Volunteers make Scotch Broom Challenge a Success
On Saturday March 22nd, SYRCL volunteers removed Scotch broom at Hoyt’s Crossing on the South Yuba River— until they ran out of Scotch broom! As Rachel Hutchinson, SYRCL’s River Program Manager, exclaimed “We covered more ground than expected, due mainly to a great turn out of such enthusiastic volunteers!” SYRCL adopted Hoyts Crossing in 2012 as a site for annual removal efforts and eventual eradication. This work helps to reduce fire danger and allow native plants and wildlife to thrive.
Volunteers pulled Scotch broom with weed wrenches, and then mulched the plant with loppers. This method stabilizes the soil where plants are removed and inhibits new Scotch Broom plants from sprouting the next season. SYRCL is also pleased to report that this year we pulled the plants out before they had a chance to flower, eliminating any new seeds that might grow in the future. After hiking a mile to the work site with heavy tools, working hard to pull and mulch Scotch broom, and meeting fellow river lovers, everyone enjoyed a celebratory break along the lovely South Yuba River.
Neena Johnson, SYRCL volunteer and River Scientist at Sierra Streams Institute reflects on our work day, “At the beginning of the day, I found myself wondering how much of a difference 20-odd people with weed wrenches and loppers could make on eradicating an invasive plant that can individually disperse thousands of seeds a year. After a few hours of hard work, I was truly amazed at what the team had already accomplished! By the end of the day, we managed to clear 2-3 acres of Scotch Broom and I could see the immediate impact we made on our watershed. I couldn’t help thinking ‘If this is what we can accomplish in just one afternoon, imagine what could be done with more days and more people.’ I volunteer to pull Scotch Broom because I want to take hands-on action in preserving the integrity of our watershed. The Yuba is beautiful, and I plan to enjoy it for many years to come.”
Future SYRCL Restoration Projects
SYRCL’s restoration program is continuing to grow and we need YOU to join our restoration team. We have exciting opportunities for you to get involved, removing invasive species, helping aspen trees thrive and restoring mountain meadows.
- Aspen Regeneration in Mountain Meadows – June 21st, July 12th & 26th, August 16th & 30th
- Restoration of mountain meadows is a strategic priority for SYRCL’s work to make our watershed healthier and more resilient to climate change. We focus on the restoration of Sierra Aspen which are in extreme decline from conifer encroachment and changes in natural fire regime and hydrology. But you can help! Come out with us to learn about meadow ecosystems and help restore aspen tree habitat, one of the Sierra Nevada’s biodiversity hotspots! Contact Adele Rife to register to participate in any of these service days.
- 17th Annual Yuba Cleanup and Restoration Day – September 20th
- Join SYRCL to restore the Yuba River watershed at over 35 sites along 90 miles of shoreline along with several restoration projects.
- More dates to come for invasive weed removal in the South Yuba River State Park
We would like to extend an enormous thank you to all the devoted and enthusiastic volunteers that came out to remove Scotch Broom on March 22nd; we removed over 2 acres of Scotch Broom because of your hard work, which helps reduce fire danger and allow native plants and wildlife to return to the site.
SYRCL thanks the Bureau of Land Management for partnering with us at Hoyt’s Crossing on the South Yuba River. We also thank the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County for hosting the Scotch Broom Challenge each year throughout Nevada County.