CIR & volunteers donate to Santa Rosa Island Projects


CIR volunteers remove fennel (Foeniculum vulgare).
Fennel, which has taken over large areas on
Santa Cruz Island, is fortunately not common
on Santa Rosa Island.  It is a priority of the
NPS to keep it from spreading.
Channel Islands Restoration continued working on Santa Rosa Island this year, in a project funded mostly by CIR donors and our volunteers with support from the National Park Service (NPS).   We held four trips in 2013 to remove fencing, plant natives, remove invasives and to work in the native plant nursery.

The fencing had been erected to protect sensitive plants and habitats from browsing and trampling by non-native grazing animals.  Since these animals are no longer on the island, the fencing is now an unnecessary eyesore and a potential hazard to visitors and native animals, so it is now a priority to remove it.  Often located in remote areas difficult to access, the fencing can be a challenge to remove.  Volunteers also removed invasive fennel and iceplant in several island locations and planted island-grown Dudleya (a native succulent) at China Camp on the island’s southwest side.  Although volunteers put in long hours, they also had the opportunity to visit parts of the island that are not easily accessible. 

Although removing the fencing and the restoration work are priorities for the NPS, budgets are tight, so there is no funding to pay for these projects.  Working with NPS Restoration Ecologist Sarah Chaney,
CIR volunteers work in the native plant
nursery on Santa Rosa Island.
CIR developed a program where volunteers paid for a portion ofthe needed funding, CIR paid for the rest, and the NPS provided staff support, on-island transportation and camp sites.  While CIR spent more than $5,000 on the four trips, this project would not have happened without the generous support of volunteers and CIR donors.

Volunteers camped at the NPS campground at Water Canyon, and on one occasion, stayed at the bunkhouse that housed island ranch hands when the island was privately owned.  The bunkhouse is now part of a new research station run by California State University Channel Islands, and CIR is grateful that we received special permission to stay there.
CIR volunteers use special jacks to remove fence posts at East Point.  Volunteers also remove invasive iceplant at East Point.
CIR volunteers plant natives at China Cap on Santa Rosa Island

NPS Restoration Ecologist Sarah Chaney shows volunteers the work location near Carrington Point.  Volunteers removed fencing at the work site, which was located several hundred feet below the pictured location.