Land Trust Stewardship staff have been busy clearing roads and trails of fallen trees and burned vegetation in the aftermath of the fires, as well as assessing erosion risk and rehabilitating areas that were heavily impacted by fire breaks dozed across our properties. We are also working to expand our post-fire monitoring program, initiated after wildfires in 2014, to track the recovery of Napa’s fire adapted native plant communities and wildlife species. We are reminded that in the aftermath of the 2017 fires, we were fortunate to document the re-emergence of many rare species, including an eruption of fire poppies that sprang up across our Foote Botanical Preserve on Mount George. As “fire obligates,” their seeds sat dormant in the soil for over five decades, until the wildfire provided the cue they needed to germinate.
Based on our experience after previous fires, we expect our natural systems to show resilience and respond well.
Stewardship staff are also working to build upon on our active fuels reduction and restoration programs, including prescribed burning (see the article on the Spanish Valley easement), rotational grazing (see the article on our sheep/goat grazing program), invasive species control and forest management, in order to increase the resiliency of our lands to climate change and extreme wildfires. Finally, Stewardship staff are participating in the core team of partners working to develop Napa’s Countywide Community Wildfire Protection Plan.