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OCCIDENTAL ARTS & ECOLOGY CENTER
OCCIDENTAL ARTS & ECOLOGY CENTER
non-profit

Over the past several years, OAEC staff members Brock Dolman and Jim Coleman, with the help of many volunteers, have been steadily implementing a restoration plan for OAEC's 70-acre Wildlands Preserve. One goal of the work is to help the land restore itself to exhibit the healthy, self-willed ecological processes it had before European settlement brought clear cuts and invasive exotic plants just 130 years ago. A second goal is to reduce the threat of catastrophic forest fires. Fulfilling a third goal, we are conducting participatory research and sharing the results of our experience with others. In an era when naturally occurring forest fires are suppressed, ground-level fuel loads accumulate, inviting fires that could reach into the forest canopy. Much of our restoration work has involved thinning the many crowded stands of Douglas Fir and California Bay Laurel that have grown thick since the last clear cut on this land. To help restore the native bunch grasses and their associated animal and plant communities, we are mowing and spot-burning the open pastures to clear them of invasive Scotch and Spanish broom and annual European grasses, and re-planting native bunch grasses. Much of the woody material thinned from our forests has been used in the construction of brush dam gabions to slow and sequester surface water flow during heavy rains and to mitigate eroded gullies.
oaec.org
Occidental, CA, USA
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