For Release: Aug. 14, 2007
Contact: Jeff Fontana (530) 252-5332
Experts to Discuss Aspen Ecology in Public Workshop, Tour
The shimmering golden beauty of aspen trees is one of the signature sights of autumn in the forests and high deserts of northeast California and northwest Nevada. But these stands are more than just pretty scenery -- they provide important habitat and plant diversity in arid landscapes.
Aspen experts from California and Utah will be discussing the unique attributes and importance of these groves in a free public workshop and field tour to be held Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 10 and 11, in Alturas and Cedarville.
The workshop will be held Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Alturas Elks Hall, 619 Main St. The field tour departs Sept. 11 at 8 a.m. from the Bureau of Land Management Surprise Field Office, 602 Cressler St., Cedarville. There is no fee, but tour space is limited. Participants should RSVP by Tuesday, Sept. 4, by calling Leisyka Parrott at the BLM in Cedarville, (530) 279-2726.
The Monday evening workshop will feature Wayne Sheppard and Dale Bartos, ecologists with the Restoration Ecology Work Unit, Rocky Mountain Field Station in Logan, Utah. They will discuss the unique ecology of aspen stands, management options for sustaining the species, the biological diversity of aspen stands, and how economic, ecological and social values affect aspen habitats.
David Burton, a volunteer with the BLM and Forest Service in California, will discuss information collection methods that will help landowners and resource managers in decision making.
The Tuesday field tour will include stops at forest and rangeland aspen stands, where various management and treatment methods will be discussed. Participants should bring a lunch and water and wear shoes suitable for light hiking. Rides will be provided. Those who prefer to use their own transportation will need a high-clearance four-wheel-drive vehicle.
Experts note that aspen stands are rare in arid landscapes, but provide important wildlife habitat. Aspen thickets support layers of plants, from small trees to wildflowers and grasses. This diversity supports a wide range of mammals and birds throughout the year.
Modoc County offices of the BLM and Forest Service are sponsoring the workshop along with the Aspen Delineation Project (ADP), a collaborative effort involving the BLM-California, the Pacific Southwest Region of the Forest Service and the California Department of Fish and Game. The ADP works with agencies to map, monitor and treat aspen stands and to address challenges involving aspen management on public lands.
Surprise Field Office 602 Cressler St. Cedarville, CA 96104