EPIC work pays off—people power protecting plants proves positive. Last year our team, volunteers and Shasta-Trinity National Forest staff, freed rare Shasta snow-wreath populations from the invasion of Scotch broom and protected them from herbicide exposure. This year, it was a pleasant surprise to see only a few tiny seedlings growing in the roadside treatment location and only a few previously missed plants growing down by the creek. In fact, it was so successful we’ve decided to increase our reach! Next year we plan to expand even further to include trailheads.
There are only 20 know populations of Shasta snow-wreath on the planet. The Shasta snow-wreath (Neviusia cliftonii) is endemic to the shores and canyons around Shasta Reservoir. Neviusia have existed for over 45 million years. The Eastern Klamath Range is an ancient landscape, neither glaciated nor overlain by volcanic material, as were the surrounding mountains. The area is rich in biodiversity and is home to other endemic species such as the Shasta salamander (Hydromantes shastae) a state-listed threatened species and the Shasta Chaparral snail.
Many Shasta snow-wreath populations were lost when the Shasta reservoir was created and others are threatened by the current proposal to raise the dam. Invasive Scotch broom plants are another threat and have infested multiple areas near Packers Bay. For the past two years, EPIC protected a few of the most sensitive populations from the possible drift of herbicides and we plan to do it again every year till the broom is gone from the creek side and new trailhead locations. Working together demonstrates that people power is the best alternative!