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McLaughlin Natural Reserve



Volunteer Tree Planting for Eticuera Creek Watershed Restoration
Saturday and Sunday 9 AM to 4 PM, January 2-3, 2016

If you’ve travelled Berryessa-Knoxville Road through the heart of the recently-designated Berryessa-Snow Mountain National Monument, you are familiar with the Eticuera Creek watershed.  The creek originates in the serpentine chaparral of the UC Davis-McLaughlin Reserve and the BLM-Knoxville Recreation Area and continues through the grasslands and oak woodlands of the DFW-Knoxville Wildlife Area before joining Lake Berryessa. 

In the early 1860’s, the discovery of mercury at what became the now-defunct town of Knoxville along the upper reaches of the watershed ushered in a period of rapid and damaging change.  The creek was re-routed and channelized, filled with mine tailings, denuded of riparian vegetation, and invaded by non-native species.  Supported by a grant from the Wildlife Conservation Board and the California Coastal Conservancy, personnel from the McLaughlin Reserve, Homestake Mining Company, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are nearing the end of a 5-year project to restore the riparian and floodplain vegetation of Knoxville and to eradicate tamarisk from the entire watershed.

Join us at the start of 2016 for a weekend of tree planting at the historic Knoxville town site.  We will be planting oaks, willows, and other woody species and installing hardware to protect the plantings from herbivores.  Participants are welcome to come for the weekend or a single day.  We will provide lodging in the reserve field station and food for preparing group meals.  We will provide tools and work gloves.  Please bring layered clothing and shoes suitable for wet or muddy conditions.  Participants may also arrive Friday evening if they would prefer to avoid an early morning drive.

Registration is necessary.  For more information, or to register, please contact Steve Wathen at (707) 995 9005 or sfwathen@gmail.com.