In the meanwhile, I’m sure that some of you would also like to know how my garden is looking and any news that I have about it, right?   For now I can say it looks fabulous, beautiful and wild.