WRA Landscape Restoration is working with the San Mateo County Parks Department to remove the ecologically-destructive invasive species Jubata grass (Cortaderia jubata) that has overtaken the steep cliffs surrounding the Devil’s Slide Trail in Pacifica, California. In addition to restoring a beautiful recreation area, the project will protect the many seabirds, insects, reptiles, and mammals that call this wind-swept coastline home.
Skilled restoration experts applied Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies to help mitigate Jubata grass. IPM strategies included spot-targeting individual plants using an approved herbicide to kill above- and below-ground plant matter, as well as manually removing smaller plants and seed heads. Repeated application of the herbicide and manual removal will eliminate the seed bank that exists in the area, and over time, will allow native species to recolonize this unique ecosystem.
Native plant species have evolved to tolerate the distinct conditions of the area, and they provide an important habitat for wildlife as well as erosion control. Interesting native plants in this area include many beautiful wildflowers such as the Rein Orchid (Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys) and the rare Scouler’s Catchfly (Silene scouleri ssp. scouleri), [California Rare Plant Rank: 2B.2, see photos below].
WRA Landscape Restoration staff will return to these cliffs each year in early Fall through 2022 to continue seasonal treatment and subsequent monitoring and maintenance. Through these efforts, natural biodiversity is expected to rebound, allowing for sensitive native species to grow unencumbered in the pristine area once more.