In 2002, the Copper Fire burned 20,000 acres near Santa Clarita, including San Francisquito Canyon. The fire left the area with black marks and dead plants that allowed invasive plant species to take hold and leaving patches of barren land, according to Angeles Forest coordinator Nate Enright, who is helping clean up and restore the area burned last year.
There was a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in collaboration with Forest Service to identify areas with high ecosystem value, potential, and accessibility, according to Enright. Just over an acre of land was selected in San Francisquito Canyon as a starting point for restoration, on which TreePeople’s volunteers have already planted 695 native plants obtained from the Rancho Santa Ana nursery with Forest Service funding.”Since February volunteers including Enright have been trekking to the area of the burn and getting to work on removing invasive plants. The volunteers have also been planting native species like chaparral plants to provide deer, coyotes and other animals with food and shelter, according to Enright. “We’re aiming to have this every weekend on Saturdays and Sundays,” Enright said about the project moving forward. “Sometimes it’s a good turnout and sometimes its just three people and that’s isn’t much of a presence. We’re trying to build that up.” Recently the group was scheduled to have a restoration day on July 7, but due to the extreme temperatures from the recent heat wave the event was canceled, Enright said. “We’ve planted a lot of things so far and we will continue to plant more as it cools down in September, October, November and on,” Enright said. “Once you get rid of the dry vegetation that’s been dry all summer, the new plants will maintain a lot more moisture and once summer is over we don’t have to water the new ones.” The next volunteer date is set for July 15 from 9 a.m. to noon at 35582 San Francisquito Canyon Road. Those looking to help can visit the event page at https://www.treepeople.org/calendar/volunteer-events/2018-07-15/angeles-forest-restoration