Sense Of Place


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Presentation to Sense of Place, Palo Alto, by Miriam Sachs Martín, as Chief Preserve Steward for Acterra. Keywords: ecology, habitat, riparian, oak woodland, species, invasive, biocultural diversity, Native Americans, stewardship.

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Sense Of Place

  1. 1. Changing Peoples, Changing Place Stewardship at Pearson-Arastradero Preserve. Acterra Action for a Sustainable Earth
  2. 2. Stewardship <ul><li>From Old English stigweard ; the keeper of the hall. ¹ </li></ul><ul><li>“ The concept of land as a resource, our responsibility to wisely manage that resource, and our responsibility to future generations for the condition of that resource when we leave it.” ² </li></ul>
  3. 3. Acterra’s Stewardship Program <ul><li>At Pearson-Arastradero Preserve </li></ul><ul><li>Invasive weed management </li></ul><ul><li>Guided hikes in English and Spanish </li></ul><ul><li>Seed collection </li></ul><ul><li>Watershed-specific outplanting </li></ul><ul><li>Research & information sharing </li></ul><ul><li>At other sites </li></ul><ul><li>Native Plant Nursery </li></ul><ul><li>Restoration Database </li></ul><ul><li>Fundraising, community relationships and logistics. </li></ul><ul><li>Young Earth Stewards </li></ul>
  4. 4. Volunteers! <ul><li>Backbone of Acterra’s Stewardship Program at Pearson-Arastradero Preserve. </li></ul><ul><li>Community service, interns, corporations, individuals. </li></ul><ul><li>Adopt-a-plot, workdays, weed warriors, logistics. </li></ul><ul><li>Avg. 750 people/yr with 4,000 hours donated! </li></ul>
  5. 5. Preserve Information <ul><li>622 acres </li></ul><ul><li>Palo Alto Foothills </li></ul><ul><li>Owned by City of PA, Environmental Stewardship by Acterra </li></ul><ul><li>Free, open 365 days, allows biking, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, nature study. </li></ul><ul><li>4 primary habitat types. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Oak Woodland <ul><li>Plant Species </li></ul><ul><li>5 oak species </li></ul><ul><li>California bay laurel </li></ul><ul><li>Herbacious native and non-native understory </li></ul><ul><li>Animal Species </li></ul><ul><li>Acorn Woodpecker </li></ul><ul><li>Garter Snake </li></ul><ul><li>Bobcat </li></ul>
  7. 7. Oak Savannah <ul><li>Plant Species </li></ul><ul><li>Coyote Brush </li></ul><ul><li>Isolated oaks </li></ul><ul><li>Wildflowers </li></ul><ul><li>Invasive and native grasses </li></ul><ul><li>Animal Species </li></ul><ul><li>Coyote </li></ul><ul><li>Western Rattlesnake </li></ul><ul><li>Pacific Black-tailed deer </li></ul>
  8. 8. Riparian and Ponds <ul><li>Plant Species </li></ul><ul><li>Willows </li></ul><ul><li>Cattails </li></ul><ul><li>Invasive and native herbaceous understory </li></ul><ul><li>Animal Species </li></ul><ul><li>Herons and egrets </li></ul><ul><li>Dusky footed woodrat </li></ul><ul><li>Pacific tree frog </li></ul>
  9. 9. Native Americans <ul><li>Minimal impacts or Co-evolution? </li></ul><ul><li>(A change in the genetic composition of one species (or group) in response to a genetic change in another.) ³ </li></ul><ul><li>Burning, pruning, sowing, weeding, tilling, and selective harvesting. 4 </li></ul>
  10. 10. Biocultural diversity? <ul><li>Connection between Native American cultural areas and ecological niches. 5 </li></ul><ul><li>2124 of CA’s endemic plant species overlapped geographically with 14 endemic language families and multiple dialects of 72 endemic Native languages. 6 </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse peoples = Diverse ecologies? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Europeans <ul><li>Cattle, logging, habitat conversion. </li></ul><ul><li>Invasive species – primarily affected grasslands (~ 23 million acres.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seabloom, 2003: “one of the most dramatic ecological invasions worldwide.” 7 </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Impacts of invasive species <ul><li>Habitat dominance and displacement of native species, </li></ul><ul><li>Outcompetition, </li></ul><ul><li>Alteration of ecosystem processes such as fire, hydrological cycles, and erosion, </li></ul><ul><li>Hybridization with native species and subsequent alteration of the gene pool, </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion of non-native animals. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Examples <ul><li>Poison hemlock: toxic to most vertebrates. </li></ul><ul><li>Invasive annual grasses: thick mat of thatch – unfriendly to small animal forage and nesting. </li></ul><ul><li>Fuller’s teasel monocultures deprive riparian animals of accustomed food sources. </li></ul>
  14. 14. The elephant in the Preserve <ul><li>Climate change, climate change, climate change. </li></ul><ul><li>Could affect every aspect of restoration. </li></ul><ul><li>More hard data and reccomendations needed. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Restoration <ul><li>The 4 E’s – Education, Economics, Ethics and Ecology. </li></ul><ul><li>The science of complex questions and no easy answers. </li></ul><ul><li>Structure and function (via composition / biodiversity.) </li></ul><ul><li>Biological diversity: The natural variety and variability among living organisms, and amongst the ecological complexes in which these organisms occur. 9 </li></ul>
  16. 16. Diversities <ul><li>Biocultural diversity: diverse peoples coming together to restore diverse habitats and protects varied plant and animal species. </li></ul><ul><li>Cooke (2006): take the dynamics of various group's biocultural values (focus on recreation, resource use, etc.) and use those as starting points for building additional approaches towards community based conservation. 10 </li></ul>
  17. 17. We are the keepers of the hall
  18. 18. Contact <ul><li>Miriam Sachs Martín, Chief Preserve Steward. </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] / (408)597-7830. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>3921 East Bayshore Road Palo Alto CA 94303-4303 USA. </li></ul><ul><li>650-962-9876 (Front Desk). </li></ul>
  19. 19. References <ul><li>¹ stewardship. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition . Retrieved March 02, 2008, from website: </li></ul><ul><li>² </li></ul><ul><li>³ : </li></ul><ul><li>4 Anderson, M. Kat and Moratto, Michael J (1996). Native American Land-Use Practices and Ecological Impacts . Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project: Final Report to Congress, Vol II. Davis: University of California, Centers for Water and Wildland Resources. </li></ul><ul><li>5 Kroeber (1963) cited in Maffi, Luisa, (2005). Linguistic, cultural, and biological diversity. Annual Review of Anthropology , Vol. 34, pp. 599-617 . </li></ul><ul><li>6 Chung, Eugene R. (2000). Biocultural Diversity Hotspots and GIS Analysis: Alta California as a Case Study . Abstract. Presented at the 2000 Annual Meeting of the Society for Economic Botany. Retrieved 05/25/07 from: </li></ul><ul><li>7 Seabloom, E., Harpole, W., Reichman, O., and Tilman, D. (2003). Invasion, competitive dominance, and resource use by exotic and native California grassland species. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol 100 . </li></ul><ul><li>8 Bossad et al. (2000.) Invasive plants of California’s Wildlands. University of California Press, Santa Rosa, CA. </li></ul><ul><li>9 Redford, K. & Richter, B. (1999). Conservation of Biodiversity in a World of Use. Conservation Biology, Vol. 13, pp. 1246 - 1256. </li></ul><ul><li>10 Cocks, Michelle (2006). Biocultural Diversity: Moving Beyond the Realm of 'Indigenous' and 'Local' People. Human Ecology, Vol. 34 , pp. 185 - 200. </li></ul>