For Immediate Release -
Presidio Trust and National Park Service Test Methods to Increase Native Plants
Pilot Project Includes Small Controlled Burns
Presidio of San
Francisco (July 11, 2007) –--The Presidio Trust and National
Park Service are testing methods this summer and fall to improve habitat
for one of California’s rarest plant communities, serpentine prairie
grasslands. Some of the last remaining serpentine prairie exists in
fragments over a 15-acre area at the Presidio’s Inspiration Point.
purpose of the pilot project is to increase the population of Presidio
Clarkia and to create environmental conditions favorable for the
reintroduction of Marin dwarf flax seed to the site” said Mark Frey,
Presidio Trust Ecologist. “The remnant grassland at Inspiration Point is
fragmented due to plantation of non-native trees and invasion of annual
and perennial non-native grasses."
Trust and National Park
Service natural resources staff will test several methods for
controlling exotic plants at the site, including: mowing, scraping,
tarping and fire control. These treatments are being applied to
eighty-one 1 x 1 meter test plots, creating a “patchwork quilt” effect
that will allow scientists to determine which approach works best.
fire treatment is being applied to 27 plots in both spring and fall,
when conditions are right. Fire crews must get permission from the Bay
Area Air Quality Management District before igniting a controlled burn.
The plots are being burned within a tall, portable metal box which will
prevent fire from spreading outside of the test area. National Park
Service Wildland Fire Crews will be on-site managing the burns.
goal of the controlled burn is to test the effect of fire in relation
to other treatments for improving Presidio Clarkia habitat,” said Lewis
Stringer, the project organizer. “It may be that there is no difference
between this method and other treatments, but we need to study it before
we can make that determination.” Stringer is a Natural Resource
Management Specialist for the National Park Service, Golden Gate
National Recreation Area.
In August, 2007, a small stand of aging
Monterey pine trees will be removed to expand habitat in the west
Created by Congress in 1996, the Presidio Trust is
charged with preserving the Presidio’s natural, historic and scenic
resources while making the park financially self-sufficient by 2013.
Natural resources staff from the Presidio Trust and National Park
Service work closely to enhance and protect the Presidio’s native plants