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November 14, 2019

Carmel Valley, CA


20th Anniversary Central Coast Invasive Weed Symposium

The Central Coast Invasive Weed Symposium (CCIWS) is an annual workshop designed to encourage active engagement in the conservation of California wildlands. First held at California State University, Monterey Bay in 1999, this symposium provides a venue to share information about invasive weed control, native plant restoration, and stewardship in the greater Monterey Bay Area.

Share a delicious meal with a community of resource managers working to stop the spread of non-native invasive plants, visit project sites where weed control efforts are in full swing, hear success stories, learn new abatement methods and earn DPR continuing education units.

CCIWS is a joint effort of the Monterey and Santa Cruz County Weed Management Areas.




Hidden Valley Music Seminars

104 W. Carmel Valley Rd.
Carmel Valley, CA 93901





Bruce Delgado.jpg

Bruce Delgado
Botanist, Bureau Of Land Management- Central Coast Field Office

Where Have We Been, Where Are We Now, and Where Are We Headed?”

This is our 20th symposium anniversary, making it a good time to take stock.  We will look back, celebrate our continuity, discuss where we are today, and look forward to how we can best work together on conservation and restoration of native landscapes.

Too often, we find it easiest to forge ahead on conservation or invasive weed projects without considering others’ past efforts. This can lead to wasted time and money as compared to taking time to talk to our predecessors and understand how to pick up where they left off. 

Since the late 1990s, our annual Central Coast Invasive Weed Symposium (formerly War on Weeds) has had many influential leaders in wildland conservation present on important topics that remain relevant today. Here, we’ll review important topics such as use of fire, livestock, and manual and herbicide techniques, presented through the eyes and experience of previous symposium speakers. We’ll also revisit more recent topics, such as such climate change, fire and herbicide policy, and nuts and bolts discoveries, reflecting on past presentations and offering updates on how these issues are playing out today in the invasive weed arena. 

With respect to those who have many years of conservation efforts, battles fought and won or lost, this 20th milestone year for CCIWS is a poignant time to consider where we have been. We can and should learn from that past experience, and build on that with an eye toward our future in loving and leaving healthy ecosystems to our descendants, no matter their phyla.


“CCIWS always brings in excellent speakers,
with good scientific-based knowledge.”

 Mike Nelson, Maintenance Supervisor, Caltrans



The Complexity of Restoring Complexity: Establishing Diverse Native Forblands in Weedy Grasslands
Amelia Ryan, Pinnacles National Park

Control of Yellow Starthistle Using Prescribed Fire and Clopyralids in the Recovery of Federally Listed San Benito Evening Primrose
Ryan O’Dell, BLM Central Coast Field Office

Understory Clearance and Weed Management in Open Niches
Jonathan Pangburn, CalFIRE

Do Native and Invasive Plants Have Differential Responses to Drought?
Justin Luong, University California Santa Cruz.

Building Partnerships to Curb the Onslaught of Invading Stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens)
Miranda K. Melen, University of California Santa Cruz

Cattle Grazing for Conservation: Could Cattle Be an Unexpected Solution to our Grassland Needs?
Madison Ono, Santa Lucia Conservancy

Effects of Scotch Broom Invasion on Growth, Mycorrhizal Colonization, and Response to Drought in Douglas Firs
Erin Aiello, University California Santa Cruz.

Strategic Community Fuelbreak Improvement Project
John “Fin” Eifert, Forest Service Los Padres National Forest

Pesticide Storage, Containment, and Disposal
Kendall Cahill and Hannah Wallis, Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office


Field Trips

Our afternoon program offers four fabulous field trips showcasing large scale land stewardship and weed management projects in the Carmel Valley Vicinity. Our field trips run concurrently from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. with one, Hatton Canyon, having a delayed start at 2:30 p.m. to accommodate the preceding DPR continuing education “Laws and Regulations” session from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.. Field trips offer a short hike, DPR continuing education “Other” credits, and the opportunity to see areas and projects with limited accessibility. Bring water, a snack, comfortable walking shoes, layered clothes and sun protection for your comfort. Space is limited so register early to guarantee your place in the field trip of your choice. It’s sure to be a good time!


San Clemente Dam Removal Restoration Site

San Clemente Dam ©amwater

San Clemente Dam ©amwater

Description coming soon!

Presenter: Thomas Christensen, Monterey Peninsula Water Management District
Walking Distance: Approximately 2 miles easy to strenuous terrain


Santa Lucia Preserve

Santa Lucia Preserve

Santa Lucia Preserve

The 20,000-acre Santa Lucia Preserve is a residential community set within open space and wildlands that are managed by the Santa Lucia Conservancy, a non-profit land trust. On this field trip, Conservancy staff will share information about their ongoing weed management as well as impacts to the Preserve from the Soberanes Fire and fire suppression. 
French broom and bulldozer lines:  French broom has been present on the Preserve for many years but began to really take hold after bulldozer lines were installed during the 2016 Soberanes fire. At one of these fire lines, a dense stand of French broom is what remains. Now, 3 years later, Calfire is returning to masticate a fuel break over the bulldozer line. Conservancy staff will discuss the lack of immediate treatment of the first fire line and how they plan to treat the new fuel break. 
Grazing impacts on weeds:  The Conservancy has been running a conservation grazing program since 2013. Since the establishment of the grazing program, data has been collected from grazed areas and ungrazed area to compare the impacts of grazing and impacts on weedy species. Field trip participants will see and hear about the program and monitoring results.

Presenters: Rodrigo Sierra-Corona, Grassland Ecologist & Stewardship Director and Christy Wyckoff, PhD, Director of Conservation Science, Santa Lucia Conservancy
Walking Distance: Approximately 1 mile, easy to moderate terrain.


CR FREE- Carmel River Floodplain Restoration and Environmental Enhancement Project

Big Sur Land Trust Odello East

Big Sur Land Trust Odello East

There’s exciting stuff happening along the lower Carmel River! Join Big Sur Land Trust staff to talk about plans to rewild a golf course, restore a floodplain, recharge groundwater, and reduce flood risk. We’ll meet at the HQ of Rancho Cañada, the newest addition to the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District, and walk into adjoining the 4350-acre Palo Corona Regional Park for an overview of the Carmel River Floodplain Restoration and Enhancement (CR FREE) Project. The CR FREE Project is a complex $33 million, multi-benefit project co-sponsored by BSLT and Monterey County that will construct a causeway under Highway 1, notch levees and restore floodplain function for the lower Carmel River.

Presenters: Nikki Nedeff and Abby Nichols, Big Sur Land Trust
Walking Distance: Approximately 2.5 miles round trip on flat terrain.


Hatton Canyon & Point Lobos State Parks

Point Lobos ©

Point Lobos ©

Visit Hatton Canyon and Point Lobos State Natural Reserve to learn about California State Parks’ efforts to control invasive weeds while conducting fuel clearance work and prescribed burns. In Hatton Canyon, State Parks is working with Cal Fire and the Carmel Area Wastewater District to provide emergency and utility access and fire safety while also trying to manage invasive weeds. At Point Lobos, a small prescribed burn was conducted last fall in coastal prairie meadows where necessary weed control efforts have followed. This field trip is reserved for attendees participating in the DPR Continuing Education Laws and Regs Session from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm. The field trip itself runs from 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm.

Presenters: Jeff Frey and Amy Palkovic, California State Parks
Walking Distance: Approximately 2 miles, easy to moderate terrain


 Department of Pesticide Regulation Continuing Education

Each year, CCIWS helps Wildland Weed Managers maintain their QAL, QAC, PCA and Private Applicator licenses by offering DPR Continuing Education credits. This year we are applying for 4 hours of “Other” units and 1 hour of “Laws and Regulations” units. We are currently pending review and approval and will update this information as soon as CE units are finalized. Come hone your craft with us!


“It’s pretty cool to see the passion in this group”

Paul Robins, Execttive Director, REsource Conservation District of Monterey Counnty

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