vol. 31, no. 4 october 2003 fremontia


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Vol. 31, No. 4 October 2003





WAYNE RODERICK (1920WAYNE RODERICK (1920WAYNE RODERICK (1920WAYNE RODERICK (1920WAYNE RODERICK (1920-2003) 2003) 2003) 2003) 2003) by Ron Lutsko 2929292929

2 F R E M O N T I A V O L U M E 3 1 : 4 , O C T O B E R 2 0 0 3

The California Native Plant Society(CNPS) is an organization of lay-persons and professionals united by aninterest in the native plants of Cali-fornia and is open to all. Its principalaims are to preserve the native floraand add to the knowledge of membersand the public at large by monitoringrare and endangered plants throughoutthe state; by acting to save endangeredareas through publicity, persuasion,and on occasion, legal action; by pro-viding expert testimony to governmentbodies; and by supporting financiallyand otherwise the establishment ofnative plant preserves. Much of thiswork is done by volunteers throughCNPS Chapters throughout the state.The Society’s educational work in-cludes: publication of a quarterly jour-nal, Fremontia, and a quarterly Bulletinwhich gives news and announcementsof Society events and conservationissues. Chapters hold meetings, fieldtrips, and plant and poster sales. Non-members are welcome to attend.

Money is provided through memberdues and funds raised by chapter plantand poster sales. Additional donations,bequests, and memorial gifts fromfriends of the Society can assist greatlyin carrying forward the work of theSociety. Dues and donations are tax-deductible.

Fremontia logo (by L.A. Vorobik) reprintedfrom The Jepson Manual, J. Hickman,Ed., 1993, with permission from theJepson Herbarium, UC. © Regents of theUniversity of California.


Dedicated to the Preservation ofthe California Native Flora

VOL. 31, NO. 4, OCTOBER 2003


Copyright © 2003California Native Plant Society

CONTACTSCNPS, 2707 K Street, Suite 1Sacramento, CA 95816-5113(916) 447-CNPS (2677)Fax: (916) [email protected]

Sacramento Office Staff:Executive Director . . . . Pamela C.

Muick, PhDDevelopment Director . . . Michael

TomlinsonMembership Coordinator . . Marin

LemieuxSales Manager . . . . . . . Paul MaasBookkeeper . . . . Lois Cunningham

Fremontia Editor . . . . . Linda AnnVorobik, PhD

Sr. Policy Analyst . . . . . . . EmilyRoberson, PhD

So. California Regional Botanist . . .Ileene Anderson

Rare Plant Botanist . . . Dave TiborVegetation Ecologist . . Julie EvensVegetation Ecologist . . Anne KleinSan Bruno Mtn. Project Coordinator

Mary PetrilliLegislative Advocate .Vern GoehringLegal Advisor . . . . Sandy McCoyWebsite Coordinator . . . . . . . . . .

John DonaghueBulletin Editor . Michael Tomlinson



Carol Baird, Sue Britting, SteveHartman, Lori Hubbart, Lynne Kada,Betsey Landis, David L. Magney,Sandy McCoy, Patt McDaniel, J.Spence McIntyre, Carol Witham



Dues include subscriptions to Fremontia and the Bulletin.

Mariposa Lily . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,000Benefactor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $500Patron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $250Plant Lover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $100

Supporting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $75Family, Group, International . . . $45Individual or Library . . . . . . . . . $35Student/Retired/Limited Income . $20

CHAPTER COUNCILAlta Peak (Tulare) . . . . Joan StewartBristlecone (Inyo-Mono) . . . . . . . . .

Stephen IngramChannel Islands . . . . . . Lynne KadaDorothy King Young (Mendocino/

Sonoma Coast) . . . . Lori HubbartEast Bay . . . . . . . . . Tony MoroscoEl Dorado . . . . . . . . . Amy HoffmanKern County . . . . . Laura StocktonLos Angeles/Santa Monica Mtns . . .

Betsey LandisMarin County . . . . . . . . Bob SoostMilo Baker (Sonoma County) . . . . .

Reny ParkerMojave Desert . . . . . . Tim ThomasMonterey Bay . . . . . . . . Julie AnneMount Lassen . . . . . . . . Jim BishopNapa Valley . . . . . . Marcie DannerNorth Coast . . . . . . . Larry LevineNorth San Joaquin . . . . Bob BarzanOrange County . . . Daniel SongsterRedbud (Grass Valley/Auburn) . . . .

Richard HanesRiverside/San Bernardino counties . .

Katie BarrowsSacramento Valley . . Diana HicksonSan Diego . . . . . . Carrie SchneiderSan Gabriel Mtns . . . . Lyn McAfeeSan Luis Obispo . . . . Dirk WaltersSanhedrin (Ukiah) . Chuck WilliamsSanta Clara Valley . . Georgia StigallSanta Cruz County . Janell HillmanSequoia (Fresno) . . . . Marion OrvisShasta . . . . . . . . . . . Dave DuBoseSierra Foothills (Tuolumne, Cala-veras, Mariposa) . . . . Patrick StoneSouth Coast (Palos Verdes) . . . . . .

Barbara SattlerTahoe . . . . . . . . . . Michael HoganWillis L. Jepson (Solano) . . . . . . .

Mary ShawYerba Buena (San Francisco) . . . . .

Mark Heath

MATERIALS FOR PUBLICATIONMembers and others are invited to submit material for publication in Fremontia.Instructions for contributors can be found on the CNPS website, www.cnps.org,or can be requested from Fremontia Editor, Linda Ann Vorobik, [email protected], or c/o University and Jepson Herbaria, 1001 Valley Life Sciences Bldg.#2465, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-2465.

Prepress by ScanArt / Printed by Craftsman Trade Press

Linda Ann Vorobik, Editor

Bob Hass, Copy Editor

Beth Hansen-Winter, Designer

Distributed in March, 2004

F R E M O N T I A 3V O L U M E 3 1 : 4 , O C T O B E R 2 0 0 3

THE COVER: In her article on page 5, Vivian Parker discusses the current and future threats to the remaining naturalhabitats, such as this old growth forest, in the Sierra Nevada. Photograph by E. Beckwitt.

CONTENTSGUEST EDITORIALGUEST EDITORIALGUEST EDITORIALGUEST EDITORIALGUEST EDITORIAL ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 44444

UPDATE ON THE SIERRA NEVADA—STILL INUPDATE ON THE SIERRA NEVADA—STILL INUPDATE ON THE SIERRA NEVADA—STILL INUPDATE ON THE SIERRA NEVADA—STILL INUPDATE ON THE SIERRA NEVADA—STILL INPERIL PERIL PERIL PERIL PERIL by Vivian L. Parker .......................................................... 55555With growth and development comes the ever-increasing use of forest products,and thus ever-increasing threats to our native plants and their habitats through-

out the Sierra Nevada. Vivian Parker ad-dresses how these threats affect forested andnon-forested habitats alike, and discusses theSierra Nevada Framework.

PORT ORFORD CEDAR ANDPORT ORFORD CEDAR ANDPORT ORFORD CEDAR ANDPORT ORFORD CEDAR ANDPORT ORFORD CEDAR ANDTHE NONTHE NONTHE NONTHE NONTHE NON-NATIVENATIVENATIVENATIVENATIVEPATHOGEN,PATHOGEN,PATHOGEN,PATHOGEN,PATHOGEN,PHYTOPHTHORA LATERALISPHYTOPHTHORA LATERALISPHYTOPHTHORA LATERALISPHYTOPHTHORA LATERALISPHYTOPHTHORA LATERALISby Cheryl A. Sinkiewicz and Erik S.Jules .................................................. 1414141414Port Orford cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) is one of northern California’smost treasured conifers, playing a major ecologicalrole in numerous habitats. For the past severaldecades, the non-native pathogen, Phytophthora

lateralis, has been spreading across the cedar’s range, causing widespread mortalityand an increasing concern over the cedar’s fate.


Consider three plants native to South Africa: Capeivy (Delairea odorata), ehrharta (Ehrhartaerecta), and yellow oxalis (Oxalis pes-caprae), andhow their very successful reproductive biology makeseach of them among the worst threats to nativeplants of coastal California.

WAYNE RODERICK (1920WAYNE RODERICK (1920WAYNE RODERICK (1920WAYNE RODERICK (1920WAYNE RODERICK (1920-2003)2003)2003)2003)2003) by Ron Lutsko ................. 2929292929

Tribute is made to eminent horticulturist, California botanist, and CaliforniaNative Plant Society Fellow, Wayne Roderick, who passed away in August, 2003.Ron Lutsko writes of Wayne’s life and contributions, and others share their remem-brances of Wayne, made at his memorial service.

FROM THE ARCHIVESFROM THE ARCHIVESFROM THE ARCHIVESFROM THE ARCHIVESFROM THE ARCHIVES .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 3333333333

NOTES AND COMMENTSNOTES AND COMMENTSNOTES AND COMMENTSNOTES AND COMMENTSNOTES AND COMMENTS ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 3333333333

LETTERS TO THE EDITORLETTERS TO THE EDITORLETTERS TO THE EDITORLETTERS TO THE EDITORLETTERS TO THE EDITOR ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 3434343434

BOOK RBOOK RBOOK RBOOK RBOOK REEEEEVVVVVIIIIIEEEEEWWWWW ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 3434343434

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nown for spectacular peaks and mountains, high elevation meadows,old-growth forests and more, the Sierra Nevada holds a special place

in the hearts of many. For me, John Muir captures it best: “Climb themountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshineflows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the stormstheir energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

As will be seen in Vivian Parker’s lead article (beginning on page 5),today this place of wonder is under siege. Our past use of the forests,meadows, streams, and woodlands on national forests in the Sierra has puta strain on this glorious landscape. The health and persistence of manynative plants and animals that depend on old forests, meadows, and streamsare imperiled. Beyond this, these ecosystems themselves have been radi-cally altered by our actions: beneficial fire regimes have been lost, waterflow disrupted, and invasive non-native species have spread. It is now timeto use the current “state of health” in the Sierra Nevada to inform themanagement of actions for tomorrow in order to restore the naturalresiliency of species and ecosystems.

Sadly, the plan adopted by the US Forest Service in January 2004 for theSierra Nevada will not result in healthy and resilient forests. This plan isdriven by a desire to reduce limitations on grazing and thus better serveranchers, and to increase the removal of larger trees to provide morevaluable timber to the market. What the US Forest Service proposes is amanagement strategy for the Sierra Nevada that fails to consider theimperiled species and habitats affected by these actions, and also fails toplan adequately for their conservation. This new direction for planningparallels movement on the national front with the Bush administration’s“Healthy Forest Initiative,” which seeks to increase the harvest of larger,commercial timber in the name of reducing the risk of wildfire.

Your voice on behalf of conservation is needed now more than ever.You can play an important role by engaging your local (or favorite) ForestService Ranger District. Find out what types of timber or grazing projectsthey are doing, ask how they are protecting sensitive species and habitats,offer alternatives for management whenever possible. When the ForestService takes actions that you find acceptable, let them know this, too.

For those with a love for the Sierra Nevada but who do not live nearby,there are several useful websites listed on page 33. From a distance you canfollow the activities on a given national forest or the region as a whole.When there are opportunities for public comment, please join others invoicing the need to conserve this treasured area. And for those who feeluncertain about what to say, share the Parker article with others to get themthinking about the issues at hand.

Everywhere we look today, our natural resources are being challenged.The California Native Plant Society holds a special place in this debate, forwe are among the few who speak specifically to protecting native plantspecies and plant communities. It is our job to remind people about thebeauty and glory of the Sierra’s flora as well as its ecological importance.Lest people forget about the relatedness of all things, we should remindthem of John Muir’s words: “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we findit hitched to everything else in the Universe.”

Sue BrittingCNPS President, 2000-2003


Sierra Nevada websites:See “Notes and Comments,” p. 33

California Native PlantSociety:www.cnps.org, with links toconservation issues, chapters,publications, policy, etc.To sign up for “NPCC News,”e-mail news on native plantscience and conservation, senda request to [email protected].

For updates on conservationissues:Audubon Society www.audubon.orgCenter for Biological Diversitywww.sw-center.orgNatural Resources DefenseCouncilwww.nrdc.orgSierra Clubwww.sierraclub.orgWilderness Societywww.wilderness.org

For voting information:League of Women Voterswww.lwv.org, includes online voterguide with state-specific nonparti-san election and candidateinformation.

US Senatewww.senate.gov

US House of Representativeswww.house.gov

California State Senatewww.sen.ca.gov

California State Assemblywww.assembly.ca.gov

To write letters:President George W. BushThe White House1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NWWashington, DC 20500

Senator Barbara Boxeror Senator Diane FeinsteinUS SenateWashington, DC 20510

Your CA RepresentativeUS House of RepresentativesWashington, DC 20515


F R E M O N T I A 5V O L U M E 3 1 : 4 , O C T O B E R 2 0 0 3


by Vivian L. Parker

s this issue of Fremontia goesto press, the landmark Si-erra Nevada Forest Plan

Amendment (the “Framework”)signed by then Regional ForesterBradley Powell in January 2001 isunder attack. The Framework is thebest science-based forest plan everto emerge from the US Forest Ser-vice and has won two national plan-ning awards. It would likely havewon acceptance by the likes of Si-erra Nevada defenders John Muirand G. Ledyard Stebbins as well,were they alive today.

The Framework amended forestplans for 11 national forests of theSierra Nevada, from the Modoc Pla-teau at the northeast border withOregon to the Sequoia NationalForest. It is the result of 14 years ofplanning, research, and conservationefforts, and a cost of approximately$22 million. The goal of the planwas to incorporate the best availablescience into forest planning in orderto ensure the survival and health ofthe whole spectrum of natural re-sources and ecological processes thatcomprise the Sierra Nevada.

Striking a balance between theneeds for resource protection andsustainable fuels management, theplan is supported by the Sierra Ne-vada Forest Protection Campaign,a coalition of some 80 different na-tional, state, and grassroots conser-vation groups, including the Cali-fornia Native Plant Society (CNPS).It has been hailed as a landmarkdecision by a broad range of scien-tists, lawmakers, business leaders,and citizens (see sidebar on page 6).

Yet, with the ink barely dry onthe decision document, the newleadership in the Forest Service un-der the Bush administration beganto take aim at the plan, calling for a

review and subsequent dismantlingof its landmark conservation ele-ments. In December 2001 the newRegional Forester for California’s

federal forests, Jack Blackwell, char-tered a team comprised of formerdistrict rangers, foresters, roadbuilders, and other non-scientists to

AThis 500-year old sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana) is the nesting site for a pair ofCalifornia spotted owls (Strix occidentalis ssp. occidentalis). Photograph by C. Thomas.

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“review” of the Framework, and os-tensibly to respond to the objectionsmade to the plan by its opponents inthe timber and ranching industries.After a year and a half of revisionwith limited public input, the reviewteam released their recommenda-tions in March, 2003, followed inJune, 2003 by the “Draft Supple-mental Environmental Impact State-ment” (DSEIS) for the Sierra Ne-vada Forest Plan Amendment.

The DSEIS offers up two al-


he Framework was signed into effect on January 12, 2001,during the closing days of the Clinton administration. Cover

ing management activities on 11.5 million acres, the key compo-nents of the ten-year plan include:

• A commitment to restoration and protection of 4.2 million acresof managed old growth reserves.

• Limits on the harvesting of large trees (>20” diameter) on elevenmillion acres.

• Increased protection for rivers and streams and critical aquaticrefuges, including a 300-foot stream buffer system, and 460,000acres of critical aquatic refuges.

• Increased protection for at-risk wildlife, including key core areaprotection (639,000 acres) for the California spotted owl andNorthern Goshawk and a one million acre Southern FisherConservation Area.

• Increased forest thinning (“thin from below” to reduce forestfuels), that is prioritized near communities in the wildland-urban interface.

• Fuels reduction program to focus on small diameter trees, brush,and surface fuels.

• Ending the destruction of hardwoods in timber management.• Required analysis of the impacts of management activities on

noxious weed proliferation.• Increased monitoring of “management indicator species” and

“species at risk” for both plants and animals.

ternatives—S1, or the Framework,and S2, the alternative now pro-posed by the Forest Service. Thenew Forest Service proposal in es-sence rolls back the restrictionson timber cutting that were theFramework’s hallmark. If imple-mented as written, it will give theForest Service discretion to maxi-mize timber harvest and grazing,triple the volume of logging com-pared to the Framework, increaseroad building, and will reduceaquatic, riparian, and meadow pro-tections. Essentially, the revisionwould turn back the clock in theSierra Nevada to the days whenresource extraction took prece-dence over all other considerations.


Considerable history precededthis recent turn of events, and un-derstanding it sheds light on thecontinuing tension between logginginterests and those who want sci-entific evidence to guide publicpolicy. In 1992, the research branch

Old-growth forests in the Sierra Nevadahave been largely replaced by even-agedtree farms, called plantations by foresters.Wildfires are especially damaging to treeplantations lacking the diversity in treesizes and classes seen in this photographtaken in Eldorado National Forest, 2002.All photographs by V. Parker unlessotherwise noted.


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of the US Forest Service producedthe California Spotted Owl Tech-nical Report, which documentedthreats to the old-forest-dependentowl (Strix occidentalis ssp. occidentalis)from habitat loss associated withlogging, fire, grazing, and urban-ization. (The closely-related North-ern spotted owl [Strix occidentalisssp. caurina] received protectionunder the Federal Endangered Spe-cies Act in 1990).

In California, the Forest Ser-vice responded with the short-term(two-year) 1993 California Spot-ted Owl Interim Guidelines andEnvironmental Assessment, knownas the CASPO Guidelines. Thesewere designed to protect the rarebird by conserving all trees greaterthan 30 inches dbh (diameter atbreast height) and canopy cover upto 40%, and by protecting 300 acresaround known nest sites. However,the CASPO Guidelines continuedto permit logging of trees up to29.9 inches, resulting in the de-struction of suitable nesting andforage habitat across the range. Theguidelines also lacked broader eco-system protections for rivers andstreams, and failed to protect otherspecies associated with old-growthforests.

While the new rules were ini-tially met by entrenched resistanceamong die-hard agency leaders,nevertheless the agency operatedunder these guidelines for eightyears, during which time the owlcontinued to decline.

At the same time, in 1993, theUS Congress commissioned andfunded the Sierra Nevada Ecosys-tem Project (SNEP), a scientific re-view of the entire region. The needfor the assessment came with thegrowing recognition among scien-tists, land managers, conservation-ists, and other citizens that the Si-erra Nevada was in deep ecologicaltrouble. During the decades follow-ing the 1960s, the forests of theSierra Nevada had been decimatedby high-grading (cutting the big-

gest and oldest trees) and clear-cutlogging. Many issues associated withthis decline had already been docu-mented by Tom Knudson in hisPulitzer-prize winning series “Si-erra in Peril” published by the Sac-ramento Bee newspaper.

The precipitous decline of old-growth forests and meadows in theregion and the concomitant declinein viability of species like the Cali-fornia spotted owl, Pacific fisher,American marten, willow flycatcher,mountain yellow-legged frog,Yosemite toad, and numerous plantswere among the driving forces forthe $7 million study. An 18-mem-ber science team, comprised of emi-nent scientists in their respectivespecialties, with assistance by an-other 19 special consultants andmany additional scientists, spentthree years compiling data and as-sessments of the Sierra Nevada re-gion. This resulted in the publica-tion of the three-volume report, Sta-tus of the Sierra Nevada, publishedin 1996.

Unable to avoid the mountingscientific evidence documentingecological decline in the region,and at the same time faced withpressure from the timber industry

opposed to the more restrictiveCASPO guidelines, the Forest Ser-vice embarked in 1995 and 1996on two failed attempts at designinga scientifically and legally soundmanagement plan for the SierraNevada. In the end, both plans pro-posed doubling the amount of log-ging in the range while offeringlittle in specific protection mea-sures for the owl or other at-riskspecies. In 1996 grassroots conser-vation groups from up and downthe range joined forces with na-tional and statewide organizationsincluding the Sierra Club, NaturalResources Defense Council, theWilderness Society, the Center forBiological Diversity, and CNPS,ultimately forming the Sierra Ne-vada Forest Protection Campaign

Rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia) (above left), a terrestrial orchid that thrivesonly in the deep shade of mature forests. Although it has a wide distribution, this orchidis becoming increasingly rare in many regions of the continent due to loss of habitat,and is a federally-listed Endangered Species in Maine. • California lady’s slipper(Cypripedium californicum) (above right) is an uncommon orchid (CNPS List 4) foundonly in California and southwestern Oregon. Its bog and streamside habitat is protectedunder the Framework. • Wild-ginger (Asarum hartwegii) (below) thrives on slopes inthe shade of mature mixed conifer forests in the Sierra Nevada.

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and representing over 80 membergroups.

In 1997, the Secretary of Agri-culture chartered a Federal Advi-sory Committee comprised of apanel of nationally known scientiststo review the Forest Service’s 1995draft Environmental Impact State-ment (EIS) for the region. Thepanel ruled that the Forest Service’s

efforts to date were scientificallyindefensible and insufficient.

The Forest Service then beganefforts to completely revise themanagement plan for the SierraNevada, guided by the analy-sis found in the SNEP reports.Michael Dombeck, the new agencyChief, directed the region to “sig-nificantly improve the conserva-tion strategy [for California spot-ted owls and all Sierran resources]through strong collaboration withpartners and researchers” and todevelop a strategy “that will standon the solid foundation of the bestavailable science.”1 This level ofcommitment was a breakthroughin natural resource managementpriorities.

By 1998 the Forest Service, un-der its newly-appointed RegionalForester Bradley Powell, had be-gun work in earnest on a new analy-sis. The Framework, as the new planbecame known, focused on five“problem areas”: 1) old forest eco-systems and associated species; 2)aquatic, riparian, and meadow eco-systems and associated species; 3)fire and fuels management; 4) nox-ious weeds; and 5) lower west side[west slope of the Sierra Nevada]hardwood forest ecosystems.Former Supervisor from theLassen National Forest, KentConnaughton, was named ProjectManager. The best and the bright-est among the Forest Service staffwere put to work on developmentof the plan, with the full collabora-tion of the public, other agenciessuch as the California State Re-sources Agency, the US Fish andWildlife Service, academics andother non-agency scientists. Over120 public meetings were heldacross the state to invite public in-volvement and to fully incorporatethe public’s knowledge throughoutthe three years of development ofthe final plan.

In 2000, conservationists led bythe Sierra Nevada Forest Protec-tion Campaign, the Center for Bio-

Seasonal wetland filled with blue camas (Camassia quamash) (top and above left). •Under the proposed revision, protection is left to the discretion of Forest Serviceofficials, potentially leaving meadow, seep, and streamside habitats open to increasedgrazing pressure, and threatening plants such as white-flowered bog-orchid(Platanthera leucostachys) and leopard lily (Lilium pardalinum) (above right). • Round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) (below) is found occasionally in ungrazed SierraNevada meadows.

F R E M O N T I A 9V O L U M E 3 1 : 4 , O C T O B E R 2 0 0 3

logical Diversity, Pacific RiversCouncil, and others, petitioned theUS Fish and Wildlife Service to listthe California spotted owl, Pacificfisher, the mountain yellow-leggedfrog, and the Yosemite toad. Fol-lowing the plan’s publication in late2000, over 47,000 cards, letters, anddetailed comments by the publicwere received by the Forest Service,with more than 35,000 of these ask-ing for stronger protections. Andalthough conservationists were notoverwhelmingly in favor of every

detail of the plan, virtually everyoneagreed that it was a vast step for-ward in the direction of ecologicallysustainable forest management.

Ultimately, although the Recordof Decision signed in January of2001 was followed by 234 appealsof the plan (most were one-pageform-letter appeals by anti-govern-ment “wise-use” groups or the tim-ber industry), all were dismissed intotal even by the sometimes “in-dustry-friendly” US Forest Servicein Washington. This attested to the

Choke-cherry (Prunus virginiana var.demissa) (left) and Lemmon’s blue-blossom, or Lemmon’s mountain lilac(Ceanothus lemmonii) (upper right) areimportant species for birds and otherwildlife that thrive in post-fire forestenvironment. They are often killed withherbicides under the intensive forestrymanagement regimes practiced today. •Baneberry (Actaea rubra) (lower right),found in deep shade on moist soils nearwater, is seldom seen once forests havebeen heavily logged.

solid scientific and legal founda-tion upon which the Frameworkwas built.


As many readers of Fremontiaknow, the history of the Forest Ser-vice has frequently been marked byresistance to new planning effortsdesigned to steer the agency to-

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ward a firm scientific and ecologi-cally sustainable foundation. It wasno surprise to many, then, whenthe Bush administration called for a“review” of the landmark decision.

During the 32 months betweenthe signing of the FrameworkRecord of Decision (ROD) and theissuance of the latest Draft EISamendment, the Forest Servicemade little effort to implement theplan. Opponents of the plan withinthe Forest Service objected to itsscience-based format, claiming thatthe plan would mire the agency in“analysis paralysis.”

Meanwhile, biologists, ecolo-gists, botanists, and other resourcespecialists in the Forest Service whowere ready to implement theFramework were largely shut out ofthe review process, and in somecases, dissenting biologists weretransferred and silenced. In short,science-based land managementtook a huge step forward in Janu-ary, 2001 but then in 2003 tookthree giant steps backwards—at ahuge cost to taxpayers and the envi-ronment.


While the Framework (S1)evolved out of concerns for declin-ing wildlife—particularly those as-sociated with riparian and old for-est habitats—it was an ecology-based plan, and all plant communi-ties in the Sierra Nevada would ben-efit from its implementation. Ofparticular interest to native plantlovers, the restrictions on timbercutting in old forests would ensurethe protection of many plants asso-ciated with this habitat type.

Many species of orchids, suchas phantom orchid (Cephalantheraaustiniae) and coral root orchids(Corallorhiza spp.), develop decades-

long complex relationships withmycorrhizal and intermediate-hostplants deep in the shade of old-growth forest canopies. In the Si-erra Nevada, the lady-slipper or-chids (Cypripedium californicum, C.fasciculatum, and C. montanum) areassociated with mature forests anddisappear under forestry manage-ment regimes that emphasize com-mercial timber harvest. The Frame-work will also benefit old-growth-associated bryophytes, lichens, andfungi, many of which are importantlinks in the food web of the Califor-nia spotted owl.

Meadow and other riparianhabitats in the Sierra Nevada re-gion would see increasing protec-tion under the Framework. Live-stock grazing is excluded in wetmeadows, bogs, fens, and lakes inYosemite toad habitat, while mea-surable limitations (30–40% allow-able utilization of cover) are placedon all other types of livestock graz-ing. Uncommon plants like the car-nivorous bog plants, round-leavedsundew (Drosera rotundifolia) andCalifornia pitcher-plant (Darling-tonia californica), bog-orchid(Platanthera spp.), ladies tresses(Spiranthes porrifolia and S.romanzoffiana), bog asphodel (Nar-thecium californicum), moonwort(Botrychium spp.), and dozens ofother meadow species would have agreater chance for survival in grazedmeadows under this plan.

Under the proposed Alternative(S2), however, instead of measur-able limitations on grazing, the For-est Service would be given discre-tion to subjectively determine “theamount and timing of grazing.” Forexample, a population of plantscould be eliminated from a site bycattle, while the site might still passan arbitrary and subjective standard.Similarly, meadow habitats couldbecome simplified over time, los-ing native plant diversity, while grassforage levels appeared sustainable.

According to biologist Dr. Su-san Sanders, who since 1986 has

been actively engaged in studyingthe willow flycatcher (Extimus trailiiadastus), the Forest Service’s alter-native proposal (S2) fails to makeuse of the best and most recent in-formation concerning threats to thisspecies and the meadow ecosystemit depends on. The willow fly-catcher, now seriously in decline inthe Sierra Nevada, will face furtherdegradation of its remaining habi-tat under the revision.

Regarding the use of fire as aland management tool, the Frame-work (S1) supports fuel reductionand prescribed fire in order to re-store a more natural fire regimeand protect remaining old-growthhabitat. This would enhance viabil-ity for the hundreds of native plantspecies in the Sierra Nevada thatare fire-adapted and, in many in-stances, fire-dependent. In addition,the Framework is consistent withthe National Fire Plan and theWestern Governor’s Comprehen-sive Strategic Plan, both of whichare designed to address wildfire con-cerns in the west.

Under Alternative S2, however,the Forest Service would thin 51,500more acres than under the Frame-work, using mechanical methodsmore than prescribed fire, and wouldpermit cutting trees up to 30 inchesdbh in all land allocations. Canopycould be reduced to 40% closure inthe proposed reusion, even thoughowl scientists have determined thatthe California spotted owl requiresa minimum of 50% canopy closure.This increased level of disturbanceand canopy removal, coupled withthe increased creation of new roads,is likely to contribute to further de-clines in the viability of native plantsand wildlife, and to further increasethe establishment and prevalence ofnon-native invasive plants through-out the Sierra Nevada region—anissue of concern for CNPS.

By contrast, under provisions ofthe Framework, canopy closure can-not be reduced by more than 20%in general forest stands, and may

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not be reduced by more than 10%in old-forest areas (4.1 millionacres). In addition, canopy may notbe reduced to below 50% total clo-sure in these stands. However, evenin old forests, the Framework per-mits thinning trees up to 12 inchesin diameter, and allows for usingfire to manage these stands in orderto restore and enhance old-growthattributes.

Another issue of concern in theproposed Framework Revision is thebroad discretion given to Forest Ser-vice officials to implement projectson any land allocation under theguise of restoration. Restoration isnot clearly defined, but can be pre-scribed wherever the agency deter-mines that “a more desirable condi-tion for a given land allocation” isnecessary. The term “a more desir-able condition” is not defined. Theplan lists “reforestation” as one ap-propriate prescription for restora-tion, including “harvest, . . . sitepreparation, planting, release [For-est Service jargon for herbicides],and animal damage control [use ofstrychnine to poison gophers].”Post-fire forest sites dominated byhardwoods and shrub species couldbe deemed undesirable in order tojustify conversion of these ecologi-cally important sites into tree farms.


Management of national forestlands in the Sierra Nevada has beenfurther complicated by the passagein 1998 of the Herger-FeinsteinQuincy Library Group RecoveryAct. The Act directed the ForestService to conduct a pilot project toincrease logging on the Lassen andPlumas National Forests and theSierraville Ranger District of theTahoe National Forest for a periodof not more than five years. The actwas recently extended by anotherfive years by Senator DianneFeinstein, coauthor of the bill.

The Act, unpopular with mostenvironmentalists, permits loggingincreases in the form of multiplesmall clearcuts on 8,700 acres peryear (up to 280 million board feetper year), and calls for making fuelbreaks (termed Defensible Fuel Pro-file Zones, or DFPZs) on 40,000–60,000 acres per year. The Act’spotential for harm was softened bySenator Feinstein’s requirementthat the act be subject to the out-come of the scientific analysis con-tained in the Framework. Ulti-mately, the Forest Service deter-mined that the logging intensityproposed under the Act could leadto federal listing of the owl, so itplaced limitations on cutting in suit-able owl habitat on the west slope.

Implementation of the Act un-der the Framework Revision, how-ever, would reverse that decision,allowing large increases in loggingand other disturbance. At the sametime, new leadership at the US Fishand Wildlife Service under an ad-ministration philosophically opposedto the concept of endangered spe-cies listing has dramatically reduced

the number of new species that havebeen granted legal protection.

Case in point: the petition forfederal listing of the California spot-ted owl was recently denied, al-though the owl is thought to bemore threatened than the North-ern spotted owl when it was listedin 1990. Conservationists are suingthe agency to reverse the deniedpetition. Without federal protec-tion and a forest land managementplan that protects old forests, theowl and the habitat in which it livesmay stand little chance for survival.


The role of fire in Sierra Ne-vada ecosystems and how it has beenperceived historically is central tounderstanding the controversy sur-rounding the Framework and themethods used to gain support forincreased logging proposals such asthe Herger-Feinstein plan and theFramework revision. For decadesscientists have been documentingthat fire is a natural factor in most

A portion of a Defensible Fuel Profile Zone, or DFPZ, on the Lassen National Forest,required by law under the Herger-Feinstein Quincy Library act. Photograph by S.Evans.

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ecosystems of the West. Decades offire suppression have played a largerole in increasing fire hazard fromthe unnatural build-up of small di-ameter trees, shrubs, surface fu-els, and “ladder” fuels in the forestunderstory.

Ancient forests in the West hadburned regularly, but the huge treeswith their thick bark were essen-tially immune to the fires whichcrept along low to the ground, con-suming small shrubs and trees andreducing fuels. Other amelioratingconditions associated with old-growth forests include higher mois-ture content (huge fallen logs actlike giant sponges, slowly releasingtheir moisture all summer long);shade from dense canopy cover thatlowers temperatures; and the pres-ence of deep duff that helps to pre-serve moisture while cooling theforest floor.

The loss of these old-growthcharacteristics in the forests is nowseen as a contributing factor to theincreasing numbers of fires inheavily-logged habitats. Other fac-tors include the widespread accu-mulation of slash left behind afterlogging operations, and the in-creased risk from wildfire resultingfrom fragmented habitats, dry-edgehabitats, uniform tree plantations,higher road density, human-relatedignitions, and even climate change.

These factors all contribute towildfires that burn very differentlyfrom the fire regimes that shapedthe Sierra Nevada prior to 1849.And although it has been known fordecades that the Sierra Nevada andmuch of the forest areas in the Westare adapted to a frequent fire re-gime, this knowledge was rarely in-corporated into an ecological con-text in forest planning. However,the Framework reflects this under-standing, which is one reason it is alandmark document.

The 2001 Framework requiresthe Forest Service to concentrateits thinning efforts on small-diam-eter trees and brush in order to

hasten a return to more natural con-ditions that ensure that forests havethe resiliency to survive regularfires. The use of prescribed fire,because of its many ecological ben-efits, is encouraged whenever con-ditions allow it to be reintroduced.In some instances, the use of me-chanical thinning activities is a nec-essary first step in order later tointroduce fire into a stand. Theguidelines for accomplishing thesegoals are not difficult to understand,nor are they difficult to implement.The plan also requires that theagency work collaboratively withthe California State ResourcesAgency and to use a science-basedadaptive management approach tofire management.

The 2001 Framework also pro-vided land managers plenty of flex-ibility to allow more intensive veg-etation management to protect hu-man life and property near forestcommunities. In the wildland-ur-ban interface (2.5 million acres)near communities where high firehazard has been identified, treesmay be cut up to 30 inches dbh inthe 319,000 acres of the “DefenseZone,” within 1/4 mile of dwellingsand communities. Trees up to 20inches dbh may be cut in the re-maining “Threat Zone” that ex-tends out an additional 11/4 milefrom the Defense Zone. Under theFramework, the Forest Servicecould produce commercial timberfor 5–10 years, while at the timeaccomplishing badly needed fuelsreduction work in the wildland-ur-ban-interface.

The current Framework islargely a restoration-based plan,rather than a commercial model forforest management. Therein, morethan anything else, lies the rub. For-est Service die-hards wedded to the“get the cut out” philosophy thatwas common during the peak of theForest Service logging days seemunable to understand or accept theecological model of restorative for-est management. They are aided

and abetted by the timber industryin pursuit of a larger bottom line,regardless of the ecological costs.The Forest Service now argues thatit cannot implement the Frameworkbecause it needs the revenue fromcutting more of the largest trees inorder to finance the necessary non-commercial thinning. Yet the mil-lions of dollars that were spent “re-analyzing” the Framework couldhave been used to implement sus-tainable forestry management. En-vironmentalists argue that the For-est Service needs to restructure itsbudgetary framework, begin imple-menting the Framework, and pri-oritize the thinning in the wildland-urban interface.


The proposed Framework revi-sion is California’s special edition ofthe one-two-three punch which com-prises the assault on our NationalForests known as the Healthy For-est Initiative. A recent analysis ofthis initiative and court argumentsunder the Bush administration byDefenders of Wildlife summarizedthe situation well:

“Despite the deceptive rhetoricemployed by Bush administrationenvironmental officials, the ForestService is engaged in the most dra-matic revision of forest managementpolicy in agency history. Un-checked, the changes proposed bythe Bush administration in responseto its litigation failures will destroythe balance of ecological, commer-cial, and recreational values thathave ensured the productivity andvitality of our national forests. Un-less either Congress or the federalcourts intervene, the Forest Serviceof President George W. Bush maydo permanent harm to this nation’sirreplaceable forests.”3

The closing date for taking pub-lic comments on the proposed revi-

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sion to the Framework (S2, alsocalled the Sierra Nevada Forest PlanAmendment Draft EnvironmentalImpact Statement) was September12, 2003. A final decision is expectedto be released by the Forest Servicebefore the end of the year.


In January, 2004 the Forest Ser-vice issued their final Record ofDecision and Final SupplementalEnvironmental Impact Statementfor the Sierra Nevada Forest PlanAmendment, reaffirming the pro-posed draft revision from June,2003, and rolling back the key con-servation measures found in the2001 Framework. The decision wasmade in spite of a highly criticalinternal review from the Forest Ser-vice Washington DC office in Sep-tember, 2003. At the same time, aregional science consistency revieweffort, comprised of interagency andacademic reviewers, gave poormarks to the Forest Servic, citingfailure to appropriately apply thebest available science.

The revision was also the sub-ject of highly critical review by re-search scientists in the fields of Si-erra Nevada forest ecology and in-cluded owl and fisher scientists, fireecologists, and other specialists.Senators Barbara Boxer and DianneFeinstein opposed the revisions, asdid Mary Nichols (Secretary of theCalifornia Resources Agency), BillLockyer (California Attorney Gen-eral), Representative George Millerand current Governor ArnoldSchwarzenegger.

The words of eminent old-growth ecologist Dr. Jerry Franklinbest summarize the feelings ofmany who are disappointed in therevision of this landmark manage-ment plan: “I believe that it is amajor step backward from the ecologi-cally sound approach that had beenadopted…In my view, you are propos-ing to homogenize the Sierran na-

tional forests with your proposed newapproach. I view your selected alterna-tive as a significant step back from theSierra strategy.”


The 2004 revisions can be ap-pealed by anyone concerned aboutForest Service management of theSierra Nevada. The last day to filean appeal is April 29, 2004. Underthe National Forest ManagementAct (NFMA), Section 36 CFR §217.9, your appeal should containthe following: 1) State that the docu-ment is a Notice of Appeal pursu-ant to 36 C.F.R. 217; 2) Your name,address, and telephone number; 3)Identify that you are appealing theFinal Record of Decision and FinalSupplemental Environmental ImpactStatement for the 2004 Sierra Ne-vada Forest Plan Amendment datedJanuary 21, 2004; and 4) Identifythe name and title of the DecidingOfficer: Jack Blackwell, RegionalForester, Pacific Southwest Region,USDA Forest Service; 5) Identifythe portions of the document youare appealing and state the reasonsfor your objection and the specificchanges to the document that youbelieve are necessary.

Send your appeal to: Chief,USDA Forest Service; Attn: Ap-peals—Barbara Timberlake (MailStop 1104); 1400 IndependenceAvenue, SW; Washington, D.C.20250-1104. Alternatively, send e-mail to [email protected], orsend a fax to: (202) 205-1012.

A copy must also be simulta-neously be sent to: Regional For-ester; USDA Forest Service, Pa-cific Southwest Region; 1323 ClubDrive; Vallejo, CA 94592. Alterna-tively, send e-mail to [email protected], or send a fax to (707) 562-9091.

Further information about fil-ing an appeal can be found at:www.sierracampaign.org.


Many thanks to the Sierra Ne-vada Forest Protection Campaignwithout whose assistance this ar-ticle could not have been written.


Britting, S., D. Edelson, and C.Thomas. 2003. Comments of theSierra Nevada Forest Protection Cam-paign et al. on the Sierra NevadaForest Plan Amendment Draft Supple-mental Environmental Impact State-ment. On file with USDA ForestService, Pacific Southwest Region.Available on the web at: www.sierracampaign.org/TakeAction/PDF/DSEIScommentsFINAL9-12-03.pdf

USDA Forest Service. 2001. SierraNevada Forest Plan AmendmentRecord of Decision and Final Environ-mental Impact Statement [Frame-work]. Washington, DC.

USDA Forest Service. 2003. SierraNevada Forest Plan Amendment DraftSupplemental Environmental ImpactStatement. Washington, DC.

USDA Forest Service. 2003. Notesfrom Forest Service meeting withowl scientists. August 7, 2003, Ne-vada City, CA.


1 Dombeck, Michael. 1997. Letter tothe Rigional Forester for the PacificSouthwest Region and to the Sta-tion Director for the Pacific South-west Research Station. In: Sierra Ne-vada Forest Plan Amendment, FinalEnvironmental Impact Statement,Vol.1, p.2.

2 Snape, Wm. III., M. T. Leahy, andJ.M. Carter II. 2003. UndercuttingNational Forest Protections: Howthe Bush Administration uses the ju-dicial system to weaken environmen-tal laws: A report of the Judicial Ac-countability Project. Defenders ofWildlife, Washington, D.C.

Vivian Parker, 6221 Shoo Fly Rd., Kelsey,CA 95667. [email protected]

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by Cheryl A. Sinkiewicz and Erik S. Jules

or botanists traveling in north-ern California and southernOregon, one of the greatest

delights is spotting the large andelegant tree, Port Orford cedar(POC). While found across a rela-tively small region, this conifer playsa surprisingly important ecologicalrole in many habitats, including ri-parian areas, serpentine soils, sanddunes, and coastal plains. Amongthe many characteristics of POC,its straight grain and extreme resis-tance to rot have made it equallyvaluable to builders and artisans,although working with old-growthPOC lumber is becoming increas-ingly rare.

Unfortunately, both the ecologi-cal and economic services that POCprovides are at great risk. Since 1952the native range of POC has beensteadily invaded by a fatal, non-na-tive root pathogen, Phytophthora

lateralis. This pathogen has gradu-ally advanced into large portions ofthe cedar’s range, spreading withthe aid of human and animal activ-ity into even remote watersheds.Many POC stands have been re-duced to a fraction of their formerabundance by P. lateralis infection,and longer-term impacts of thispathogen are a growing concernamong land managers and conser-vationists alike.


Port Orford cedar (Chamae-cyparis lawsoniana) is a member ofthe Cupressaceae and is the largestof eight taxa in its genus. Theseinclude Alaska cedar (Chamaecyparisnootkatensis) and eastern white ce-dar (Thuja occidentalis) from NorthAmerica, and five additional speciesfound in eastern Asia. Other com-mon names used for POC areLawson cypress, Oregon cedar,white cedar, ginger pine, and PortOrford white cedar. POC hasreddish-brown bark, flattenedbranches, and scale-like leaves. Itcan sometimes be confused withAlaska cedar, incense cedar (Calo-cedrus decurrens), and western redcedar (Thuja plicata), but is gener-ally easy to identify by the x-shapedstomatal bloom on the underside ofthe leaves. POC’s spherical cones,comprised of 7–10 scales, are alsouseful to differentiate it from thelatter two cedars.

POC is endemic to southwest-ern Oregon and northwestern Cali-fornia, with the greatest abundanceof trees occurring in Oregon. Itsrange stretches from the Pacificcoast to approximately 70 kilome-

ters inland, and cedars can be foundup to 1,500 meters in elevation. Old-growth POC trees often reach 30to 60 meters in height and can beup to 2 to 3 meters in diameter.They can live up to 900 years ofage. The largest known POC isfound south of Powers, Oregon, at69.8 meters in height and 3.65meters in diameter.

Large POC trees exhibit an un-usually high resistance to decay andinsect damage due to high levels ofvolatile oil that give trees a strong,characteristic ginger-like odor. Be-cause of these wood properties, in-dividual trees are able to persist formany years after death. Amazingly,tree ring studies have shown that insome cases, dead specimens can re-main standing for over 100 years.Field studies have revealed one ce-dar that is still standing after itsdeath in 1738. Along with its thick,fire-resistant bark, POC’s decay re-sistance provides for a stable, long-lived tree in many habitats.

POC is found in a wide varietyof vegetation types. On the Cali-fornia side of its range alone, POCis an important member of at least34 named associations. These rangefrom mixed conifer stands—wherePOC can be found, for example,with western red cedar, Douglas fir(Pseudotsuga menziesii), sugar pine(Pinus lambertiana), and white fir(Abies concolor)—to Californiapitcher plant (Darlingtonia califor-nica) fens, where POC is the onlytree found within the fen. In part,POC’s ability to grow with so manyother trees is due to its wide toler-ance of soils. POC is found on soilsderived from numerous parent ma-terials, including quartz diorites,metavolcanics, sedimentary mate-rials, and ultramafics (including

Foliage and cones of Port Orford cedar.Illustration by A. Pickart.


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serpentinite, dunite, and peridot-ite). Interestingly, POC can befound growing directly on sanddunes near Coos Bay, Oregon.

Although POC has a seeminglywide ecological amplitude within itsrange, it is quite limited to areaswith high availability of water. Be-cause of this limitation, POC is of-ten found growing along streamswhere its roots are in direct contactwith flowing water. AlthoughPOC’s role in stream habitats hasnot been quantified in any compre-hensive study, research and obser-vations suggest that POC may playan important ecological role in thesesensitive habitats.

Cedars in riparian areas help toshade the stream, reduce water tem-peratures, and stabilize stream-banks, which are vulnerable to ero-sion during high winter flows. Largecedars can also act as an importantstream channel-forming agent whentheir root systems become largeenough to withstand channel move-ment. Once dead and fallen ontofloodplain surfaces or into streams,POC’s large trunk, decay-resistantwood, and exceptionally long resi-dence time provides lasting and di-verse habitat for salmonids andother aquatic life.

POC is particularly importantto streams flowing through theJosephine ophiolite, an extensive,botanically unique area of ultrama-fic soils on the Oregon-Californiaborder. Ultramafic environmentsare nutrient poor, have low calciumto magnesium ratios, and containlevels of metals toxic to most plants(e.g., copper and zinc). On ultra-mafics the cedar is often the onlylarge conifer in riparian areas andmay help improve soil fertility byincorporating calcium into the soil.

The Josephine ophiolite is alsohome to most of the known Dar-lingtonia fens, unique wetlands thatcontain rare and endemic plantssuch as California pitcher plant(Darlingtonia californica), Waldogentian (Gentiana setigera), Oregon

willow-herb (Epilobium oreganum),large-flowered rush-lily (Hastingsiabracteosa), purple-flowered rush-lily(Hastingsia atropurpurea), and west-ern bog violet (Viola primulifolia ssp.occidentalis). POC is the dominanttree in these fens and is likely animportant player influencing nutri-ent cycling, shade availability, fuelloads for fires, and erosion rates.

POC is also valuable to the tim-ber and horticultural industries.There are approximately 220 culti-vated varieties of POC used in land-scaping applications, and they arereadily available in North Americaas well as Europe. POC is easilypropagated for landscaping since itis able to reproduce from seed at avery early age, and cuttings are eas-ily induced to form new roots. Inthe best of nursery conditions,sexual reproduction (cone produc-tion) can begin within the first fiveto nine years of life.

In the timber trade, POC hashistorically been a valuable resourcedemanding a high market price. Inthe late 1800s, POC brought at leasttwice what redwood and Douglasfir sold for in San Francisco. At-tributes that have made POC sucha desirable wood to work with in-clude its beautiful white sapwood(sometimes indistinguishable fromits heartwood), its small knots, lackof splintering and tearing, and anability to hold paint better than mostother woods. Through the early1900s it was utilized in the con-struction of ships and houses. Atthe peak of its production in the1920s and 1930s, POC was used inthe making of venetian blinds andelectric storage battery separators,as well as in the construction ofairplanes during World War I. Anincreased demand for storage bat-tery separators during World WarII led to POC’s classification as a“critical material.”

Besides small specialty uses,there has been little domestic pro-duction of POC for several decades.Starting in the 1960s, commercial

production primarily served the ex-port market to Japan. Due to itsresemblance to the traditional Japa-nese hinoki cypress (Cupressusobtusa), which is no longer availablein Japan, POC has been highlyprized by the Japanese for use inthe construction of temples andshrines. For a time, prices paid forlarge trees were exceptional, al-though this market has largely dis-appeared due to changes in theJapanese market and the restric-tions on harvesting of POC in Na-tional Forests.


The genus Phytophthora (mean-ing “plant destroyer”) is commonlyknown as a fungus and was oncethought to be a member of the fungikingdom, Kingdom Myceteae. Cur-rently however, Phytophthora isplaced in the Kingdom Chromista,Phylum Oomycota. Once thoughtof as a “typical fungus,” the PhylumOomycota (or Oomycetes) is nowknown to vary at the molecular level

Range map of Port Orford cedar. Map byD. Ritts.

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from the true fungi. For example,the cell walls of oomycetes containcellulose and the amino acid hy-droxyproline, unlike the cell wallsof fungi, which are composed ofchitin (a complex polysaccharidecarbohydrate also found in animalexoskeletons and nematode eggshells) and glucans other than cel-lulose. The nuclei of oomycetescontain two sets of chromosomes,compared to fungi which only pos-sess a single set of genetic informa-tion. Phylogenetic studies haveshown the Oomycota to be a mono-phyletic group, having evolved froma common ancestor, the heterokontphotosynthetic algae.

The family Pythiaceae containsthe two closely related generaPhytophthora and Pythium. Both ofthese parasitic genera thrive in moistconditions on foliage and in soil.Pythium actually has the ability toact as a parasite on some Phytoph-thora species. For instance, Pythiumoligandrum has been found to be aneffective biological control forPhytophthora infestans. Phytophthora

infestans is the pathogen responsiblefor the Irish potato blight and thefirst taxa to be named in the genus.Now a large genus of over 50 mostlyrare species, Phytophthora has beenfound to affect an amazingly widevariety of cultivated and wild spe-cies with diseases such as suddenoak death, black pod of cacao, blackshank of tobacco, and root rot ofthe avocado tree.

In 1923, Phytophthora lateraliswas first reported affecting POC inthe commercial nursery industrynear Seattle, well outside the cedar’srange. This resulted in the eventualcollapse of the industry in less than20 years after the initial discovery.The pathogen was finally named andfully described in 1942 by Tuckerand Milbrath. Unfortunately, in1952 P. lateralis had been carriedsouth, almost assuredly by a vehicle,and was reported within the cedar’snative range. Although the origin ofP. lateralis remains unknown, its ex-treme virulence and episodic natureon POC clearly indicates that it is anon-native pathogen. Much later,in 1991, the Pacific yew (Taxusbrevifolia) was reported to be a hostfor P. lateralis. Mortality is muchlower for the Pacific yew, and ishighest when present along streamswith infected POC.

Infection of POC by P. lateralisinitiates at the tree’s roots, andsymptoms of the host’s impendingmortality can occur after a few weeksor a few years, depending on thesize of the tree. The first obvioussymptom of infection is a change infoliage color from green to yellow,then to reddish brown, and eventu-ally to brown. Symptoms of infec-tion are most obvious after coloni-zation of the entire root system,after which mycelial growth of P.lateralis (i.e., the asexually growing,or vegetative component of thepathogen) girdles the root collar andtravels as much as 50 cm up theabove-ground vascular cambium.Infected roots often appear darkbrown and saturated with water andthe above-ground cambium is alsostained a diagnostic dark brown.

When POC becomes stressedduring this process of infection, itis vulnerable to invasion by barkbeetles and secondary fungi, whichmay further stress the infected trees.Death of the entire tree crown ismost visible across the landscape inlate spring and summer when mois-ture stress can become extreme.Importantly, the time between ini-tial infection of the roots and deathof the tree can be as short as a fewweeks for small seedlings, and up

Old-growth Port Orford cedar alongriparian area. Photograph by B. Ullian.

Port Orford cedar lining a pond. Photograph by B. Ullian.

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to seven years or longer for old-growth trees. Large trees also dif-fer from small trees in that theytend to have higher infection ratesdue to their larger root systems,which provide an easier target forincoming spores.

Spread of the root rot diseaseoccurs in one of two main ways:either it is transported by vehicles,or spread from nearby infected trees.In the first instance, spores are trans-ported long distances (e.g., manykilometers) from infected POCpopulations to uninfected popula-tions by vehicles traveling the manyroads within the cedar’s range.While infecting a host tree, P.lateralis will produce chlamy-dospores (or, less commonly,oospores) which are relatively du-rable compared to the spores thatactually infect roots (zoospores).Chlamydospores can be picked-upin mud or organic material on tiretreads, the underside of a vehicle,

or in goods being transported suchas gravel or soil. If this material isreleased from the vehicle nearuninfected cedar, a new infectionmay occur. Once spores are carriedto an uninfected area, they can ei-ther be deposited near POC rootsor washed into creeks and streamswhere the spores will be carried tovulnerable host sites. Because thespores of P. lateralis require mois-ture, exposure to sunny, dry condi-tions while in transit can kill thedisease and reduce infection risk.

The deposition of chlamy-dospores near a potential POC hostdoes not directly lead to infection.Rather, chlamydospores must ger-minate and produce a sporangium,from which flagellate, motile zoo-spores are released. Emerging fromthe sporangium, the zoospores havea tendency to move towards thewater surface, possessing an abilityto swim or move passively throughwater currents. Zoospores result in

the development of the vegeta-tive mycelium that infects POCroots. In unfavorable conditions,zoospores can encyst themselves ina thick cell wall, in which case ger-mination and infection may occurlater.

The second major way in whichthe pathogen is dispersed occurs ata more localized scale after infec-tion begins on a host tree in a newlyinvaded population. Because thepathogen on newly infected hostswill be making additional sporeswhile developing on the tree, thenew host acts as a source of dispers-ing spores for downstream trees.Spores from this initial infectioncan move downstream or short-dis-tances downhill in moving water.As such, once a body of water isinfected, all POC trees downstreamare at high risk. Studies have founda mortality rate greater than 90%in cedars whose roots are in directcontact with water.

Port Orford cedar root system along Silver Creek, Oregon. Photograph by B. Ullian.

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Movement of infection downbroad slopes is also observed mostcommonly near coastal sites whereoverland flow of water occurs atleast seasonally. Also, wildlife andhumans (collectively termed “foottraffic”) can move P. lateralis overshort distances. In the only studythat has assessed the relative impactof foot and road traffic, foot trafficaccounted for 28% of newly infectedpopulations. Movement of diseaseby foot traffic, however, occurredover short distances compared withroad traffic; the longest dispersaldistance via foot traffic was 264meters, while the longest dispersalby road traffic was 3.8 kilometers.


Because much of POC’s rangeis heavily roaded and includes bothpublicly- and privately-owned land,slowing the spread of P. lateralisinto uninfected areas has been chal-lenging and, unfortunately, largelyunsuccessful. While some efforts aredefinitely working, new infectionscontinue to be found in remote ar-eas. Almost always, however, long-distance movement occurs alongroads.

For example, in the KalmiopsisWilderness of southwestern Or-

egon, activities facilitated by mo-torized access on an old existingmining road are thought to be re-sponsible for the introduction ofthe pathogen deep into the heart ofthe wilderness. More than eightmiles of river within the wilderness,including the National Wild andScenic Chetco River, are now in-fected by the pathogen. Phytophthoralateralis was also recently introducedinto a roadless area watershed andForest Service Botanical Area,where the point of infection was anunused gravel pit at the top of thewatershed. The introduction of thepathogen into the Klamath RiverBasin in 1995 was thought to be

A creek with Port Orford cedar infectedwith Phytophthora lateralis. Note the roadcrossing the creek as well as the culvert.Dead trees (without needles) and dyingtrees (with drying foliage) are shown, aswell as a healthy tree (far left). Infectionsusually are transported to creeks byvehicles, and subsequent infectionspreads through the population down-stream. Illustration by C. Sinkiewicz.

Infected Port Orford cedar displaying characteristic staining of cambium by Phytophthoralateralis. Photograph by E. Jules.

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from off-road vehicles in a headwa-ter area. The second root diseaseintroduction in the Klamath Basin(1996) occurred on a paved road,more than 30 kilometers from thenearest infection source.

Yet the fact that Phytophthoralateralis is dispersed primarily alongroads is also a reason for optimism.Put simply, if the disease were dis-persed aerially, as are other virulentdiseases, we would have limited op-tions for controlling the spread.Controlling the movement of chest-nut blight, for instance, was impos-sible due to its aerial mode of trans-mission. That disease was able tocompletely alter the composition offorests of eastern North America injust a few decades.

Likewise, sudden oak death iscaused by the closest relative of P.lateralis, P. ramorum, but the twodiseases differ in two fundamentalways. First, P. ramorum appears ca-pable of moving through the air,though the precise mechanism isstill under study. And second, P.ramorum is known to infect overtwo dozen host species, a list thatcontinues to grow. In comparison,the mode of P. lateralis spread onPOC is severely limited to themovement of spores in moist or-ganic material and water, and toonly one primary host. Therefore,predicting areas of high risk andcontrolling the movement of thedisease vectors should be mucheasier than for air-borne diseases.

Because vehicles traveling roadsare the greatest threat to uninfectedPOC, efforts to slow the spread ofP. lateralis focus primarily on regu-lating roads. These efforts have beencoupled with a large suite of otherstrategies (see sidebar).

There is general agreement thatpermanent road closures offer thegreatest chance of success in pre-venting further spread of the infec-tion. Although miles of old loggingroads have been closed, a relatedissue of access rights on public landhas made this a difficult strategy to

implement and enforce. Road clo-sures during only the rainy seasonare easier to implement than per-manent closures and are likely toreduce the spread of disease, al-though the risk reduction is diffi-cult to quantify. The fact that someroad surfaces can remain moist wellinto the summer within the cedar’srange suggests that new infectionsmay occur even in the dry season.

Public education efforts also facechallenges, mainly because commu-nity opinion and support regardingthe future of POC is highly vari-able. Even in light of the risk tosuch a valuable resource, resentmentover road closures has led, for in-stance, to a large number of lockedroad-closure gates being vandalized.On the other hand, one place whereefforts by federal agencies have notbeen contentious, and probably havebeen critical, is in the education ofworkers who frequently travel inremote areas, such as mushroomharvesters and bough cutting col-lectors (for floral arrangements).While there is strong agreementthat these programs must continue

and perhaps grow, unfortunatelytheir success is difficult to monitor.

The washing of large equipmentand vehicles traveling between in-fected and uninfected areas is a tech-nique often employed that may beuseful in preventing further spreadof the infection. The ability to com-pletely free a vehicle of mud andorganic material using high pres-sure hoses has been questioned andwe are unlikely to have a clear an-swer to this question anytime soon.However, vehicle washing can prob-ably reduce somewhat the risk thatlogging vehicles pose to continuedP. lateralis spread.

Another method employed toslow spread of P. lateralis is sanita-tion logging, which involves the re-moval of POC trees along roads.This technique has two differentgoals, depending on the site-spe-cific situation. First, in areas thatare not infected, the goal of sanita-tion is to reduce the number of host“targets” along the road, therebyreducing the probability that an in-fection will occur. Second, in areasthat are already infected, the goal is

trategies listed below are used to control the spread ofPhytophthora lateralis to uninfected populations of Port Orford

cedar (POC). The efficacy of some strategies remains untested.

• Permanent and seasonal road closure.• Washing of vehicles after leaving infested areas and before enter-

ing uninfested areas.• Using heavy equipment in the dry season only.• Removing POC from road areas to lower infection risk (sanita-

tion logging).• Paving and elevating road surfaces.• Directing water runoff away from POC areas.• Utilizing pathogen-free water for road maintenance and fire

fighting.• Educating the public about the influences of human activity on

disease transmission.• Introducing POC to sites unfavorable to the spread of infection.• Thinning of trees to create distance between potential hosts.• Regulating harvesting of POC timber to reduce infection spread.



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to reduce inoculum (spores) alongroads that may be transported else-where.

At this time it is unclear howsuccessful this technique may be,but preliminary studies are under-way. Due to its potentially destruc-tive ecological impact, this is a con-troversial practice that is being de-bated by land managers, the scien-tific community, and concernedcommunity members. Proponentsof sanitation logging have been criti-cized for supporting the techniquesince so far there is little evidencefor its efficacy.

Plant pathologists are activelyseeking POC trees that are resis-tant to P. lateralis. This work hasshown promise and may be one ofthe best options for reestablishing

POC to areas already affected by P.lateralis. Some POC trees demon-strate heritable variation in suscep-tibility, which appears mainly to beexpressed as an increase in time ofdeath after exposure. Some indi-viduals have lived while existing ininfected areas for over 15 years.Although offering room for opti-mism, a fully resistant genotype hasnot yet been found. Resistant geno-types could be used to restore areasthat once had healthy POC popu-lations and aid the commercial pro-duction of POC timber. Of course,this would not provide ecologicalbenefits for many years to come inareas where P. lateralis has deci-mated stands with centuries-oldtrees.


Although POC is in no dangerof becoming extinct, its importantecological roles are certainly threat-ened. In infected areas, the loss ofmany of the larger, older trees dueto P. lateralis infection has dramati-cally changed forest composition.In riparian areas, wetlands, and onultramafic soils, its role appears tobe unique and the effects of its losspoorly understood.

Fortunately, we already knowenough about POC and Phytoph-thora lateralis to slow the spread ofthe root rot. There appears to beconsensus among all groups thatpermanent road closures and amoratorium on new road construc-tion are the most effective measuresfor excluding P. lateralis. That P.lateralis is spread primarily by wayof the road system, then, shouldoffer optimism to anyone workingto conserve POC. Nonetheless, thatoptimism is met by stark reality—new infections along roads occurevery year and the disease contin-ues to spread across the cedar’srange. Increased attention and moredifficult decisions are needed fromland managers and the public if

POC is to retain its importance inour region’s flora.


We thank Matthew Kauffmanfor his invaluable comments on thispaper and for allowing us access tohis research findings. Photographswere provided by Barbara Ullianand Everett Hansen; the illustra-tion of foliage was provided by An-drea Pickart; the range map wasproduced by David Ritts.


Erwin, D.C. and O.K. Ribeiro. 1996.Phytophthora diseases worldwide. TheAmerican Phytopathological Soci-ety Press. St. Paul, MN.

Hansen, E.M., D.J. Goheen, E.S.Jules, and B. Ullian. 2000. Manag-ing Port Orford cedar and the in-troduced pathogen, Phytophthoralateralis. Plant Disease 84:4–10.

Jimerson, T.M and S.L. Daniels. 1994.A field guide to Port Orford cedar plantassociations in northwest California.USDA Forest Service, Pacific South-west Region. San Francisco, CA.

Jules, E.S., M.J. Kauffman, W. Ritts,& A.L. Carroll. 2002. Spread of aninvasive pathogen over a variablelandscape: A non-native root rot onPort Orford cedar. Ecology 83:3167–3181.

Kauffman, M.J. 2003. The influenceof host and spatial heterogeneity onthe spread of a nonnative pathogen.PhD dissertation. University ofCalifornia. Santa Cruz, CA.

Zobel, D.B., L.F. Roth, G.M. Hawk.1985. Ecology, pathology, and manage-ment of Port-Orford-cedar (Chamae-cyparis lawsoniana). USDA ForestService, General Technical ReportPNW-184, Pacific Northwest For-est and Range Experimental Station.Portland, OR.

Cheryl A. Sinkiewicz & Erik S. Jules,Department of Biological Sciences,Humboldt State University, Arcata,CA 95521. [email protected];[email protected]

Port Orford cedar is often the only treefound within Darlingtonia (Darlingtoniacalifornica) fens. Photograph by E. Jules.

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[Editor’s Note: The section of thisarticle on the invasive weed Oxalisappeared in a slightly different formin the California Native Plant Society(CNPS) Yerba Buena ChapterNewsletter and in CalEPPC News,journal of the California Exotic PestPlant Council (now Cal-IPC News).]

n the California weed world it isaxiomatic that most of our wide-spread weeds come from Eurasia,

and, either by accident or design,they accompanied migrating humanbeings. But as time goes on, thepercentage of pest species of Eur-asian origin is decreasing as inter-national trade and travel bring newplants and animals from everywhere.

From the perspective of theCalifornia coast, an increasing num-ber of troublesome plants seem tooriginate in South Africa, especiallyfrom the region around Cape Townwith its Mediterranean climate.Some seem to have an effectivemeans of dispersal and thus escapecultivation. Sooner or later they finda niche in California’s varied, com-plex topography and microclimates,and, lacking the pests that depletedtheir energy at home, proliferateexuberantly.

In this article I discuss three:Cape ivy (Delairea odorata), ehrharta(Ehrharta erecta), and yellow oxalis(Oxalis pes-caprae). I clump these bio-logically and strategically very dif-ferent plants for discussion, becauseindividually any one of them is ca-pable of eliminating our coastalbiodiversity, and together they con-stitute a triple threat of appallingproportions.

On the immediate coast the threefrequently vie for the same habitat.Plants of yellow oxalis and ehrhartaoften compete directly with eachother, although their ranges mayeventually diverge at the edges.

Cape ivy (Delairea odorata), which has neither tendrils nor aerial rootlets to help itclimb, is very successful in reaching into the upper levels of tall trees. Here it is aidedby broken limbs which provide it a climbing scaffold. When such supports areunavailable, it can ascend to considerable heights by means of several stems twiningaround each other, thus stengthening the otherwise weak stems. This specimen isabundantly flowering, and the seeds, each with a parachute-like pappus, can travel longdistances in the wind. All photographs by M. Bars unless otherwise noted.

Plants of Cape ivy frequently com-pete with those of ehrharta or yel-low oxalis, but Cape ivy growth ex-cels in cool, damp, shady environ-ments where the plants clamber tothe tops of large shrubs and trees.None of these three species hasreached the limits of its potential

range, and populations of all threecontinue to expand aggressively.Their distributions, however, aredifferent, and the changes of thesedistributions over time should be ofinterest. There is no coastal com-munity or microhabitat that can’t beinvaded by at least one of this trium-


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virate, so in time they will likelyexploit every niche.

While it may be difficult forsome of us to envision a David-likeehrharta slaying a Goliath-like tree,not only is this possible, but it of-ten happens in only a few decades.The incremental process by whichsmall invasive plants displace muchlarger ones is insidious. We hardlynotice it because it occurs slowly,subtly, surreptitiously. The mainstrategy employed by invasives tooverrun native habitat—preventingparent plants from regenerating bychoking out their seedlings—hasproven highly effective. If the oakcan’t establish seedlings, it is even-tually doomed. The dilemma forthose of us involved in the work ofconservation through control ofinvasives is how to communicatethis scenario effectively to the pub-lic and policymakers. While hu-mans can fairly easily comprehendthe projected lifetime of acoffeeberry or coyote bush, envi-

sioning that of a several-hundred-year oak is another matter. Hu-mans don’t work on this scale, butnature does.

If there were some way of fast-forwarding to an invasion endpointso people could see today what amajestic stand of California oaks willlook like after two or three centu-ries without seedling regeneration,the public would be outraged anddemand immediate preventive ac-tion. Unfortunately, we cannot dothat, so we cannot “prove” our case.There is an unconscious assump-tion that the scene one sees now willremain that way. Every human gen-eration takes as nature’s standard orbaseline what existed at first sight,or what they became accustomed towhile young. Tragically, they re-main unaware of what was lost inprevious generations, as well as whatis continuing to be lost incremen-tally during their own lives.

Since there is no natural checkon the inexorable spread of invasive

weeds, what hope do we have forpreventing the conversion of ourcoastal flora to an exotic triculturewasteland? For those familiar withthe three plants, it doesn’t take muchimagination to envision carpets ofehrharta, oxalis, and Cape ivy fromSan Diego to Oregon. Are we will-ing to allow this holocaust scenario?These three plants are not onlywidespread, they are also exceed-ingly difficult to control, whetherby manual, mechanical, or chemi-cal methods. There is only one fea-sible technology: biocontrol, or theuse of one non-native organism tocontrol another.

Introducing an exotic organism,especially an insect, into a systemwhere it didn’t evolve is inherentlyrisky, which makes the use of thiscontrol method very expensive ini-tially, since it requires intense, rig-orous research into the potentialeffects of introduction. The recordof classical biocontrol is good, andwhatever risk is entailed must beweighed against the risk of doingnothing. If the biocontrol is suc-cessful and controls the targetedweed, its cost will seem minusculein comparison to the costs of dam-age caused by the weed and the useof other control measures. Cur-rently biocontrol on wildland plantsis grossly underfunded, and it willtake broad, sustained effort toachieve a level of funding that canmake biocontrol a viable option forresource managers.


Cape ivy is known to resourcemanagers and volunteers on theCalifornia coast as an extremely dif-ficult and worrisome plant to man-age. Considering this, and the factthat it is a grave threat to our coastalflora, it is odd that nothing has beenwritten about it in Fremontia, al-though it has appeared in chapternewsletters and in the CalEPPCNewsletter. Its low visibility before

A diverse wetland community at this site has been all but converted into a monospecificstand of Cape ivy, save for three species of willows. San Francisco Recreation-ParkDepartment Natural Areas Program staff, aided by CNPS volunteers, pulled the ivyout of the crowns of the willows, buying time until eradication becomes feasible. Ifvolunteers had not done that, the well-watered ivy would overtop the willows insmothering masses, and they would then die for lack of ability to photosynthesize.There are still small surviving patches of sedges, water parsley, dogwood, coffeeberry,lady fern, and stinging nettle, which will serve as sources for restoration once Cape ivyhas been eradicated.

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the mid-1990s can be explained byits beauty and its ability to blendinto the landscape; after all, it isvery green and always looks like itbelongs there.

My own history with the plantbegan in the mid-1950s when I hadit sitting on a window ledge in myboardinghouse room. In 1960, as agardener for the City of San Fran-cisco, I was assigned to a section ofGolden Gate Park called De laVeaga Dell, now known as the AIDSMemorial Grove. A small infesta-tion of Cape ivy there had grownup through a groundcover of En-glish ivy and climbed into rhodo-dendrons, covering them withmasses of foliage.

In attempting eradication I no-ticed its brittleness; every time Ipulled a strand it would snap andeach segment of stem that fell onthe ground rooted and grew again.Brute force wasn’t working. It tookthree years of patiently disentan-gling it by gently threading itthrough the English ivy stems, bywhich time the plant had won myrespect—so much so that I was re-luctant to declare victory for an-other two years.

For the next three decades I waspreoccupied with horticulture, un-aware of even the concept of ecosys-tems, much less the growing crisisin biodiversity. I knew nothing aboutCape ivy’s distribution in natural sys-tems or the damage it was doing.When this painful knowledge even-tually crept into my consciousness Ibecame concerned, but found no onewho wanted to hear about it.

That was until the fateful ar-rival of New Year’s Day, 1994. Iwas volunteering for the GoldenGate National Recreation Area(GGNRA) along with GregArchbald, who coordinated volun-teers for them, in a spot adjacent tothe Golden Gate Bridge. (For read-ers who don’t know Greg, he hasalways had a special talent for orga-nizing, and, with Huey Johnson,co-founded the Trust for Public

These introduced Tasmanian blue gums (Eucalyptus globulus), as seen on Mt. Davidsonin San Francisco, shed their outer bark yearly, a very effective defense mechanismagainst epiphytes and most climbing vines, including Cape ivy. English ivy, shownhere, possesses strong aerial rootlets that serve as holdfasts; these rootlets are apparentlyable to penetrate the thin deciduating outer bark and fasten onto the smooth innerbark, enabling them to ascend to the very crowns of 150-foot trees. The opportunisticCape ivy will then use the English ivy as a climbing ladder. In time, the trees becomeweighted down with tons of biomass. This, plus intense root and light competition,spells doom—something not grasped by the unsuspecting public, which values its“forest” (actually a plantation). The trees, unable to regenerate from seed in thisscenario, disappear, to be replaced by a biological wasteland—a mono- or bi-cultureof English and/or Cape ivy. This scene is about to be played out in many of our centraland northern coastal forests.

Land. Greg was also one of thefounders of the Califonia InvasivePlant Council, Cal-IPC.)

For over two hours, Greg and Ihad been painstakingly disentan-gling stems of German ivy—as weknew it then—from the rhizomesof a minuscule 4 by 4 foot patch ofthe native creeping wild rye (Leymustriticoides). In a moment of truth,Greg exclaimed, “Jake, how muchtime have we spent on this tinypatch? There’s two acres of it here!”

His epiphany fell gratefully on myears. Help at last, I thought. “We’vegot to do something—we need toform a study group!” were his nextwords. As a recruiter and volunteercoordinator he knew the difficultyof mobilizing and energizing vol-unteers, and he knew that youneeded to marshal facts first.

The study group was convenedwithin days. It tapped latent inter-est in the plant, and very shortlyGerman ivy was being talked about

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up and down the coast. All the ac-tion regarding this plant startedfrom that moment. Grassroots ac-tivists, homeowners, and resourcemanagers had been becoming in-creasingly concerned about theplant, but no one was talking aboutit, and it was absent from the weedliterature. Others who were un-

aware of it started to notice, andthe German ivy problem begancoming into focus. Four years later,due to a fortunate concomitance offactors, USDA Agricultural Re-search Service instituted researchinto its control through biologicalagents. That doubtless would nothave happened had it not been for

the foundation layed by the studygroup.

Cape ivy (as it is commonlycalled today) has now infested ev-ery coastal county in the state. It ismerely a matter of time before thisnoxious weed becomes one continu-ous infestation along the Californiacoastline. Its seeds germinate in thedim light of the shade provided byshrubs and other tall plants, wherevery slowly they gather strength tostart the climb to light. Cape ivy iscapable of reaching 40 feet or more.It has been called the kudzu of thewest because its infestations formthick, smothering mats over othervegetation, cutting off light and airand all but eliminating native plantand animal diversity.

Plants spread both sexuallythrough seed, and vegetatively, aswhen stems touching the groundroot, or through fragments that arecarried to a new spot (washingdownstream, for instance, or some-times unwittingly transported bythose attempting manual or me-chanical eradication). Cape ivygrows vigorously in physically chal-lenging environments, such as onocean bluffs, or on steep slopes andstreamside thickets of willows,blackberry, and poison oak.

Its growing habits make it ex-tremely difficult to control by con-ventional mechanical or chemicalmeans. The plant’s succulent stemsare covered with a waxy cuticle thatprevents desiccation, and if the plantruns out of water it shuts down andwaits patiently for the next rain.That piece of stem lying on thepavement may look dead, but don’tbe fooled. It simply looks dead, butis merely waiting for the chance tostart growing again once it comesin contact with moist soil.

The large scale of its range ofinfestation argues against chemicaltreatment, save for discrete popula-tions, and its use risks damagingnative plants on which it grows. It isfrequently difficult to inventoryyoung infestations, because they of-


otanically, Cape ivy (also referred to as German ivy) is a mem-ber of the sunflower family. Known in the US until recently by

the botanical name Senecio mikanioides, it is recognized internation-ally within the monotypic genus Delairea as the only species, D.odorata. I speculate that Germans, who formerly controlled por-tions of eastern Africa, may have grown the plant in their conserva-tories, hence the common name of German ivy. We do not knowhow, why, or when it came to this country.

Similarly, I long ago guessed that it was imported into the USas a houseplant. Unfortunately, that guess has now become part ofthe literature as fact, but I know of no corroborating evidence orrecords. All I have determined is that an herbarium specimen inthe Jepson and University Herbaria at UC Berkeley was collectedin Alameda County in 1892, and there was another specimencollected in Pasadena in 1905. The 1925 Jepson Manual of theFlowering Plants of California records it along streams and gullies ofthe Bay Area and San Luis Obispo. The 1951 Weeds of California byRobbins, Bellue, and Ball locates it “at several places along the coast.”The Munz 1959 A California Flora locates it on the southern andcentral California coast.

Jepson mentions nothing about seed, and fertile seed was notdocumented until recently; however, Munz states that achenes areglabrous—an important little bit of information that some-how

eluded everyone until researcherRamona Robison and others fi-nally documented seed produc-tion. It may be that seeds werenot viable until cross-pollinated.Jepson’s specimens were stipu-lar, but many populations lackstipules, suggesting that two ge-netic strains may have come intocontact, at which time fertileseeds were produced. None ofthis is documented, so we areleft to guess. Most of the nativepopulations in South Africa arewithout stipules.

Cape ivy is a member of the sunflower family, as indicated by the flowers inheads. Photograph by M. Bors.


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ten start in remote spots and arenot readily apparent until well-de-veloped. Infestations are spreadingmuch faster than they can be con-trolled by physical and chemicalmethods.

Land managers in coastal re-gions are left with no successfultechnique for controlling Cape ivy,and the imminent threat is that thisweed will fully overrun coastal habi-tats. No wonder it’s listed as an A-1wildland weed on Cal-IPC’s rank-ing of Invasive Plants of Greatest Eco-logical Concern in California, and hasjust been declared a Noxious Weedby the State of California. (The statehas just listed its first wildland weedsdocument pursuant to a CNPS billenacted in 1992; Cape ivy was oneof 11 on the list. Others includetree of heaven, Arundo, jubatagrass,Spanish broom, and saltcedar.)

The threat of Cape ivy to nativehabitat was rated so high at GoldenGate National Recreation Area andPoint Reyes National Seashore that,in a national competition, these twoparks won a three-year $600,000natural resource protection grantfrom the National Park Service forphysical containment and documen-tation of Cape ivy infestations withintheir boundaries. Theirs was one ofonly three such awards. (TheGGNRA won a second, larger grant,but the funds were diverted to home-land security.) Key factors weighedby the Park Service in their decisionincluded the rapid expansion of Capeivy in size and number of infesta-tions, and threats to 12 listed or rareplant species, two federally-listedbutterfly species, freshwater shrimp,and Coho salmon habitat.

There is preliminary evidencethat Cape ivy may damage aquaticbiota of coastal streams by inter-rupting food sources for aquatic spe-cies and possibly poisoning aquaticvertebrates and invertebrates dueto toxic compounds contained inthe plant. This could have implica-tions for the future of anadromousfish, including endangered runs of

salmonids, and other wildlife de-pending on coastal streams and ri-parian zones.

Given this sobering picture andthe high biological stakes, we needevery possible weapon to combatthis species. First and foremost isthe development of a safe and ef-fective biocontrol program for Capeivy. Biocontrol agents emerged asthe most promising long-term so-lution to this weed when research-ers found out how well predatoryinsects controlled Cape ivy in itsnative South Africa, where it is anuncommon plant and known to fewpeople.

The USDA Agricultural Re-search Service (USDA-ARS) beganresearching potential biologicalagents for Cape ivy in 1998. Fund-ing for this type of research is noteasily come by, and we were verylucky that USDA-ARS is under-taking it. However, it was neces-sary for Cal-IPC to raise privatefunds for the critical South Africanresearch. The project currently hasbroad community support, with thebulk of contributions coming fromCNPS members and coastal chap-ters. The research originally fo-cused on stem borers and leaf feed-ers, and has yielded two promisinginsects now in quarantine in Cali-fornia. However, the discovery ofviable seed production here cre-ated a need for expanding the pro-gram to flower and seed feeders,which would necessitate additionalsupport. This is a challenge, as thereare many other priorities compet-ing for Cal-IPC’s attention, andthere is no research into this aspectbecause of lack of funds. The pro-gram is continuing, but at a lowerlevel than we would like.


Bermuda, crab, and quack grassare well-known among gardeners,and farmers and ranchers could addothers, but whoever heard of

ehrharta (Ehrharta erecta)? The factthat the plant has escaped attentionmay simply be a tribute to itsstealth—it has been insidiously pro-liferating for half a century while wehave been blissfully unaware of it.

The genus name of manyplants—iris, dahlia, rhododendron,camellia, magnolia, chrysanthe-mum—is also the common name.Ehrharta erecta, for lack of an estab-lished common name, has come tobe referred to simply as ehrhartain the San Francisco Bay Area,where it is most common. (There islittle danger of confusion with itsdestructive congener, Ehrharta caly-cina, as that one is universally knownas veldt grass, and E. longiflora, pres-ently in San Diego, is not consid-ered much of a problem.)

A look at the strategies of Ehr-harta erecta reveals reasons for itssuccess. Although this article con-cerns the invasion of ehrharta intowildlands, its behavior in urban en-vironments illustrates its essentialcharacter. It moves down San Fran-cisco’s streets, taking block afterblock, appropriating every niche orcrack in the sidewalk and thenceentering adjacent home gardens. Itusurps habitat even from tough ur-ban weeds: dandelion, knotweed,foxtail barley, mallow, filaree, andother formerly invincible toughies.Only the yellow oxalis, Oxalis pes-caprae, seems able to stand up to it.

Its seed can germinate in verylow light, and it will grow undetec-ted in the dark until it pushesthrough several feet of overlyingplants, such as dense prostrate juni-pers. At this point it triumphantlydisplays its porcupine-like culms inthe bright sunshine, by which timeit has already dispersed copious seed.

It is difficult to descry it amongother grasses. Its tough, matted,fibrous root system generatesjointed stems that lie on the groundor are slightly elevated—belyingthe specific epithet erecta—thusavoiding mowers or grazers. Thestems go laterally into and through

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adjacent plants, even very denseones, depositing seed on the otherside. The fine branches of the flow-ering stalk hug its outermostreaches and support tiny flowers,resembling a fine-seeded nativemelic (Melica spp.). Then thebranches open out in a tree-likemanner and the gestalt becomesdistinctive, no longer resembingthe form of a melic.

Plants with flowers located atthe extremities of long decumbentculms can deposit seed a half meterfrom the roots of the parent. Inehrharta, this trait, in combination

with prodigious tillering, assures adense turf which is too tight forgermination or growth of otherplants. Once ehrharta gains terri-tory, this perennial never yields it.When a niche is vacated, anotherehrharta individual is the first tomove in. Seedlings mysteriouslyappear from nowhere.

Weed warriors frequently findthemselves operating in an infor-mation vacuum. Answers to basicquestions, such as ehrharta’s dis-persal system and seed longevity,are unknown. I find it in surprisingplaces that stymie logical explana-

tion. Tiny seed is doubtless blownover surfaces by wind, but how doesit spontaneously appear in the midstof a plant community? Birds mightact as the dispersal vector, but thereis no evidence in support of thistheory yet. Does the seed passthrough a bird’s digestive tract in-completely digested, or stick totheir feet and feathers? Does ithitch a ride in nursery containers?The presence of ehrharta on theFarallon Islands—where it hasnearly exterminated the localflora—suggests birds are the dis-persal agents, although humanscannot be ruled out.

Roads and trails are notoriouscorridors for invasion by weeds,enabling exotics to penetrate oth-erwise resistant native communities.For example, in the dark Douglasfir forest of Point Reyes NationalSeashore, with its dense and thriv-ing huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum)understory, ehrharta lines miles ofsingle-track hiking trails. One footfrom the trail there is healthy na-tive habitat. Whenever a shrub ortree dies or is toppled, ehrhartamoves in; the seeds can germinateeven from as little moisture as pro-vided by a wet fog. When an in-fested area burns, I fear an expo-nential expansion of the usurper.Disturbance, including natural dis-turbance, favors weeds.

Ehrharta tolerates a wide rangeof conditions. On the coast, it growson warm, dry banks or in cool,moist, deep shade. It favors puresand, but also thrives in heavy soils,in soils that stay waterlogged forextended periods (thus a threat towetlands), in thin, rocky soils, andin cracks in vertical rock faces. Ifound one plant growing high on anorth-facing, solid uncracked con-crete wall. A seed had found a littlespace to lodge in. How did the seedget there and how did the plantwrest a living? While it thrives onmoisture, in its absence the plantwill hunker down and wait for it.

Willis’s remark about the abil-


hrharta erecta was the first member of this genus to be reportedin California. The urbanized San Francisco Bay Area was evi-

dently its center of distribution and it is now widespread in thearea. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California (1993) lists itsdistribution as “eastern San Francisco Bay and Santa Barbara andVentura counties.” It almost certainly was more widespread thanthat, merely undocumented. However, there is no question that itsspread in the last ten years has been blitzkrieg-like and frightening.It infests wildlands in most or all of the north and central coast andis a common urban weed in southern California.

The plant was collected by G.L. Stebbins and Harlan Lewis as“adventive in Botanical Garden, UCLA Campus, Los Angeles” in May1946 (the source of Stebbins’s research material?). As the onlyspecies in the genus in his 1959 A California Flora, Munz listedEhrharta erecta as adventive in California: “Naturalized on the Ber-keley campus of the University of California. Introduced from SouthAfrica,” and added E. calycina (veldt grass) in his 1968 Supplement.Hitchcock, in Manual of the Grasses of the United States (1950),

stated that E. erecta had “Escaped, Berkeley,CA (evidently from the campus of the Univer-sity of California). Shows considerable com-petitive ability and may become of value inreplacing some of the troublesome weeds.” In-deed!

J.C. Willis, in A Dictionary of the Flow-ering Plants and Ferns, remarks on the ge-nus Ehrharta “. . . as useful pasture grasses forsandy soil.” The genus occurs in NewZealand and a few islands, but it is concen-trated in South Africa, the origin of all thespecies of Ehrharta now naturalized inCalifornia.

Ehrharta (Ehrharta erecta). Photograph by M. Bors.


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ity of Ehrharta species to thrive insandy soils (see sidebar on page 26),the known distribution near thecoast, and its predilection for fog,indicates that in terms of wildlandsehrharta invasion may remain pri-marily a coastal problem. However,ehrharta also thrives in gardens inDavis, California. According toAndy Sanders of the University ofCalifornia, Riverside, it is a com-mon urban weed in southern Cali-fornia, and he recently found it as aweed in landscaping at 3,000 feetnear Cajon Pass.

There are a few reports of itspresence in southern Californiawildlands. Well known San Diegoweed warrior Mike Kelly, a formerCAL-IPC president, states that it iscommon around San Diego and thatall three species of Ehrharta havebeen found in Torrey Pines StateReserve, where E. erecta has dis-placed Coreopsis maritima and othernatives. Does it invade wildlandsaway from the coast? While I knowof no major infestations inland, dueto its preference for moist environ-ments, riparian areas should beclosely monitored.

If biocontrol research is insti-tuted, genetic differences betweenplants may be important. Is the plantextant in California the autotetrap-loid developed by the great geneti-cist, G. Ledyard Stebbins, or thenatural diploid? Is the tetraploidweedier than the diploid? In the past,biological control for grasses wasnever considered because of possiblerisk to crops in the grass family.However, predators of members ofthis group can be as host-specific asfor any other family, so control bybiological agents is not out of thequestion. It may be our only hope.


If one needs an illustration ofhow natural controls function onan organism, they need look no fur-ther than yellow oxalis (sour grass

or Cape sorrel, Oxalis pes-caprae), ascourge of the California coast. Inits home range of South Africa, na-tive fowl eat the foliage, a mammaldigs the bulbs, and parasites infestbulbs. Freed from these pests andherbivores in California, its spreadnear the coast is untrammeled.

People are incredulous uponlearning that viable seed from thisplant has never been reported inCalifornia. An exasperated, “thenhow does it get around?” is usuallyfollowed by a stunned silence. Theabundant production of bulb off-sets and lateral runners by this plantpartially accounts for its alarmingspread, yet some unanswered ques-tions remain: how does it travel sofast, how does it cross the roads,and how does it find its way into asecond-story flower box? Contami-nated soil may account for someoccurrences like the flower box, butcan’t explain most of them, espe-cially in wildlands. Gophers havebeen implicated in its spread, butcannot be the sole agent.

The latest version of the Cal-IPC weed lists published in 1999did not address the question of howto rate yellow oxalis, treating it as“needing more information.” Upto then it had been considered aweed of “disturbed areas” (a rela-tive term—is there any part of low-elevation California that is not dis-turbed?). At the same time, oxalisbegan rising on my personal worrylist, and in the last three years I’vebecome panic-stricken as I see itproliferating across landscapes.

In heavy soils it multiplies rap-idly; in sand it explodes. In a rem-nant native plant community occu-pying a stabilized sand dune nearmy house in western San Francisco,I watched a small semi-circular in-festation with an approximate ra-dius of 20 feet spread seeminglyexponentially in approximately 15years to dominate the whole ten-acre natural area, which is now onits way to becoming an oxalis-ehrharta biculture. I was too busy

with other concerns, so I wasn’twatching its progress that closely,but it surely did not spread entirelyby lateral runners. It must have leap-frogged, but lacking time-lapse pho-tos, that will never be known. Nowit may be too late to save the nativebiological community of this site.

Yellow oxalis certainly does likedisturbance. (On an amusing sidenote, a weed brochure produced inthe Bay Area recommended gettingrid of oxalis by rototilling, a sure-fire way of quadrupling its numbersovernight! Please, please don’tthrow me in that briar patch!) How-ever, it no longer requires activesoil disturbance to become estab-lished, and it is an increasingly ag-gressive invader of native plant com-munities. Once established in agrassland, dune, or even shrubland,its advance is inexorable, and with-out human intervention the out-come is inevitable—it is on the roadto creating a monoculture.

Although it is active only duringthe brief rainy season, when daysare short and the sun is low in thesky, populations nevertheless expandrapidly and aggressively, displacingplants that are photosynthetically-active year-round. Free of the needto produce extra energy to supportwildlife, the robust photosyntheticengine generates enormous quanti-ties of energy to produce—in aboutFebruary or early March—prodi-gious bulb offsets and lateral run-ners to invade surrounding areas andto incrementally muscle out nativeplants much larger than it.

A lateral runner travels severalinches at a time; it is a peculiar fat,translucent organ resembling anicicle, with emergent slender, white,one-inch shoots at the tip (see illus-tration on page 28). It inserts itselfinto the middle of an alreadycrowded clump of healthy natives,even into the tight center of a vig-orous bunchgrass, sedge, or rush,where it slowly but steadily bur-geons, capturing space and light.Its roots compete with the bunch-

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grass and even with shrubs such ascoffeeberry or coyote bush. It iscertain that it will prevent a newgeneration of that or any other na-tive plant at the site. Thus, the long-term prognosis at such sites is for amonoculture of oxalis.

Eradication is difficult and time-consuming because of its bulb. Re-moving a small infestation in a dis-crete area is a feasible project. I wasable to manually rid it from mygarden, which contained many hun-dreds of oxalis plants, by persistingin removal of the above-bulb plantparts for four or five years. Repeatedtimely removal of top-growth willdeprive the bulb of its stored en-ergy. Optimal time for this is mid-winter, around January, just beforeit starts producing offsets.

Placing fingers at soil level be-neath the crown and pulling gentlybut steadily with both hands willfrequently get the whole taproot,especially when it is growing in sand.The bulb will probably remain andstill have stored energy to produce

more top-growth. A repetition ofthis operation during the same sea-son may kill the plant or draw downits energy so severely that one morepull usually effects kill, providing itis well-timed and does not allowtime for the bulb to recharge itsenergy. Monitoring is required foran additional two years, as I havesometimes found a single, small leafhiding among other plants, slowlybuilding up the bulb’s strength fora comeback.

For large tracts, spraying maybe the only option. I don’t know ofdefinitive information on the effec-tiveness of herbicides on oxalisbulbs. Anecdotal information I havereceived says that 2% glyphosate iseffective—providing you have agood surfactant, since oxalis leavestend to shed water. Another anec-dote holds that it is effective to sprayit in the early part of its season,before bulb off-setting begins,around January or early February. Ihave not verified any of this infor-mation. Spraying may be the only

current option for large infestations,but for the larger landscape onlybiocontrol offers hope.


If we are to preserve our bio-logical heritage, weed control willrequire much greater attention andfunding than presently available.The number of acres lost to devel-opment is quantifiable; communitydestruction by invasive species isnot. The oft-cited statement thatinvasive organisms are second onlyto development as a threat tobiodiversity is probably outdated. Ithink that the insidious effect ofinvaders has long since overtakendevelopment in destroying diver-sity. We need to create a responsethat recognizes that troublingthought. Research is driven by pub-lic demand, and so far there is in-sufficient awareness of the serious-ness posed by the weeds cited inthis article and other perniciousplants destroying diversity. Whatappears to me a tragedy, an inevi-table scenario yet to be played out,does not loom large enough in therough-and-tumble realm of publicpriorities, where wildland weeds arerarely even noticed. Yet perhaps thisis an overly gloomy assessment:awareness is rising, and the re-sources required for addressing theproblem, while comparatively smallto date, are also on the rise. Let ushope we do not lose this race.

Jacob Sigg, 338 Ortega Street, San Fran-cisco, CA 94122. [email protected]


ellow oxalis (Oxalis pes-caprae) is a member of the same family(Oxalidaceae) as our native redwood sorrel (O. oregana). It is

native to South Africa, but has been in the Mediterranean areasince the 18th century and it doesn’t produce seed there, in Cali-fornia, nor in Australia, where, in 1992, it was rated the numberone target for biocontrol. I don’t know how, when, or why it came

to California. Bailey’s 1930 The StandardCyclopedia of Horticulture listed it (as O.cernua), so it was probably in the horticul-tural trade then. It is not listed in the wild inthe 1925 Jepson Manual. The first mentionof it as a weed known to me was in the 1951Weeds of California by Robbins, Bellue, andBall, where it was listed as O. cernua. Theseauthors reported it in orchards in the SanFrancisco Bay Area and southern Califor-nia. It may have been more widespread thanthat, and it may have been in cultivated sitesbefore 1925.

Yellow oxalis (Oxalis pes-caprae). Photograph by J. Game.

Lateral runner, root structure, and bulb-lets of yellow oxalis (Oxalis pes-caprae).Illustration by R. Pitschel.




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WAYNE RODERICK (1920-2003)by Ron Lutsko

ayne Roderick passedaway peacefully in hisOrinda home on August

tenth. Befittingly, he was seed col-lecting with a close friend nearCarson Pass when he took ill andhad his first of a series of strokes.

To extol Wayne’s personal at-tributes and contributions to theworlds of both botany and horticul-ture would far exceed the capacityof this writing. Wayne was truly alegend within his disciplines with astellar reputation around the world.He displayed great wit and humor,was down to earth, generous, ener-getic, and shared his enthusiasm forplants with everyone.

When I first met Wayne in the1970s, I asked him which group of

plants was his favorite. His replywas . . . “plants.” He truly was planthappy, as he would put it, and cov-eted any plant that fit his outwardlyambiguous but internally rigorouscriteria of “a good plant.” Duringhis final days I made a quick pur-

view of his front porch collection,and found tropical orchids and be-gonias, Asian rhododendrons, Afri-can succulents, Mediterraneanpalms, native shrubs, and, of course,bulbs—bulbs from everywhere andeveryone; from simple yet stalwartspecies to complex and high strunghybrids. Bulbs, corms, and tuberswere truly his area of special inter-est and keen expertise. His bulb col-lection revealed an impressivebreadth and contained rarities fromaround the globe. And thanks toWayne, many people now havecomparable collections. Generos-ity was synonymous with the nameWayne Roderick.

All this began when Wayne wasa child. His mother was a gardener

Wayne Roderick in Bear Valley, circa mid-1980s, surrounded by flowers of adobe lily (Fritillaria pluriflora). Photograph by S.Edwards.

Adobe lily (Fritillaria pluriflora) flowersfrom Bear Valley. Photograph by S.Edwards.


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Thank you, Wayne, for being an inspiration and a guiding light in the world of plants. Your smile and knowledge,I always look forward to them, and maybe I will be able to excite someone into loving gardeningand the world of plants around me.

—Zeke Palaceos

Wayne, you had a heart of gold, no matter how much you tried to convince us otherwise. You trulykept the spirit of gardening for us all. I will never forget your sharing not only of plants, but ofphilosophy and kind words.

—Kritin Yanker-Hansen

Jim Roof told me years ago (1973) that Wayne Roderick was the best bulb man in California. Healso told me that Cook and Green Pass in Siskiyou County was recognized and eventually saveddue to the efforts and enthusiasm of Wayne. We have lost a great soldier in the war againstplanetary destruction.

—Bert Johnson

His T-shirt [sweatshirt] said “most miserable bastard.” As hard as he tried to be mean, his gentleheart was always more on display than his assumed “meanness.” His passing is not only a loss tohorticulture but to any of us who love plants.

—Barrie D. and Carol Coates

Wayne was a more generous man than I am able to put into words. The constant gifts of plantmaterial were merely one outward expression ofhis love of sharing, and his love for all the people

in his life. His deepest gifts were those he gave to the hearts of thosewho shared his life. Those, doubtless, are the gifts from Wayne wewill all carry to the end of our days.

—David A. Lomba

Wayne was fun, cute, and so generous not only with plants, but withhis donation of time and service. I’ll miss our Christmas partiestogether. He meant a lot to us all.

—Kathy Echols

There have been three people who have inspired my interest in plantsover the years. Wayne was one of the most meaningful. I first knewWayne at the UC [Botanical] Garden [at Berkeley] where he wouldpass on hints about seeds and cuttings and how to grow them. Whenhe came to the Native Garden [Regional Parks Botanic Garden]there were even more tips. Now, when I go through my garden, tagswith “bulb from Wayne,” “seeds from Wayne,” and others are allaround and flourishing. His generosity was grand. What I shallremember most of Wayne is his honest friendliness and most affec-tionate “I hate you”—I shall miss him very much.

—James Denning

Wayne at theRegional ParksBotanic Gar-den, circa 1977.Photographerunknown.

Wayne Roderick, circa 1961, with leaf of skunkcabbage (Lysichiton americanum) for scale.Photograph by W. Knight.

F R E M O N T I A 3 1V O L U M E 3 1 : 4 , O C T O B E R 2 0 0 3

“What I have to put up with!” is what Wayne would always say when he would unload seeds or plants on us. Rarelycoming empty handed, Wayne would stop by to give us hell. A great, generous friend, always ready with a smile backedup with a cranky comment. We will miss him.

—Sherrie Althouse

Wayne: thank you for sharing plants, places, and people with all of us. You gaveso much of yourself to teach us. I will always remember.

—Barbara Coe

Wayne had me teaching classes on California natives at the Regional Parks[Botanic] Garden long before I was hired to teach at Merritt College. Hisenthusiasm and humor were legendary. He was like the “Pied Piper,” leadingarmies of Tilden volunteers. We all loved him. Bless you Wayne!

—Judy Thomas

Wayne loved books nearly as much as he loved plants. The beautiful collection ofrare books (the oldest a Gothic German herbal dating back to 1502!) was hisgift to the Strybing Library 25 years ago, and since then he has continued tobring treasures to brighten my days. I will remember him with love and he willcontinue to inform my life as I share his books and their hand-colored illustra-tions with horticulture and botany students during library show-and-tellorientations.

—Barbara M. Pitschel

I’m going to miss Wayne so much—especially the way he said, “The things Ihave to put up with!” Who’s going to say that now? Who’s going to bring inenvelopes of seeds and ask for labels? Who’s going to ask me to type his annual letter to his friends abroad? Who’s goingto blow up balloons and turn the plant sale into the event of the year?

—Teresa LeYung Ryan

I have known Wayne for many, many years, only through seed packets and alpine writings, but I give many sincerethanks to Wayne, a distant and unseen friend, who has brought memuch pleasure through growing the plants he collected and distrib-uted, and his helpful writing.

—Rick Lambert

We may be sure that Wayne is botanizing the Elysian Fields.

—Paige Woodward

Wayne has been a very important part of my life. I admire hiscuriosity and zest for living, his adventurous spirit, his dedication tothe protection, knowledge, and horticulture of native plants, and hislove of flowers in bloom. Wayne’s presence was so uplifting because hesmiled and joked a lot, and I always left his house happier than whenI came. He shared his vast knowledge about California’s nativeplants and horticulture freely with me, always patiently makingtime and never asking for anything in return. Wayne was anincredible mentor and teacher and he will be deeply missed—he wasa remarkable man.

—Kat Anderson

Wayne in the California section of the Uni-versity of California Botanical Garden at Berke-ley, circa 1970. Photographer unknown.

Wayne teaching with soaproot(Chloragalum sp.), circa 1970.Photographer unknown.

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during his childhood in Petaluma.He ran the Roderick Nursery thereas a young man and then moved tothe Bay Area where he had two il-lustrious careers at Bay Area bo-tanical institutions. His first wasmanaging (and building) the Cali-fornia native plant collection at theUniversity of California, Berkeley,Botanical Garden, from 1960 to1976. After that he took over thedirectorship of the Regional ParksBotanical Garden until he retiredin 1982. At each garden he builtworld class collections of Califor-nia native plants, focusing particu-larly on herbaceous materials.

All the while he was extremelyactive in extracurricular activitiesrelated to his discipline. He was aninsatiable plant adventurer, begin-ning each year with trips to Mexicoand deserts of the southern US, thenprogressing up in latitude and alti-tude as the season drew on. By Oc-

tober or November he had collectedenough seed and dried plant mate-rials to put out his internationallydistributed seed list and to providelocal institutions with educationaland ornamental material. He fre-quented England, Greece, and Tur-key. He has also visited China, theMiddle East, most of the Mediter-ranean basin, South Africa, CostaRica, Chile, Mexico, and of coursemost of the US, particularly thewest. He knew the British andAmerican botanical institutions in-timately and was active in manyhorticultural societies and groupsthroughout the world. He servedon the board of the Ruth BancroftGarden and on the horticulturalcommittee to The Jepson Manual.

Wayne had many collectionsfrom, and made contributions to,all of these regions and institutions.He also made many, many friendsthroughout his travels. Wayne wasan open-hearted and genuine spiritwho embraced people and friend-ships wherever he went. I remem-ber attending a lecture in San Fran-cisco by a renowned British horti-culturist who referred to him as“that old coyote, Wayne Roderick,”surely an endearing sign of a longand close friendship with someonefrom another land. He even had arelationship with my studio man-ager instigated by his initial call tell-ing her that I was going to catchhell if I didn’t call him immedi-ately! (She tracked me down quicklyfearing that we had an irate client).

Wayne produced his own pri-vate list of wild-collected nativeplant seed for many years. This wasnot a commercial endeavor; he dis-tributed it to private gardens andinstitutions around the world at nocost. I had the good fortune of par-ticipating in this endeavor with himfor almost a decade. The two of uswould merge our annual collectionsfor distribution. I managed the mail-ing lists and through this learnedjust how many friends Wayne re-ally had throughout the world. Sel-

dom did a request for seed come tous without a personal inquiry, an-ecdotes of shared experiences, orfamily and garden pictures! My owndaughters and wife know him asUncle Wayne. This began when hebrought over colchicum bulbs ateach of their births, bare and inflower, to set on my daughters win-dowsill. He continued this celebra-tion of their late summer and au-tumn birthdays year after year.

Wayne had many plant discov-eries to his credit. Ceanothusroderickii, Fritillaria roderickii,Erythronium purdyi ssp. roderickii andErigeron glaucus ‘Wayne Roderick’,to name a few. He has introducedand named many plants, amongstthem, Garrya elliptica ‘Evie’,Carpenteria californica ‘Elizabeth’,and Heuchera micrantha ‘MarthaRoderick’ (after his mother).

Wayne was always humbleabout his accomplishments and con-tributions. Due to his generosity,his discoveries and introductionswill forever live on and be a signifi-cant contribution to the world ofplants; he has earned a place along-side Lester Rowntree and WillisLinn Jepson. The world of horti-culture and California botany willmiss a legendary figure and those ofus fortunate enough to have knownWayne personally will miss a friendin the truest sense of the word.

Ron Lutsko, Lutsko Associates, San Fran-cisco, CA. [email protected]

Globe lily (Calochortus amabilis). Photo-graph by H. Forbes.

Wayne collecting globe lily (Calochortusamabilis) for the 1999 Oakland Wild-flower Show. Photograph by H. Forbes.

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The article “Plant Diversity at Jas-per Ridge Biological Preserve”[Fremontia Volume 31, No.1, January2003] indicated that Gairdner’syampah (Perideridia gairdneri ssp.gairdneri) and serpentine linanthus(Linanthus ambiguus) are found at thePreserve. Although both species wererecorded by a knowledgeable botanist,Duncan Porter, in the 1960s, the JRBPherbarium does not have specimens ofeither species. Efforts are being madeto determine their presence/absence.


There were a number of local


naturalists, botanists and other mem-bers of our CNPS community wholost their homes in the recent fires.Many have lost their reference librar-ies, along with their personal effects,offices, tools and supplies. Some of us,botanists or otherwise, have referencebooks (botany, ornithology, naturalhistory, etc.) sitting unused on ourshelves. If you’d like to help rebuild afellow botanist’s or naturalist’s lost li-brary by donating books (new or used),please bring them to the monthlyCNPS San Diego Chapter meeting inthe Casa del Prado in Balboa Park. Ifyou cannot make it to the meeting, wecan make other arrangements. Wecannot guarantee that books or otherdonations will go to a particular per-son. If you know of someone’s particu-lar need, please contact that person di-rectly. What we will try to do is tomatch needs with donations received.

Some of us may also have other sur-plus items (household, office, toolsetc.) which these fire victims need. Ifyou have something you’d like to do-nate, please contact us. If you lost yourhome or office in the fires, please sendyour “wish lists.” (Fire victims anddonors names will be kept confiden-tial, unless they request otherwise;we’ll keep track of who requests what,and who is donating what.) Donorsand fire victims may contact CallieMack at [email protected]. For moreinformation, visit www.cnpssd.org/fire/donations.html.


For further information concerningthe Framework and other forestry is-sues, including the Healthy ForestInitiative, and to find ideas and tools


y contributing articles for boththis issue (pages 21-28) andthe April 2003 issue of Fre-

montia (“Consider the Weeds of theField—My How They Grow!”,Volume 31 No. 2, pages 9-12), Jacob(Jake) Sigg, past California NativePlant Society President, has made agreat effort to educate us about thethreat to the native plants of Cali-fornia posed by weeds.

Throughout the years, therehave been many articles on weedsand their impact on native plantsand their habitats published inFremontia, and the reader whowishes to learn more should notethose in three special “weed” issuesof Fremontia: Volume 26 No. 4,October 1998; Volume 13 No. 2,July 1985; and Volume 12 No. 4,January 1985.

B Other articles on weeds arelisted below; the curious and con-cerned reader is encouraged to pe-ruse these articles and to visitwebsites on weeds as listed in the“Notes and Comments” column ofthe Fremontia April 2003 issue (Vol-ume 31 No. 2) page 34.


Barrows, C.W. 1994.Tamarisk control:a success story. Fremontia 22(3):20-27.

Johnson, S. 1987. Can tamarisk becontrolled? Fremontia 15(2):19-20.

Bulman, T.L. 1988. The eucalyptus inCalifornia. Fremontia 16(1):24-27.

Miller, L. 1988. How yellow bush lu-pine came to Humboldt. Fremontia16(3):6-7.

Anonymous. 1989. Control of thealiens: Unnatural plant communi-ties in the Santa Monica Mountains.Fremontia 17(2):22-24.


ack issues of Fremontia are available for sale from the CNPS

Office, 2707 K Street, Suite 1, Sacramento, CA 95816; phone

(916) 447-2677. Issues for Volume 28 and later (2000-present): $5

each or $10 for three. Issues before Volume 28: $2.50 each or $6 for

three. Double issues priced as two single issues; shipping costs

determined upon order placement.


3 4 F R E M O N T I A V O L U M E 3 1 : 4 , O C T O B E R 2 0 0 3


Flowers From Fire, CD-Rom withphotographs by Don Jacobson, Pro-duced by Forest Issues Group, PO Box1334, Nevada City, CA 95959.

to help you get involved, please visitthe following websites: Sierra NevadaForest Protection Campaign, www.sierracampaign.org; the CNPS federalissues page, www.cnps.org/federalissues/;and CNPS Framework comments(click on “Comment Letters,” www.cnps.org/federalissues/.

Sierra Nevada Forest ProtectionCampaign (www.sierracampaign.org) isa coalition of over 80 conservationgroups (including CNPS) that advo-cates for species and ecosystem con-servation on Sierra Nevada nationalforests. This site contains the latest up-dates on national forest planning inthis region.

Sierra Nevada Forest Plan

Amendment, US Forest Service(www.fs.fed.us/r5/snfpa/) houses theForest Service planning informationfor the Sierra Nevada region. The fi-nal plan and the final environmentalimpact statement can be reviewed atwww.fs.fed.us/r5/snfpa/final-seis/. Pre-liminary review shows that it solvesnone of the problems that causedCNPS to oppose the plan revisionfrom its inception. The plan estab-lishes new management for 11 millionacres of Sierra Nevada national forests.

Problems with the revised plan in-clude increased logging and road-building in sensitive areas and old for-ests, increased grazing in sensitivespecies habitat, and reduced clarity

www.forestissuesgroup.org. Price $17.50plus $2.50 for shipping.

“By forces seemingly antagonistic anddestructive, Nature accomplishes her be-

neficent designs,” observed John Muirover 100 years ago. While the main-stream media is busy fanning our fearsabout forest fire, it’s important to re-

Rare Plant Issue

The July/October 2001 issue ofFremontia (Volume 29 Nos. 3 and 4)had an extremely useful article entitledHow to Comment on a CEQA Document.Besides providing practical informa-tion about Negative Declarations andEnvironmental Impact Reports, itmade the point that often communitymembers have more specific, relevantknowledge of a site’s ecological issuesthan the person preparing the docu-ment. Several of us who had never be-fore participated in an environmentalreview process followed the article’sadvice, reading and commenting on aNeg Dec for a project in our localpark. Eventually the city decided thatthe effect of this project and other pro-posed projects warranted a completeEIR, addressing the cumulative im-pacts of past, present, and future parkprojects. It will be a great step forwardfor the long-term health of our won-derful park.

and consistency in management of thearea.

CNPS will keep you informed ofopportunities for public input to theForest Service on this revised plan. Inthe meantime, you may wish to writeletters to the editor of your local pa-pers expressing your views on appro-priate land management in the SierraNevada. You can read CNPS com-ments on the Framework Revisions atwww.cnps.org/federalissues/PDFs/CNPSFmwkRevise8.03.pdf. Don’t for-get to include your name, address, andphone number with your letters orthey may not be printed. The paperswill not print your address or phonenumber.

Even people who aren’t technicalexperts can use their common senseand knowledge of an area in review-ing Neg Decs and EIRs. We want toencourage others in our communityto start reading and commenting onenvironmental documents, and Tay-lor Peterson’s article provides thebest information we’ve seen on howto do this. I’m very pleased to see thatthe entire July/Oct 2001 issue is avail-able online and even happier to learnthat back issues of Fremontia can bepurchased. They’ll make great giftsfor people who recently joinedCNPS.

Also, I’m really happy to learn thatI can purchase back copies of Fremontiafor only $5 or $10 plus shipping. Lastyear, I had to choose between twofriends who both coveted the VernalPools issue and several times I’ve re-gretted giving it away at all.

Susan MasonMt. Lassen Chapter


Tofieldia Clarification

On reading my letter published inFremontia Volume 31 No. 1, I de-tected a typographical error of someomitted words in the paragraph onTofieldia (p. 30) which make the sen-tence erroneous. [The sentence wasincorrectly published as: “The genusTofieldia has been removed from ourflora and limited to T. pussilla, T.coccinia being returned to the genusTriantha. . . . ”] The first sentence ofthe paragraph beginning on page 30should read: “The genus Tofieldia hasbeen removed from our flora and lim-ited to T. pusilla, T. coccinea, and T.glabra. Tofieldia glutinosa, includingthree subspecies in the western flora,was returned to the genus Triantha byJohn Packer, . . .” etc., as in the pub-lished letter.

Kenton L. ChambersEmeritus Professor of Botany

Oregon State University,Corvallis, OR

F R E M O N T I A 3 5V O L U M E 3 1 : 4 , O C T O B E R 2 0 0 3


Classified ad rate: $1.00 per word,minimum $15; payment in advance.Address advertising inquiries and copy to:CNPS, 2707 K Street, Suite 1, Sacra-mento, CA 95816-5113. (916) 447-2677or fax (916) 447-2727.


Flora & Fauna Books, 121 First AvenueSouth, Seattle WA 98104, Tel. (206)623-4727, Fax (206) 623-2001, [email protected], Specializing in Botany,Gardening, Birding, and Ecology, bothnew and out-of-print. We carry a largeinventory of floras, keys, and field guidesfor the west coast and worldwide. Alarge selection of our inventory is nowavailable on the web: www.abebooks.com/home/FFBOOK/.


California wildflower prints & freewildflower screensavers. Visit www.wildflowergreetings.com or call Alice(877) 432-2999 toll-free.

Notecards, Prints, and Originals. Visitwww.VorobikBotanicArt.com. PO Box866, Lopez Island, WA 98261

Botanical prints, note cards, postcards,Plants of the Lewis and Clark Expeditionnotecards, books, fruit crate labels, handtowels, and T-shirts focusing onCalifornia native plants from SierraNature Prints. Animal puppets, too. Visitwww.sierranatureprints.com


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Nature landscape design. LandscapeDesign that celebrates the rich heritageof California’s native flora. Duber Land-scape Design, CA license #4316. (510)524-8665.

Kellogg’s lewisia (Lewisia kelloggii). Photograph by D. Jacobson.

(FIG). Its purchase is also a great wayto acknowledge Don’s remarkablecontribution to this community, in-cluding this generous gift of images,19 years of service as a forest activist,

mind ourselves that nature is infinitelywiser and more complex than evenjournalists might imagine. Whilethose fears may be well-placed alongthe urban-wildland interface, the is-sue that never makes the headlines isthe important role that wildfire playsas an agent for renewal, re-growth,and succession. From the ashes of eventhe most devastating fires, a rebirthinevitably follows—often with a riotof color rarely seen on the forest floor.This burst of creativity has been cap-tured in a series of eloquent photo-graphs by local glass artist, photogra-pher, and forest activist Don Jacobson.The CD-Rom “Flowers From Fire”contains 72 art-quality, high-resolu-tion color images of the flash of wild-flowers that germinated in the ashesof the 2001 Red Star Fire in DuncanCanyon, upper North Fork AmericanRiver watershed.

The images, which include alluringwildflower close-ups and bold washesof wildflower color at a landscape-scale, are excellent for printing at 8x11or larger. Don’t be bashful—try zoom-ing in for a closer examination of theflower’s reproductive parts, character-istics that are often diagnostic in wild-flower identification.

The CD also includes a collectionof 40 images as screensavers (PConly), which are easily downloadedfrom the folder, as well as a fairly com-plete plant list for the area in 2002.Navigate first to “Instruction Sheet”for a quick background descriptionand instructions for downloading thescreensavers. A free photo viewer forPC is provided, should you need one.In the folder titled “The Burn,” youwill find several intriguing photos ofthe low intensity burn areas and large-scale landscape photos to get a senseof the mixed burn pattern, keeping inmind that burns of all sizes and in-tensity are important for maintainingforest biodiversity—not just low in-tensity fires. The size, shape, and in-tensity of fires produce different ef-fects on the landscape and its manyinhabitants.

Never mind that the CD is a bar-gain, it also comes with the satisfac-tion of knowing that 50% of the pro-ceeds will be contributed to one of thearea’s most effective conservationgroups, the Forest Issues Group

and as the creator and host of thepopular KVMR folk music program“Long & Dusty Road.”

Carolyn Chainey-DavisRedbud Chapter

3 6 F R E M O N T I A V O L U M E 3 1 : 4 , O C T O B E R 2 0 0 3

California N

ative Plant S

ociety2707 K

Street, S

uite 1S

acramento, C

A 95816-5113

Address S

ervice Requested

In the first article Vivian Parker de-scribes the Sierra Nevada Framework,a well-thought out plan to manageSierra Nevada forests and related eco-systems, and how the current admin-istration has proposed a revision to thisplan that greatly reduces its conserva-tion and wise-management goals.

Next is an article by CherylSinkiewicz and Erik Jules, discussingthe Port Orford cedar root pathogen,Phytophthora lateralis. This non-nativefungi-relative has spread even into re-mote watersheds, and threatens notonly Port Orford cedar, but the plantcommunities associated with thisbeautiful tree. In the third article JacobSigg informs us of the threat posed tonative plants by three aggressive in-

troduced species: Cape ivy, ehrharta,and yellow oxalis. This companionpiece to his article in Fremontia Vol-ume 31, No. 2 helps us understand theinsidious threat to coastal habitatsposed by only three weeds.

Closing this issue is a tribute toWayne Roderick, famed horticultur-ist and native plant enthusiast, writ-ten by Ron Lutsko, with commentsfrom Wayne’s memorial service. I onlyknew Wayne slightly, but am thankfulfor even that. He brought to the soci-ety the best qualities: abundant knowl-edge of native plants and how to growthem, generous sharing, and greathumor. We will miss him.

Linda Ann VorobikEditor



Ann Bradley, Susan D’Alcamo-Potter, Ellen Dean, KathleenDickey, Phyllis M. Faber, Bart O’Brien, John Sawyer, JimShevock, Teresa Sholars, Nevin Smith, Dieter Wilken, JohnWilloughby, Darrell Wright


Susan Britting was President of the California Native PlantSociety (CNPS) from 2001 through 2003. She is also theScience and Policy Advisor for the Sierra Nevada ForestProtection Campaign, where she works to promote soundmanagement of national forests in the Sierra Nevada.

Erik S. Jules, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Biology atHumboldt State University, Arcata, California.

Ron Lutsko is a San Francisco landscape architect, wellknown for his use of native plants. He received his trainingat the University of California, Berkeley.

Vivian L. Parker is a biologist and resource policy analystfor the California Indian Basketweavers Association. She isalso the conservation coordinator for the Sierra Nevadaforests for the CNPS Forestry Program.

Jacob Sigg, past president of CNPS, is currently chair ofthe CNPS Invasive Exotics Committee and conservationchair of the CNPS Yerba Buena Chapter.

Cheryl A. Sinkiewicz is a botanist and scientific illustra-tor living in northern California.

hose of us who are at home inthe natural environment knowthat it is always changing, both

through the seasons, and through theyears. Yet we fall in love with certainplaces, and come to expect to find ourfavorite plants in their specific habi-tats year after year, because undis-turbed habitats manifest changeswithin a state of equilibrium. This is-sue of Fremontia includes three articlesdiscussing our effect on nature, thefirst about how we should manage ourimpacts to answer practical humanneeds while being responsible stew-ards of the natural world, and the sec-ond two about the effects and possibleways to control human-introducedalien organisms.


onprofit Org.


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