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News.bytes Extra, issue 510

Outward Bound Adventures - Invasive Fountain Grass Removal Project

a bighhorn sheep looks down from a rocky ridge
The work was done to benefit Peninsular bighorn sheep such as this one

Serving the Greater Los Angeles area, Outward Bound Adventures (OBA), is a nonprofit organization providing meaningful nature-based education that promotes positive self-development, environmental responsibility, and outdoor career exposure for urban underserved youth. On Sunday morning December 4, 2011, Thirteen OBA students with three OBA staff and one staff member from the Bureau of Land Management gathered for a project to remove invasive species fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum).
The invasive grass is being removed to allow the return of native forage for the endangered peninsular bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis). The Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument-sponsored event was held at the Carrizo Canyon State Ecological Reserve within the Monument boundary.

Beautiful weather conditions provided a pleasant morning for about 6 hours of work. To the great wonder and enjoyment of all participants, they sighted two of the endangered peninsular bighorn sheep. One small male and one large adult male sheep appeared at the top of the canyon rim.

Everyone worked hard and dug approximately 278 individual plants from the wash sand near the back of the canyon. Seed heads were cut off first and bagged separately before the plants were dug. A total 51 trash bags (each at 40 gallons) -- 49 filled with grass bags plus two with seed heads -- were brought to the Art Smith trailhead parking lot for removal and disposal.

workers assemble for a briefing
A volunteer form sign-up and safety meeting started the morning. The event ended with smiles and National Monument gift memorabilia for all the youth and staff participants. It was a job well done by all involved.
Workers gather for safety training

workers pick up trash in a very rocky canyon

workers carry large trash bags out of a canyon

a boghorn sheep on a rocky peak

- Steven D. Harris, outdoor recreation planner, Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument (12/6/11)

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 510 -- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: mailto:Join-Newsbytes@List.ca.blm.gov OR visit our News.bytes subscription page.

Last updated: 12-12-2011