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Discussion: Trampling Action

in: Orienteering; News

Feb 3, 2020 11:33 PM # 
Received the information below from Santa Clara County Parks in California: Next time a ranger questions our off trail activtity can we inform them of the benefits of the the trampling action of orienteers?

Cattle In Calero
Natural Resource Management
Next time you see a beautiful field of wildflowers, you can thank a cow. The cattle grazing program is an effective vegetation management tool that takes advantage of the feeding and trampling action of cattle to enhance annual plant life cycles. Learn more about cattle and how they are benefiting the County Park system along with a few safety tips by attending Cattle in Calero, Friday 2/7 from 2 to 3pm.
Feb 3, 2020 11:50 PM # 
We've had a similar response from a park ranger at one of our state parks where the main plant species of concern is Running Buffalo Clover. One of the reasons it is in such decline is that there are no longer bison herds trampling the vegetation, which apparently is essential for this plant. So he welcomed orienteers going off trail in the preserve. I doubt that we do nearly enough trampling to help...
Feb 4, 2020 2:15 AM # 
Let me beat tRicky to it: Would it also help if we dropped soft brown patties as we go?
Feb 4, 2020 2:37 AM # 
I was going to reply to the previous post but I didn't have anything like that in mind.
Feb 4, 2020 3:02 AM # 
NTOA got booted from a park due to our "trampling" on the remnant of original Texas Blackland Prairie. My pointing out that to properly restore the prairie they should either introduce a large heard of bison or perhaps a bunch of orienteers fell on deaf ears.
Feb 4, 2020 5:29 AM # 
you might have needed to offer to eat the grass too...
Feb 4, 2020 6:20 AM # 
I've had to run off trail to avoid getting trampled by cows at Calero ;).
Feb 4, 2020 4:29 PM # 
The interesting thing is that no one knows what California looked like BEFORE the Spanish arrived. Recent research suggests there were only shrubs and lily-like plants; the wild flowers and grasslands, which predominate today, may have been present, but only in small patches:

...the invasion of California by Mediterranean grasses and forbs beginning in 1768 has been one of the most dramatic, yet remarkably undocumented, ecological shifts. Very little is known about pre-Columbian vegetation cover on land now characterized as California grasslands....examinations of historical accounts have cast doubt on the assumption that native grasses dominated California's prehistoric prairies. The earliest European explorers’ accounts of vegetation in the Central Valley are sparse and lack species-level detail, but generally suggest either an abundance of flowering broad-leaf plants (forbs) or bare ground....
Feb 4, 2020 7:08 PM # 

This discussion thread is closed.