SYRCL’s 2023 Scotch Broom Challenge got into the weeds

May 12, 2023, May 17, 2023

On May 5, SYRCL and Bear Yuba Land Trust staff conducted their annual Scotch Broom Challenge. Twelve people (three AmeriCorps, two BYLT staff, and seven volunteers) worked for three hours and cleared an estimated 900 plants from c’oom pe Preserve, part of Mountain Bounty Farm.

They used rented weed wrenches from the Fire Safe Council in addition to weed wrenches BYLT and SYRCL already had.

The Scotch Broom was placed in piles to degrade until it’s safe to burn. The seeds are tough and can stay viable for up to 70 years. After burning our Scotch Broom piles, BYLT will reseed the land with a native seed mix and plant native bulbs.

There is still a lot of work to be done on the preserve, and they are always looking for volunteers.

At SYRCL, invasive plant removal is a key part of mitigating wildfire risk and protecting the abundant density of rare plants native to the foothill’s serpentine soils. Invasive species threaten native species by outcompeting them for valuable resources. Invasive plants like Scotch broom, Spanish broom, and French broom are extremely flammable, and fire germinates their seed. After a burn, they can quickly push out natives and homogenize the forest ecosystem in which they have taken root. In other cases, invasive plants are well adapted to dominating some of the foothills’ unique ecosystems.

Scotch Broom is a ladder fuel and an invasive weed in our forests. By removing the broom, we can help mitigate fire danger and benefit native plants in our ecosystem.

HUGE thank you to the incredible volunteers who joined on the rainy day to sweep out some invasive plants at this year’s Scotch Broom Challenge. Thanks to your efforts, native plants nearby can have some relief and room to grow.

Read the article on SYRCL’s website here.

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