In the fall of 2009, the Station Fire burned 160,000 acres or a third to a quarter of the Angeles National Forest which decimated much of the native plants. Spending time in the forest and with the established USFS Weed Crew we are able to quickly identify plants while learning more about each invasive spieces. In the areas that were burned, much of the vegitation is knee to shin height that are invasive species. The highest priority invasive species are: Salt Ceder, Tree Tobacco, Spanish Broom, Caster Bean, Pepper Weed, and several species in the Mustard family.
Located in southern California, the Angeles National Forest is a heavily urban forest, with thousands of visitors each year. Being so heavily used for vehicle and foot traffic, the risk and potential for the spread of invasive species grows each season. The education, removal, and disposal of invasive species throughout the forest is a huge priority throughout the local communities and throughout local governments.
With the help of an already established USFS Weed Crew, Botanists, volunteers, and other local groups, one of the continuing goals for the forest is to minimize the spatial extent of the invasive species by removing them in high priority areas such as dozer lines (put in place during the Station Fire to minimize the spread of fire), riparian areas and along pipelines.
To start our summer, the SCA Angeles National Forest Fire Recovery Team arrived at Texas Canyon Fire Station located near Santa Clarita, CA in Angeles National Forest on June 4th. We settled in and went through the calendar, first aid, basic site information, and talked about what a typical day would be like while working with the Fire Recovery Crew. Each crew member learned how to use the GPS, radios, tools, and also what was expected when using the SCA vehicles and when spending time in the barracks. During the first few days we learned what the major invasive spieces looked like and methods of removal.
Which brings us to our first hitch...