Landscape-scale Restoration Planning
Upper Chiquita Canyon
Upper Chiquita Canyon Habitat Conservation Area Restoration and Management, Orange County, California – Transportation Corridor Agencies
NewFields is responsible for the management of a 1,158-acre conservation easement in southern Orange County that supports important populations of California gnatcatchers and coastal cactus wrens. NewFields staff have conducted evaluations to define restoration opportunities on approximately 500 acres of land disturbed by historic dry-land farming and grazing, and developed efficient restoration techniques for large-acreage areas of coastal sage scrub, native grassland, oak woodland habitats and rare plant species. Specific evaluations included:
- Mapped soils, existing native habitats and exotic species infestations;
- Soil analysis and detailed soil characterization to determine appropriate restoration and future management;
- Evaluated ephemeral drainages using the hydrogeomorphic method to assess riparian functions of the non-wetland drainages;
- Conducted research for native grass restoration.
Based on the evaluations, NewFields developed a habitat restoration plan that includes rationale, methods and performance standards for the comprehensive restoration of the Conservation Area. Management of this easement is an ongoing project until the land becomes part of Orange County’s Southern Natural Communities Conservation Plan/Habitat Conservation Plan (NCCP/HCP) for the Southern Subregion.