El Casco Lakes Tamarisk Removal

Applicant: Rivers & Lands Conservancy

Summary: The El Casco Lakes area of San Timoteo Canyon suffers from heavy Tamarisk invasion. Unfortunately, since it is disconnected from the area's hydrology, the property owner, the Rivers & Lands Conservancy, was unable to acquire mitigation funding. The presence of Tamarisk has huge implications on native habitat health including increased soil salinity and decreased soil health and function. The altered soil chemistry can lead to the 'crowding out' of native vegetation that would otherwise provide shelter and foraging opportunities for wildlife. Tamarisk presence along with the lack of native vegetation also increases both fire and flood risk. It is difficult to eradicate without repeated treatments, which require significant funding in an area of this size. 

The IERCD's mission is consistent with the goals of this project, which includes removal of Tamarisk biomass followed by herbicide application to prevent re-sprouting.The District followed all protocols listed in the IERCD California Department of Fish and Wildlife Programmatic Permit enabling work in this category to be performed by the District, including bio-surveying/clearing, mulching of removed material, and ongoing management of the property to maximize presence of natives and minimize presence of invasives. 

Outcome: Approximately 500 individual sprouts were treated in the Western Basin of El Casco Lakes. 

Partners: Rivers & Lands Conservancy & Santa Ana Watershed Association (SAWA)

Tamarisk overtaking El Casco Lakes