Volunteers and staff planted at two locations, beginning at DFG’s Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve. Over 100 trees were planted there by the volunteers, including Boy Scout Troop #355, the “Black Dragon Patrol” from Casa de Oro (San Diego-Imperial Council). Scout Sterling Lopez was especially talented at marking GPS points for every tree planted, using a Garmin GPS unit after only a short training by Service Biologist John Martin. That site was planted in less than two hours, so the remaining six adult volunteers moved to Proctor Valley on the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge. There, approximately 70 trees were planted on east and south-facing slopes of the valley, just below Mount San Miguel. The volunteers also picked up trash and other debris hidden in the grass.
Wildfires, historic agricultural and commercial use, urban development, illegal off-road vehicle use, and plant pests and diseases all have had detrimental effects on local native habitats such as coastal sage scrub, chaparral, grasslands, and oak woodlands. Some of these remaining native habitats are now located on conserved lands managed by Service and DFG as part of San Diego’s Multiple Species Conservation Program. In restoring these rare habitats, stewardship projects such as planting native trees will allow wildlife to flourish there into the future.
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