Friends of Sausal Creek: Fern Ravine Wetland Area Restoration! Saturday, July 9, 2011.

Today we continued the vital work of clearing invasive grasses and thistles from around the native plants we put in earlier this year (see previous posts!).  But first we took a stroll to get our bearings, and wandered within the great forest of redwoods that begins just a stone’s throw downstream of the wetland restoration area.

Here, too, is a restoration area;  for, as anyone who has ever strolled through the redwoods knows, a healthy forest floor is festooned with small herbaceous plants, fallen branches, big lively clumps of sword fern.  And here…nothing. No twigs and fallen trunks mouldering and enriching the soil, no cover for voles and wrens.  And, believe it or not, this photo on the lower right is of the actual stream itself, downstream of the lushly vegetated wetland just a few tens of meters up the draw.

The question naturally follows, what happened here? Well, as is often the case, people happened. : – ) People who love the redwoods, and the trails, and the streamside — for if not, why else be concentrating so heavily in this place? — but with an effusiveness that is somewhat more than this little area can bear.  Some of the mountain bikers evidently want a water- and terrain-feature, and so remove the streamside protection markers put up by the restoration folks.  And the kids from the local summer day camp want a forest primeval in which to build palisades and redoubts and forts, and of course why not? Forts are forts, after all.

I am not sure what the compromise answer might be for bikers who want to ride through protected wetlands and streams.  But for the kids, maybe just a little bit of marching into different terrain might provide the answer.  An acacia forest is as good for strategizing in as a redwood forest, maybe even better, and there is plenty of it at hand!  And if the activity leaders hit different locations on rotation then there is no need for any new areas to be similarly loved to death.

But now, back to the wetland!  First a little strategizing of the restoration variety, and an introduction to the native plants that are being rescued from the grass and thistles.  And then, to work!

Lots more to this day, including a nice time-lapse and a great group photo. Coming soon!

(And, regarding the plethora of “coming-soons” on these pages, a brief note:  it is not for lack of engagement, but for lack of a good internet connection and, for the past week or so, lack of a functioning internal hard drive.  The first is on the brink of solution and the latter is on the brink of parts arriving in the mail, so with any luck this will all become even more up-to-date in very short order.  Thank you all for your patience!)

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