At the beginning of January, my internship at the San Bernardino National Forest shifted focus; I am now a part of our forest-wide restoration program. I have been working in our greenhouse in Big Bear Lake and at our lower-elevation nursery at Lytle Creek, and I also have the opportunity to be more involved in the planning process.
We are continuing work in the Deep Creek area, which involves restoring areas damaged by unauthorized OHV use. As we encounter them, we are also mapping new sites and unauthorized trails that need to be restored. The area is predominantly high-desert scrub; common species include Mojave buckwheat, holly-leaved cherry, chaparral yucca, Great Basin sagebrush, antelope bitterbrush, brittlebush (Encelia sp.), yerba santa, and cup leaf ceanothus. Palmer’s oak is occasional and is always an interesting find. Wildflower-wise, it looks like it will be a better spring than last year; lots of annuals are starting to pop up, including chia (Salvia colombiare), Phacelia species, Oenothera californica, Calochortus kennedyi kennedyi, and Leptosyne bigelovii. Beaver Dam breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum), which I mentioned in a previous post as an exciting possibility in the area, is another one to be on the lookout for.
Mountaintop Ranger District
San Bernardino National Forest