||Vol. VII, No. 3
In This Issue:
Creating a Hummingbird and Butterfly Garden with Native Plants
Picture sitting outside on a warm, sunny day and seeing vibrant, swallowtail butterflies or an iridescent Anna's hummingbird flit through a lush and fragrant garden. Attracting such colorful butterflies and hummingbirds to your backyard is easy and fun and a great way to create a special flower garden or add color to your landscape.
One way to create such a garden is to use California native plants, which are plants that have been part of the Californian landscape since before European settlers. There are dozens of native flowers and shrubs that offer the same benefits as traditional ornamental plants, such as being highly decorative and producing beautiful flowers for attracting insects and birds. But when you choose to use native plants, you actually are contributing to conservation of a precious resource, California's native flora. Each time you plant a native species, you are helping to maintain native plant populations that are increasingly threatened by the loss of habitat as California grows and becomes more developed. You also are helping to improve the environment and provide habitat for insects, birds and other wildlife.
In creating your hummingbird and butterfly garden, you should select plants that have colorful, nectar-rich flowers. Hummingbirds are typically attracted to bright red and yellow tubular flowers, so native plants such as larkspurs, fuchsias, penstemons, gooseberries, and sages are good choices. The plants you select depend on whether you want herbaceous perennials or shrubs, and the site conditions of the area. For landscaping, shrubs with large, vibrant flowers are a good choice, such as western azalea, rhododendrons, gooseberries, California fuschia, and sticky monkey flower. Herbaceous annuals and perennials with colorful flowers include sages, penstemons, red larkspur, crimson columbine, Indian paintbrush, honeysuckle, firecracker plant, and scarlet gilia.
For attracting butterflies, select plants that have a profusion of colorful, aromatic flowers. There are many plants which we commonly see in Trinity County that are ideal for attracting butterflies. Such plants include yarrow, which is a pretty, white-flowered herb seen along roadways. Other common natives are the several species of fragrant California lilac, such as deerbrush or Lemmon's ceanothus, which range from large shrubs with white flowers to ground covers with bright blue or purple blooms. Lupines are another common flower, and they range from small annuals to large perennial plants, usually with a long cluster of bluish or purple flowers.
To obtain the appropriate plants for your hummingbird and butterfly garden, try checking with your local nurseries. Trinity and Jensen's nurseries in Weaverville and Salt Creek Growers in Hayfork usually carry such natives as yarrow, ceanothus, gooseberry, and western azalea. If you are looking for a particular plant, they may be able to special order it for you.
Whichever flowers you select for your garden, proper care of your garden is required. Because butterflies and birds can be very vulnerable to chemical poisoning, it is best to minimize or avoid using herbicides or pesticides on or near those plants where butterflies and hummingbirds are feeding. Not only is this best for the creatures you are trying to attract, it is the most positive thing you can to do for all the wildlife that may inhabit your backyard. See the list of plants at right for more information about native flower species.
If you would like more information on creating special gardens, check the following books and web sites:
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- The Hummingbird Garden
- by Matthew Tekulsky
- Butterflies in California
- by Garth and Tilden
- Gardener's Guide to California Wildflowers
- by Kevin Connelly
- Flowers and Trees of the Trinity Alps: A Photographic Guide
- by Alice Goen Jones
- The California Native Plant Society web page:
Recommended Shrubs and Plants for Creating
Hummingbird and Butterfly Native Plant Gardens
|red and yellow
up to 2.5 ft.
under 3 ft. tall
|orange or red
up to 3.5 ft.
up to 3 ft.
|white to pink
up to 15 ft.
|Sticky monkey flower|
up to 2 ft.
|pink and purple
1 to 4 ft.
|pink and purple
1 to 4 ft.
|full, pink blooms
up to 12 ft.
|yellow, red, pink
up to 4 ft.
|orange to red
||herbs and shrubs|
1 to 4 ft.
up to 2 ft.
|cream to purple
||small to large shrub|
up to 8 ft.
|Panamint butterfly bush|
|shrub and tree|
up to 20 ft.
|orange or red
up to 1 ft.
1 to 3 ft.
2 to 4 ft.
1 to 3 ft.
up to 4 ft.
|annual and perennial|
up to 3 ft.
RCD Faces Uncertain Future?
With the RCD's primary source of funding diminishing, the question, "Where do we go from here?" to address resource issues in the County is an important one.
For over six years the RCD has been sustained primarily by funds from the Trinity River Restoration Program (TRRP), a multi-million dollar project that has provided funds to several agencies to restore the fisheries of the Trinity River basin because of the effect Trinity Dam has had on anadromous fish and their habitat.
The loss of this funding not only puts efforts to restore the river for fish in doubt, it constitutes a serious blow to the county economically. Money coming into the county creates jobs in an area where dwindling timber receipts put pressure on everyone financially, whether they work for the government, a small business, or a larger firm. Not only do the holders of federally funded positions benefit, but the entire county as well, as wage earners pay rent or mortgages and buy groceries or gas in the county.
This year Congress did not vote to re-authorize the TRRP, so the RCD has been seeking new funding to keep its projects going.The following outlines the work that the RCD will be able to do in the coming year because of its successful grantwriting campaign.
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- Fuels Reduction
- The RCD has received two grants from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection totaling to continue its fuels reduction work. The RCD began a project in the East Branch of Weaver Creek, working cooperatively with Trinity County and residents to reduce fuel loading around homes. The new grant will provide for the construction of fuel breaks on US Forest Service (USFS) land bordering the area, widen roads to allow fire-fighting access, and chip the woody material generated by thinning. The second grant will provide the Covington Mill Fuels Reduction Association with funds to begin the thinning of ladder fuels (low-level branches of trees and excess shrub) and chip the wood, as well as develop a plan for the community.
Since fuels reduction is in great need around the county the RCD is currently pursuing funds through a Proposition 204 grant to establish a county-wide strategy for fire protection, that seeks to involve the County, government resource agencies, and private landowners in a plan to reduce the risk of catastrophic fire.
- The RCD has received grants from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to continue its vegetation restoration work in Grass Valley Creek (GVC) and Indian Creek. Long-range revegetation plans for these watersheds have been in place since 1996, so the funds will allow the RCD to continue inventorying potential planting sites, planting conifers and other native species, and monitoring results of planting over time.
The RCD has also received a grant from CalTrans to vegetate areas on Weaver Creek armored with rip-rap in the wake of damage from the storms of January 1997. The RCD will plant willows, cottonwoods, and conifers along highway 299 to act as a visual buffer for this scenic portion of the highway.
The RCD has also received a grant to explore alternatives to pesticides for controlling starthistle. The County has made it a policy not to allow use of chemical pesticides on county land, so the RCD is continuing to develop alternatives to herbicides, including biological (insects and competing vegetation) and mechanical (mowing and pulling) methods. For more information on pesticide-free starthistle control, contact the RCD at 623-6004.
- The RCD is an active partner in the "5-Counties Coho Plan" to educate landowners and others about methods for reducing impact on fisheries in the range of the coho salmon, an anadromous fish species listed by the Federal Endangered Species Act in 1997 as Threatened. The Plan seeks voluntary cooperative efforts on the part of landowners and others to minimize impact to land, vegetation, and water in order to benefit threatened fish species. Government regulatory agencies such as the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are seeking voluntary effort from counties so more stringent regulatory action can be avoided. The RCD, the County, and other agencies thus will be working with landowners, contractors, and others to educate them about sound practices to reduce erosion and other impacts in the hope that more rigid standards are not necessary to be put in place. The RCD has received two grants, one to hold road construction
and grading workshops for contractors about erosion control for grading and the other to educate landowners and others with stream-side properties about the characteristics of healthy streamside areas and what they can do to improve it. The workshops will all be held in various parts of the county in late 1998 or early in 1999.
- South Fork Trinity River
- The RCD will continue restoration work in the South Fork by inventorying sediment sources from roads. The RCD has implemented road removal or improvement projects in other areas of the South Fork, including Smoky Creek and East Fork watersheds, and it will continue to conduct road improvement projects in the South Fork basin with a grant from the California Department of Fish and Game to conduct road inventories in Plummer Creek and the Upper South Fork watersheds.
- Grass Valley Creek
- Even though the TRRP may not fund continued restoration work in Grass Valley Creek in the coming years, the Bureau of Reclamation has funded ongoing maintenance projects such as the dredging of sediment ponds. The BoR has also allocated funds for ongoing GVC work.
Weaverville Basin Trails Receive
The Sesquicentennial is a state-wide celebration
of the discovery of gold in California 150 years
ago. California is honoring this event in diverse
ways across the state, and Trinity County--having
had its share of gold fever way back when--is one
of the focal points of the celebration. Because of
this, the Sesquicentennial Committee has been
awarding grants to assist in highlighting the
history surrounding the discovery of gold in
California in 1848.
The US Forest Service awarded a grant to the
Weaverville Basin Trails because it thought this
would be a good way to point out the history
surrounding gold mining in Trinity County, since
the trails run through the areas in Weaverville
Basin where much mining activity took place.
The grant will pay for a large brochure and map
of the trails, which will include historical sites
and stories about the miners who worked them, as
well as historical photos of the people and places
that played such a large role in this period of
Weaverville's history. The map and brochure will
lead recreationists on a self-guided "history hike"
through parts of the basin and indicate archaeo-
logical evidence of the sites where the stories took
Because the trails are close to town, they enable
visitors and local residents to explore the history
of the Weaverville Basin at their leisure and still
allow plenty of time for a good meal and comfort-
able accommodations afterwards. Several fascin-
ating stories have emerged from the research being
conducted for the brochure. One miner, Alfred ('Al')
Browder, was probably the first African American
resident in the area, arriving here in 1851, and the
story goes that several miners befriended him and
helped him purchase his freedom through mining
Al Browder stayed in Weaverville the rest of his
life, paying for the freedom and travel costs of his
wife to be, Harriet, who had remained in South
Carolina. The two started a family that included
several children who went on to play parts in
Weaverville's later history. There is evidence of
Browder's mining claim and residence along the
trail, near Garden Gulch.
Albert Browder's story, along with many others,
will be told in the brochure and will make for fas-
cinating reading--and walking. Look for the
Weaverville Basin Trails' self-guided history tour,
a "Trail Through Time," which will be available at
the Chamber of Commerce, the proposed Welcome
Center in Lee Fong Park, and many other locations
throughout the town sometime this fall.
Recycling in Trinity County:
Anyone moving to Trinity County from urban areas who is used to curbside recycling may be a bit dismayed by how much more trouble it is to recycle here. If you happen to live near Weaverville you have several choices close to home for recycling household waste, but if you live in some of the more remote places in the county you are faced with a little more daunting task. Because doing the right thing in regard to recycling is a bit more difficult in Trinity County, the RCD thought it might make your task a little simpler by telling you what your options are in various parts of the county.
What Are My Choices?
First of all, if you live near Weaverville you have several options for recycling, two of which actually pay you for your recyclables. One of these is Trinity Recycling Center, located on the "straight stretch" of Highway 299 in Weaverville, across the highway from Tops Market. Trinity Recycling Center, which opened for business last fall, will accept aluminum, plastic, and glass recyclables and will pay you a small fee for some of these items (by weight). B&T Enterprises, also in Weaverville (on Washington Street north of Highway 299), accepts aluminum, plastic, glass, and magazines and newspaper, and they will also pay you a small fee for some recyclables. The landfill in Weaverville on highway 3 also accepts household recyclables (but not paper or cardboard) as well as used motor oil (up to 20 gallons a day) and oil filters (2 per day), but they do not pay for recycled materials.
Outside of Weaverville people can take their recyclables (aluminum, plastic, glass, paper) to mobile recycling units made possible by a $21,000 grant to the County by the State Department of Conservation. Mobile recycling units will regularly visit Ruth, Van Duzen, Hayfork, Hyampom, Burnt Ranch, Big Bar, Junction City, and Covington Mill. Unfortunately, the mobile recycling units do not pay any fees for recycled materials. Recyclables can also be deposited in designated receptacles in the county in places such as public parks and campgrounds (look for the olive-green receptacles).
Business owners in the county have one additional option for recycling by contracting with a "recycling service" run by Marie Littlewolf of Lewiston, who will pick up and haul recyclables to recycling centers at no charge. Marie will contract for regular pickups or one-time events where a large amount of waste is anticipated. Marie currently has several contracts with businesses around Trinity Lake and she contracts with the county to collect CRV drink containers and bottles and cans in specially designated containers during large events, such as the Weaverville Fourth of July festivities. Marie also works with schools in the county to educate young people about the importance of recycling in an era of scarce resources and even scarcer waste disposal space. You can contact Marie at 778-0430.
Although at present recycling in Trinity County is not as easy as the curbside programs of most large cities, the future is promising, as several entrepreneurs are trying to find ways of keeping recyclables in the county (currently they are shipped to Redding at high cost, which keeps fees for recycled materials very low). Several "value added" (turning raw materials into usable or salable products) projects are presently underway or in the works in Trinity County.
In Lewiston a company called Envirosave is currently accepting clear glass for recycling into consumer products such as glass doorknobs and glass construction tiles (for showers and kitchens, for example). Envirosave has also looked into the possibility of recycling plastics by purchasing a plastics extruder to make fishing lures and other items locally in demand.
We may not have curbside recycling in Trinity County, but we also don't have traffic jams and smog, and the drive to the recycling site is one of the prettiest in the state.
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Tireless traveler, curious ecologist, and eager reader, Randi Paris is the RCD's newest staff member. She takes the place of departing revegetation coordinator Dana Sandifer.
Randi was born in Suffern, New York, and grew up in New Jersey. She attended the University of Vermont School of Natural Resources, where she graduated in 1994 with a degree in Forestry. Her professional interests are in forest health, fire ecology, and restoration.
Since college, she has worked mostly for the Forest Service, first at the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Rapid City South Dakota and later at the Southern Research Station in Mississippi, where she worked on a Forest Inventory and Analysis crew, which at the time was conducting a statewide inventory of forest resources in Arkansas. The inventory focused on "broad-based trends" to determine how the forests of the state are utilized and how they change over time.
But she found herself constantly on the move conducting the inventory, and she started to long for a more stable lifestyle. She then took an internship at the Bandelier
National Monument in New Mexico, where she was engaged in restoration of the pinion-juniper woodlands. Due to previous land use practices and fire suppression, these woodlands have become more dense over time, which has suppressed the grasses and forbs in the community. This shift from an open Savannah system to a more dense woodland was accompanied by increased soil erosion which is seen as a threat to the preservation of the Anasazi (an ancient Native American group) cultural artifacts of the park.
Her most recent position was for the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Albuquerque New Mexico for one-and-a-half years prior to starting at the RCD.
At the RCD Randi's work includes maintaining and improving the native plant nursery started by the RCD in order to supply native plants to its revegetation effort in Grass Valley Creek watershed. Through experimentation, the RCD discovered that plants native to restoration areas and actually growing there were the key to restoring a watershed seriously affected by erosion .
Along the way, revegetation with "standard" revegetation seed mixes was found to be less successful than native species, which had adapted to the harsh conditions in the watershed, with its extremes of temperature and nutrient-poor soils. Trials with native plants in the watershed were very successful, which lead to the RCD's reliance on these plant species in its restoration work.
Randi is also mapping and inventorying areas of the GVC watershed to determine planting needs, as well as monitoring previous plantings to determine success rates of the various species and their relation to site conditions.
When she's not working, Randi is a prolific reader. She keeps up on professional interests through reading research journals and books on natural resource management, which focus on how human culture interacts with the environment. She especially recommends Cadillac Desert by Paul Riesner and two books by Daniel Quinn, Ishmael and The Story of B, which are fictional but tell a story that relates to human use of resources.
Randi also enjoys craftmaking in her spare time. She likes to make her own soap, create walking sticks out of found materials, and sew pillows and articles of clothing. She also enjoys hiking, backpacking, and camping, activities which she has plenty of opportunities to pursue now that she's living in a prime recreation spot.
Though not too long out of college, Randi has many professional experiences behind her, and she continues to have a passion for nature and natural resource issues. Because of her experience and dedication, we at the RCD are glad she has chosen to make Trinity County her new home as she continues to travel and avail herself of opportunities to put her resource conservation ideas into practice.
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