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Santa Cruz Island's plant restoration a model for others

Santa Cruz Island

Sanden Totten / KPCC

The coast of Santa Cruz Island. From the 1850s until the 1970's this Channel Island was home to farmers and ranchers. It is now co-owned by The National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy.

group picture

Sanden Totten / KPCC

Attendees of the first California Islands Botanical Extravaganza posed for a group picture on the final day of the conference.

Kathryn McEachern

Sanden Totten / KPCC

Kathryn McEachern is an ecologist with the USGS and she's spent much of her career working to restore the plants on Santa Cruz Island.

John Knapp

Sanden Totten / KPCC

Ecologist John Knapp shows off the Santa Cruz Island bush-mallow plant, only found on the island. He says the leaves are so large and soft because they never had to evolve to be sharp or small to avoid large herbivores like deer. The only natural herbivores on Santa Cruz Island are insects.

On a bright, warm California day, a couple dozen botanists gathered in a valley on Santa Cruz Island for a group picture. Instead of saying cheese, they each shouted out their favorite native plant species. These are the die-hard plant enthusiasts attending the first annual California Islands Botanical Extravaganza.

KPCC's Sanden Totten reports

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