Fall 2018 Newsletter


Compiled by Jay Scherf

This summer, about three-quarters of Native Stewardship Corps (NSC) work has consisted of fuel reduction efforts at Quiroste Valley Cultural Preserve, a section of Año Nuevo State Park. Quiroste is home to large swaths of coastal prairie that contains an abundance of culturally significant species and provides habitat for two federally-listed species. However, in the absence of periodic disturbance such as the prescribed burning that Native Californians undertook for millennia, the coastal prairie has been rapidly invaded by a succession of woody shrubs and young Douglas-fir trees.

Through a contract funded by California State Parks and administered by the San Mateo County Resource Conservation District, the Amah Mutsun Land Trust has been steadily removing young Douglas-firs from areas that were wide open grassland just a few decades ago. Popular opinion among the Native Stewards ranks this work among the most engaging and satisfying of any NSC projects. In the span of a few months, we’ve fashioned ourselves into a professional-level light forestry crew, thanks to the expert hands-on training and mentorship of California State Parks field staff. We are deeply grateful to the Santa Cruz district of California State Parks, the San Mateo RCD, the National Fish and Wildlife Service, and everyone else who are making this project a reality, and we are eager to continue this work throughout the rest of the 2018 field season and beyond.