60-Acre Restoration Project to Enhance Powder Canyon

Posted by on Sep 9, 2016 in News | Comments Off on 60-Acre Restoration Project to Enhance Powder Canyon

September 9, 2016

60 Acre Restoration Project to Enhance Powder Canyon, La Habra Heights
Benefitting wildlife and the community

Within two-three weeks, the Puente Hills Habitat Preservation Authority (Habitat Authority) is beginning its largest goats_24restoration project to date. As a result of the state and federal regulations placed upon Southern California Edison (SCE) with the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project (TRTP), SCE agreed to consolidate most of their habitat mitigation requirements from Project segments 7 and 8 of the TRTP onto the Habitat Authority’s Preserve. Sixty acres total will be restored to native habitat consisting of 53 acres of coastal sage scrub and 7 acres of oak and walnut woodlands. Coastal sage scrub is a plant community made up of several different plant species and supports the coastal California gnatcatcher, a bird protected by the Endangered Species Act.

The habitat restoration will occur in Powder Canyon, La Habra Heights. Initial weed clearance will occur by goat grazing (projected to start on 9/22/16), expected to take approximately one month, followed by one to two years of killing standing weeds and reducing the weed stored in the soil before seeding and planting natives. Locally collected seeds will be used as much as possible for seeding and plant propagation followed by five years of maintenance. Locally collected seeds have a greater chance of survival, ensure that the right subspecies are used, and ensures that hybridization will not be introduced into the area. Temporary irrigation will be used for two-three years during maintenance to help establish the plants. The end result will be a self-sustaining native habitat.

There are several benefits of this project. The area will be restored back to its beautiful native habitat increasing the native habitat available for dependent animals. Converting weeds to native habitat will increase the enjoyment of recreational users of the Puente Hills Preserve. Also, the community will be safer from wildfires. Flashy fuels, estimated to make up the majority of the 60-acre site, will be removed. The restoration site will continue to be managed in perpetuity with funding by SCE used to establish a long-term management endowment.

 

Timeline:

Sept/Oct 2016 – Site preparation including initial goat grazing, and ongoing weed clearance (1-2 yrs)

Fall/Winter 2017/18 – Seeding and planting

2018-2023 – Plant maintenance and establishment

 

Over forty (40) native plant species will be used, including:

Artemisia californica California sagebrush
Acmispon glaber Deerweed
Baccharis pilularis Coyote brush
Phacelia distans Common phacelia
Encelia californica Bush sunflower
Eriophyllum confertiforum Golden yarrow
Isocoma menziesii var. vernonioides Coastal goldenbush
Ribes speciosum Fuschia flowered currant
Elymus glaucus Blue wild rye
Festuca microstachys Small fescue
Lupinus bicolor Miniature lupine
Lupinus truncatus Collar lupine
Lupinus succulentus Arroyo lupine
Plantago erecta California plantain
Ribes speciosum Fuchsia flowered gooseberry
Salvia apiana White sage
Salvia leucophylla Purple sage
Salvia mellifera Black sage
Sisyrinchium bellum Blue-eyed grass
Plantago erecta California plantain
Lupinus bicolor Miniature lupine
Quercus agrifolia Coast Live Oak
Juglans californica California black walnut

 

To assist with the project, the Habitat Authority hired S&S Seeds Inc. for seed collection and storage, consultant Land IQ for biological monitoring, and Nakae & Associates Inc. as the restoration contractor. The day to day coordination of the project will be by Habitat Authority Ecologist, Lizette Longacre. The project will be regulated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and funded by SCE.  Below is a map of the restoration sites.mapsce-60-acre-site

 

 

 

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The Puente Hills Habitat Preservation Authority (Habitat Authority) is a local government joint powers authority which manages 3,870 acres of hillsides in Whittier, Hacienda Heights and La Habra Heights, called the Puente Hills Preserve.  The Habitat Authority is dedicated to the acquisition, restoration, and management of open space in the Puente Hills for preservation of the land in perpetuity, with the primary purpose to protect the biological diversity. Additionally, the agency will endeavor to provide opportunities for outdoor education and low-impact recreation.

 

For more information about the Habitat Authority visit www.habitatauthority.org.

 

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