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Southern Sierra Nevada & Foothills – Put up-Fireplace Mapping and Report

Southern Sierra Nevada & Foothills – Put up-Fireplace Mapping and Report accomplished on BLM lands!

In 2016, the Erskine and Chimney fires burned roughly 18,700 acres east of Bakersfield within the foothills and mountains of the Sierra Nevada. These two fires are located on the intersection of the Central Valley, Sierra Nevada, and Mojave Desert ecological areas the place the overlapping areas and variation in local weather, geology, and web site historical past create a floristically distinctive mash-up of habitats. 

Partially burned desert needle grass (Stipa speciosum). Many species present resilience after hearth. Picture: Jennifer Buck-Diaz

An understanding of how vegetation varieties reply to disturbance is necessary for long-term useful resource administration, particularly contemplating interacting threats similar to fires and adjustments in historic hearth regimes, invasive plant species, and world local weather change.

Overview map of the places and extent of BLM lands throughout the Erskine and Chimney fires within the southern Sierra Nevada and foothills. Map produced by Molly Wiebush.

The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) Vegetation Program has produced fine-scale vegetation maps of woodland habitats for oak (Quercus), pine (Pinus), and juniper (Juniperus) vegetation alliances on BLM-managed lands earlier than and after the Chimney and Erskine fires within the southern Sierra Nevada.

Forty completely marked BLM Evaluation and Stock Monitoring (AIM) plots had been established throughout the burn areas, together with this regenerating inside stay oak woodland within the Erskine hearth footprint. Picture: Steven Serkanic

On BLM lands within the Erskine Fireplace footprint, we documented greater than 5,300 acres of woodland habitat within the pre-fire setting, and a discount in acreage of over 3,300 acres (64%) throughout all upland woodlands from blue oak (Quercus douglasii) to inside stay oak (Q. wislizeni) varieties post-fire. Nevertheless, the discount in acreage from pre- to post-fire was not evenly distributed throughout all habitat varieties. For instance, the acreage of Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi), although not widespread within the area, was diminished by 98% whereas the acreage of California juniper (Juniperus californica), which was far more intensive, was diminished by 72%. This space has a brief hearth return interval (on a cycle of each 3-4 years on common per CAL FIRE information) with greater than 30 fires documented during the last 100 years.

For the Chimney Fireplace space, we discovered a lower in 1,186 acres of mature pinyon pine (P. monophylla) woodlands (98% lower), and a small improve of 23 acres of regenerating canyon (Quercus chrysolepis) and inside stay oak (Q. wislizeni) woodlands in localized spots that had been beforehand pinyon woodlands. The woodland vegetation general was extra considerably impacted by hearth, particularly as a result of pinyon pine woodlands should not tailored to fireplace like different cismontane pine and oak woodlands in California.

Plant restoration in these two areas contains fire-adapted shrubs similar to Mojave ceanothus (Ceanothus greggii), poodle-dog bush (Eriodictyon parryi), California Flannelbush (Fremontodendron californicum), and Fremont’s bushmallow (Malacothamnus fremontii), in addition to herbs together with numerous buckwheats (Eriogonum), poppy (Argemone munita), ear drops (Ehrendorferia chrysantha), whispering bells (Emmenanthe penduliflora), woolystars (Eriastrum), and so on. Some areas even have been impacted by invasive vegetation post-fire similar to non-native bromes, particularly cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), wild oats (Avena) and filaree (Erodium).

In depth stands of poodle-dog bush (Eriodictyon parryi) post-fire within the Erskine hearth footprint. Contact with this plant could cause extreme dermatitis, making surveys troublesome! Picture: Jennifer Buck-Diaz

Our vegetation mapping report of the Erskine & Chimney hearth areas contains suggestions on subsequent steps, together with revisiting 40 long-term monitoring plots on a five-year cycle, continued monitoring of invasive species, and vegetation mapping throughout all of the vegetation varieties within the Erskine hearth space throughout the following three years.

Thanks to the Bureau of Land Administration, Bakersfield Area Workplace for his or her help on this undertaking!

Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) with new shoots from underground rhizomes within the Erskine hearth footprint. Greater than 80% of surveys with Joshua bushes current had some stage of regeneration. Picture: Jennifer Buck-Diaz




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