Botanical Black Holes

In cooperation with the Los Padres National Forest, and with funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Garden is embarking on an exciting adventure in Spring 2018! We’re saddling up our horses, lacing our hiking boots up tight, and hitting the trail to explore hundreds of miles deep into the remote reaches of the Los Padres National Forest. Our goal - to survey for both rare plant and invasive weed species within the boundaries of two recent fires: the 2007 Zaca Fire and the 2009 Jesusita Fire. This Botanical Black Holes Blog will keep you updated with our discoveries...

Mule team on Loma Pelona-victor Fire Route

Mule Trip #2: No Boot Prints, Only Bear Prints

Monday, May 14, 2018

For our second mule trip, we headed out of the Potrero Seco area on the east side of the Zaca fire and worked our way to an exit point above Santa Barbara. Our trip took us through some of the most remote and rugged areas of the southern Los Padres – over exposed, steep ridgetops to remote canyon-bottoms. We didn’t see any other people during our 5 day trip. In fact, not even a single boot print was seen – only bear prints!

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YouTube screenshot

From the Backcountry to the Herbarium

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

One of the Garden's goals is to explore areas that have been botanically understudied in our area. We call these areas "botanical black holes," and the Los Padres National Forest is full of them! Watch a video to find out more. 

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Mule Trip #1: Sweetwater to Judell

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

     Starting in early April, the Garden began a series of Mule trips to get us even deeper into the backcountry. Backpacking equipment is heavy enough, but throw a few plant presses and mapping equipment on top of that, and the weight is impossible! By utilizing mules, we can get much further and collect much more than if we just hiked. For our first mule trip, we headed into the Zaca Fire Scar out of the Sweetwater Trailhead.

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Field of purple owl's clover (Castilleja exserta)

Rarities at Rancho Nuevo

Thursday, April 26, 2018

     This week, the Garden headed out to a different part of the forest. We started a series of surveys on the eastern edge of the 2007 Zaca Fire in the Dick Smith Wilderness. For our first trip, we explored the Rancho Nuevo area off of Highway 33 near Lockwood Valley Rd.

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Claytonia gypsophiloides

San Rafael Round-up

Friday, April 20, 2018

     This week, we had two crews head out of the NIRA area again, this time toward the Manzana Schoolhouse on the Lower Manzana Trail.


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