Informing habitat restoration in the Zaca Fire and Jesusita Fire scar areas

Project Dates

2017 - 2019


Habitat restoration funding is limited, so work must be prioritized. On one end of the spectrum, invasive plants that are extremely limited in distribution may potentially still be eradicated, whereas on the other end of the spectrum, invasive plants that are widespread in distribution should only be controlled in high-priority areas, such as those with multiple or high-value rare plants. Habitat restoration information was sought in the Zaca Fire scar (240,207 acres/97,208 hectares) and Jesusita Fire scar (8,733 acres/3,534 hectares) areas through comprehensive botanical surveys on all roads, maintained trails, and firebreaks via day hikes and backpacking, horseback, and mule trips. This project was used to train and mentor local students in botany, and to communicate our findings through social media and public presentations. Throughout the course of this project, at least 735 total miles (1,182 kilometers) were covered, and 604 populations of 44 weed taxa and 237 populations of 19 rare plant taxa were mapped. Also collected were 3,628 plant specimens for the Clifton Smith Herbarium, which will further the botanical knowledge for this little-surveyed area.


To inform prioritized habitat restoration goals in the Zaca Fire and Jesusita Fire scar areas through invasive and rare-plant mapping and general botanical surveys

Report: SB Botanic Garden Botanical Blackholes Report 2019

Team Members

Denise Knapp, Ph.D.

Stephanie Calloway

Heather Schneider, Ph.D.

Sarah Termondt

Matt Guilliams, Ph.D.

Kristen Lehman, Ph.D.

Steve Junak

Adam Searcy

Lucie Gimmel


Los Padres National Forest


National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Green Thumbs Can Save Us All

Learn all about native plants and explore the Garden. Sign up for our newsletter.