Local organization helps protect endangered plant near Del Mar

Dudleya. Photo/David Hogan, The Chaparral Lands Conservancy

By Kristina Houck

A Mount Laguna-based organization is helping preserve a critically endangered plant that grows in only five places on the planet — all within a few miles of Del Mar.

In an effort to expand the most endangered population, The Chaparral Lands Conservancy collected short-leaved dudleya brevifolia seeds on June 25 at the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve Extension.

“Every population that’s left occurs at a protected park, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re protected,” said David Hogan, director of The Chaparral Lands Conservancy. “The population at Torrey Pines Extension, even though it’s at Torrey Pines Reserve, a protected park, is the most critically endangered of all of the five populations because of trampling.”

The Chaparral Lands Conservancy will plant the collected seeds in a nursery to try and expand the population. In addition, the organization aims to protect the current population by installing fencing and signs, and educating the public about the dangers of off-trail walking.

Orcutt’s spineflower. Photo/David Hogan, The Chaparral Lands Conservancy

Hogan, who founded the conservancy in 2009 to restore endangered habitat populations in San Diego County, noted the organization found only 13 plants at the site this year, down from 20 in 2012.

“The population is so low right now that we’re worried about it persisting at all,” said Hogan, a Solana Beach native.

“We’re trying to emphasize to people it is so critical at Torrey Pines and other natural preserves to stay on designated trails, because those trails were fenced or routed where they are for a reason — to protect resources,” Hogan said. “Even though it may not seem like any one person is doing damage leaving the trail, the affects of that one person plus the next 100 people that do the same thing can be very significant.”

The fact that most people have never heard of the plant is even more reason to preserve it, Hogan said.

“We have no idea of knowing whether any particular plant could provide critical medical material for use,” Hogan said. “If you’re working on your car and you come across some small, obscure part that you’ve never seen before, you don’t throw it away because you don’t know what it is. You assume that it’s important and you save it.”

Vincent N. Scheidt, biological consultant, collecting short-leaved dudleya brevifolia seeds. Photo/Susanne Florin, Torrey Pines Association

The Torrey Pines Association awarded a nearly $14,000 grant for the project, which is expected to cost about $33,000 in total. The work is part of The Chaparral Lands Conservancy’s Rarest Plants Project, which also includes work to establish new populations of Orcutt’s spineflower, the only other San Diego County native plant more endangered than the dudleya, Hogan said. The Orcutt’s spineflower also grows at the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve Extension.

“The Torrey Pines Association is generously supporting our work to save and expand the rarest population of the dudleya at the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve Extension in Del Mar Heights,” Hogan said. “I’m really excited about the relationship … There are so many rare plants and animals that are concentrated at Torrey Pines.”

For more information on The Chaparral Lands Conservancy, visit  www.chaparralconservancy.org.

Related posts:

  1. Youth photo contest begins
  2. Endangered birds released into flourishing San Elijo Lagoon
  3. Local student’s Serving Spoons organization helps families in need
  4. 35 years celebrated: Torrey Pines Extension remains fragile
  5. Torrey Pines plans party

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=53350

Posted by Staff on Jul 7, 2013. Filed under Carmel Valley, Del Mar, News, Solana Beach, carmel valley. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

1 Comment for “Local organization helps protect endangered plant near Del Mar”

  1. Bob Loblaw

    $33,000 to save 13 weeds? A dab of Roundup would solve that problem for a lot less . . .

Leave a Reply

Archives

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

LA JOLLA NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RSS RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

  • New Rancho Santa Fe Library Branch Manager welcomes community input
    Rancho Santa Fe Library’s new Branch Manager Haley Kwon has been charmed by the village’s “sweet, down-home” character, the simple pleasure of visiting the local library and people’s enjoyment of a slower speed of time. “It’s a small town and the library is a place for people to connect,” Kwon said. “People have a different sense of time here, they come in t […]
  • Robotics booming at Rancho Santa Fe School
    By Karen Billing At R. Roger Rowe School, 44 percent of first graders are participating in the robotics program this year. The school is fielding 44 robotics teams, including 31 percent of second grade, 23 percent of third grade, 35 percent of fourth grade and 39 percent of fifth grade. In the middle school, there are two FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams and fi […]
  • Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices honored with Stevie Gold Award
    Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices was recently named Startup of the Year in the 2014 American Business Awards, earning the brokerage the Stevie Gold award. The award was presented at the Fairmont Millennium Park Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. “Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is among a select few organizations to be entrusted with the Berkshire Hathaway name,” co […]