Todd Road Ecological Reserve Monitoring Plan and Baseline Survey (Draft report)

Publication Type  Report
Authors  Garcia and Associates
Year  2006
Date  October 2006
Publisher  Garcia and Associates
Place Published  Auburn, California
Key Words  Todd Road Ecological Reserve; monitoring plan

The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) manages the Todd Road Unit of the Santa Rosa Plain Ecological Reserve (the Reserve) for the benefit of its natural habitats and rare plants. Prior to the Department’s purchase of the Reserve, the land was used for livestock grazing. In 1984, DFG eliminated livestock grazing at the Reserve to promote oak regeneration. Since that time native plant diversity and abundance are thought to have declined. A grazing plan has been prepared for the Reserve and DFG plans to reintroduce cattle grazing. The Sotoyome Resource Conservation District (RCD) will be managing the grazing operation for DFG, and expects to begin cattle grazing at the Reserve in early 2007.

This report includes both a description of the Reserve and a monitoring plan for selected botanical resources. The Reserve description is derived from several sources: baseline surveys, mapping and research completed in 2006 for this report, the Todd Road Reserve Ecological Study (Self and Taniguchi 1982), and other sources. The monitoring plan is designed to track the condition of several key botanical resources at the Reserve – special-status plants, vernal pool and vernal swale wetlands, grassland native plant diversity, oaks, and invasive plants. Managers can use monitoring results to infer the possible effects of grazing on key botanical resources; however, this monitoring plan does not include a research component designed to investigate potential cause-and-effect relationships between livestock grazing and changes in key resources. The monitoring plan does not include compliance monitoring procedures for the grazing program.

The following tasks were completed for this baseline study and monitoring plan: review of existing information, discussions with knowledgeable individuals, field data collection and mapping of resources using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology, preparation of figures displaying the locations of key botanical resources, compilation of a master plant species list from existing lists and new field data, compilation of a Reserve description from existing information and new field data, and development of site- and resource-specific monitoring procedures based on nationally recognized standards and recommendations from experts.

The description of the Reserve includes information on 1) history and location, 2) geology, soils and climate, 3) hydrology, 4) vegetation, and 5) plant species diversity.

The monitoring plan includes monitoring procedures for key botanical resources, including: 1) special-status plants of vernal pools and vernal swales, 2) vernal pool and vernal swale wetlands, 3) diversity of native forbs and native grasses in grassland vegetation, 4) oak survival and reproduction, and 5) invasive plants. Procedures for photomonitoring also are provided.

In Work