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Scaling Up Success: Cross-Boundary Partnerships for Managing Invasive Plants


Finding solutions to managing invasive plants found in state parks and on public lands is a challenging prospect, especially because weeds have an annoying habit of spreading beyond park boundaries. That’s why cross-boundary partnerships are so important: they create critical pathways for the stewardship of California’s extraordinary biodiversity. The One Tam partnership in Marin County is a great example of a collaborative approach to managing weeds and protecting Mt. Tamalpais’s unique native plants and habitat.

Comprised of four adjacent land managers, including California State Parks and non-profit partner Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy (GGNPC), the One Tam collaborative began a pilot program in 2016. Together, these partners created an Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) program to more effectively detect and manage the spread of invasives across the larger landscape.

Given the success of the approach, Parks California teamed up with California State Parks and GGNPC to scale the learnings from this regional model into statewide protocols and resources. Thanks to the work led by Rachel Kesel, One Tam’s Conservation Management Specialist at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and Leah Gardner, California State Parks’ Senior Environmental Scientist, to date, the team has trained 15 Districts in this protocol, equipping over 50 statewide staff to better address the challenge of invasives across park landscapes. Four additional District trainings are planned for later this year.

You can read’s Rachel’s take on this innovative model here.

One Tam Conservation Management Specialist, Rachel Kesel, leads training at Mount Diablo State Park with Diablo District Staff. Photo credit: Leah Gardner, California State Parks.


About the author: Becky Rittenburg is the Resource Stewardship Programs Manager at Parks California where she leads the development of an emerging conservation program that works in collaboration with California State Parks’ Natural Resources division.