Campus: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo -- September 18, 2002
Cal Poly Initiates Redwood Sanctuary
This week as part of a unique conservation effort between Cal Poly’s
Swanton Pacific Ranch and UC Santa Cruz, redwood trees are being offered
a new lease on life.
As UC Santa Cruz prepares to meet the “tidal wave” of new
students expected to enroll in the next 10 years, buildings are sprouting
up on the campus, requiring the removal of several redwood trees. But
instead of excavating and trucking them to a landfill, as is usually
done, the redwood stumps (or rootwads) will be transported to the Queseria
Creek Restoration project at the Swanton Pacific Ranch near Davenport,
where they will be planted in the riparian corridor as part of Cal Poly’s
commitment to return the creek to a more natural condition.
The Queseria Creek Restoration project is just one of the many hands-on
learning opportunities offered by Swanton Pacific Ranch.
“The student interns and graduate students who live at the ranch
also work on such other projects as watershed research, growing organic
crops, conducting sustainable timber harvest and forestry research and
grassland management,” said Swanton Pacific Ranch Director Wally
Mark.Mark expects two-thirds of the transplanted redwoods to flourish
in their new home north of Davenport.
“Many people know that ‘fairy rings’(multiple growths
emanating from the stump) will sprout around a redwood stump left in
the ground, and will eventually grow into a healthy second-growth tree,”
Mark said. “It is less well known that transplanted redwood stumps,
if kept wet until replanting, can come back.”
The California Department of Fish and Game has verified that some reaches
of Queseria Creek, a tributary of Scotts Creek, provide habitat for
steelhead trout and Coho salmon.
“I’m excited about this project,” Mark said, “because
rootwads create high-quality habitat much more quickly than seedlings,
accelerating the development of shade and deep pools for the fish as
well as help control erosion.
UC Santa Cruz, Mark and some Cal Poly students are collaborating with
Big Creek Lumber, a Santa Cruz County-based lumber company that arranged
for Swanton Pacific to get the stumps.
Contact: Wally Mark (831) 234-0998