Welcome, summer stewardship crew!

June 13, 2014

North Coast Land Conservancy’s summer stewardship crew is now at full force and moving full speed ahead in its war on weeds. All four positions—a land steward plus three interns—are funded with a grant from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board. They will doing some mapping of weeds on NCLC properties but will spend most of their time hacking, digging, and pulling invasives: Scotch broom, Himalayan blackberry, English holly, English ivy, yellow flag iris, tansy ragwort, and other perennial (and annual) nuisances that compete with native flora and diminish wildlife habitat.

Andrew2_WebLand Steward Andrew Fraser grew up in Lake Oswego and spent summer weekends at his grandparents’ house on the lower Necanicum River until they moved to Cannon Beach, where he got involved with Haystack Rock Awareness Program. No coincidence, perhaps, that he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and another in environmental studies. In 2013 he completed a master’s degree at the University of Washington in environmental and forestry sciences, focusing on restoration ecology and environmental horticulture.

Andrew’s thesis topic may interest North Coast residents: he studied the effectiveness of solarization to control invasive blackberry and broom—basically, cooking the plants under sheets of clear plastic. What he found: if you cut Scotch broom off at the base and, with the plastic, raise the soil temperature to 86 degrees F, you cut the viability of broom seeds in the soil in half. If, by the same technique, you heat the soil to 104 degrees, seed viability is less than 1%. You have to leave the plastic in place for at least six weeks, he found, to achieve these results.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKristen Daly took a day off from pulling weeds in Seaside last week to complete the last step in her professional science master’s degree in environmental science from Oregon State University, following her bachelor’s degree in marine biology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Last summer she interned at North Carolina Coastal Federation, where she wrote a Watershed Restoration Planning Guidebook designed to guide development of watershed management plans to improve coastal water quality. She grew up on Long Island, New York.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAColin Gilbert grew up in West Linn and graduated from OSU in 2013. In the course of earning his bachelor’s degree in natural resources, he took part in a study abroad program in Tanzania and Kenya focused on international wildlife ecology and management and international natural resources policy.

Eric2_webEric Owen is one term away from completing his bachelor’s degree at OSU, where he is majoring in environmental science with a minor in writing. Eric spent his childhood in San Diego and lived for several years in Humboldt County, California, before moving to Oregon, where his parents and siblings now reside as well.





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