Eradicate Tamarisk on the Sisquoc River
Channel Islands Restoration is working to eradicate non-native invasive Tamarisk species in the Sisquoc River and Manzana Creek. The objective of the project is to restore and maintain habitat for riparian dependent species such as the federally listed arroyo toad, California red-legged frog and steelhead trout.
The project is located within the Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara County, California on the Sisquoc River system including Manzana Creek and other tributaries. Specifically, the areas treated will be on the main stem of the Sisquoc River and its tributaries including Foresters Leap Canyon, Manzana Creek and its tributaries from the headwaters on the east to the Forest boundary on the west (approximately two miles west of Manzana Camp).
What is Tamarisk?
Tamarisk (also known as salt cedar) is a deciduous shrub or small tree from Eurasia; thus it loses its leaves each year, making it difficult to observe during the period when it has no leaves. Tamarisk has a deep, extensive root system.
Mature tamarisk plants are able to reproduce from roots. Flowering branches are mostly primary or secondary branches. Each plant can produce as many as 500,000 seeds annually, and can produce seeds throughout the growing season. High stress induced by fire, drought, herbicides, or cutting can increase flowering and seed production. The seeds are dispersed by wind and water. Seeds are small with a tuft of hair attached to one end enabling them to float long distances by wind and water. Seeds are shortlived and do not form a persistent seed bank. However, they can germinate within 24 hours of dispersal, sometimes while still floating on water. Seeds produced during the summer remain viable for 24 to 45 days. Winter longevity is approximately 130 days. Seed mortality is generally due to desiccation. If seeds are not germinated during the summer that they are dispersed, almost none germinate the following spring (http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/tree/tamspp/).
Tamarisk trees on floodplains can be difficult to kill, requiring several treatments. The root systems of trees on floodplains are more extensively developed near the ground surface, due to repeated scouring and removal of limbs by floods, and can send up shoots where none existed at the time of initial treatment.
Information about Volunteering
CIR volunteers may participate in either one or both trips. Participants will hike about 30 miles over the course of six days. Some of the hiking will be on trails, but some will be on small boulders in the river and on uneven terrain.
You will be responsible for bringing your own camping gear but a horse and mule train will carry these things for you. Three meals per day will be provided and cooked for you by the Wranglers. Since the cost of food and prep is about $50 per person per day, donations of any amount would greatly be appreciated. You will only have to carry your water, snacks, first day breakfast and lunch, clothing layers, and perhaps some small tools.
Trip 1: October 15 - 20
We will carpool to the Cuyama Valley, leaving Santa Barbara or Ventura at 4:00 a.m. for the 2.5 to 3 hour drive. We will drive up the mountain to the Sierra Madre Road. After transferring our gear to the horse and mule team, we will walk down the mountain, into the wilderness to the Sisquoc River. This will be about an 8-mile descent. We will walk about 4-5 miles each day. On the last day we will walk back up the mountain about 7-8 miles (on a different trail), return to the vehicles and drive back to Santa Barbara and/or Ventura. These details may change depending on the weather.
Trip: 2 October 29 - November 3
We will carpool to the Cuyama Valley, leaving Santa Barbara or Ventura at 4 a.m. for the 2.5 to 3 hour drive. We will drive up the mountain to the Sierra Madre Road. After transferring our gear to the horse and mule team, we will walk down the mountain, into the wilderness to the Sisquoc River. This will be about an 8-mile descent. We will walk about 4 miles each day. Our last day will be dependent on our previous work. We will hike back to our cars and carpool back to Santa Barbara and/or Ventura. These details may change depending on the weather and on how many miles we cover in the first trip.