June 2004 CA Grassland Newsletter:

In this issue:

Recent publications
Job Opening
Nassella and Wildland weeds legislation update
A poem

Recent publications:

Gram, Wendy K. [Author; E-mail: wgram@ou.edu]; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Cottingham, Kathryn L.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Boucher, Virginia L.; Goldwasser, Lloyd; Micheli, Fiorenza; Kendall, Bruce E.; Burton, Rebecca S. 2004. Distribution of plants in a California serpentine grassland: are rocky hummocks spatial refuges for native species? Plant Ecology. 172(2). June 2004. 159-171.

Bartolome, J. W, J.S. Fehmi, R.D. Jackson, and B. Allen-Diaz. 2004. Response of a native perennial grass stand to disturbance in California's coast range grassland. Restoration Ecology 12:279-289.

Job opening: CNGA
1)  CNGA  will hire an Education Coordinator / Program Director this summer!

OPEN UNTIL FILLED - California Native Grass Association is seeking an Education Coordinator / Program Director to support the activities and work of the Board and Committees.  This is a contract-for-services position; approximately 1/4 time (30 to 50 hours per month depending on CNGA schedule); payment calculated at $25 per hour of service.  There is the opportunity for this position to provide additional hours, up to full-time, with successful grant funding. 

There is a pdf file that I am NOT attaching to this email since many email servers are currently deleting emails with attachments.   Interested people should email Janice Bridge (
admin@cnga.org) for the full description.  The Executive Committee of CNGA hopes to interview in July or early August. 

Nassella and Wildland weeds legislation update
SB1226 -
On Monday, June 14, 2004, the Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization approved Senate bill 1226 to declare Nassella pulchra the state grass of California.  The bill was approved on consent calendar without discussion.  Assembly member John Longville,democrat, Assembly District 62, San Bernadino was the single dissenting vote.  It is not clear if Mr. Longville objected to SB1226, objected to other items on the consent calendar, or simply dislikes doing business using consent calendars.

Once SB 1226 passes the Assembly it will go to the Governor's desk for a signature.  Failing a Governor's signature can mean the defeat of the bill - since it is unlikely that anyone in either the Assembly or the Senate is passionate enough to force the override of a veto. 

Now is the appropriate window to petition Governor Swartzenegger. http://www.govmail.ca.gov

Wildland Weed Update: Bill proposes state Invasive Species Council

AB 2631 (Wolk, D-Davis) has been passed by the Assembly, and will be heard June 29th by the State Senate's Natural Resources committee. Cal-IPC will be sending a letter of support. If you would like to as well, please address letter to Senator Sheila Kuehl (fax to 916/324-4823) and CC Assembly Member Lois Wolk (fax to 916/319-2108).

Bill language can be found at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html.

The bill would establish an Invasive Species Council to develop a statewide invasive species plan and make recommendations for review and approval by the Governor for the prevention, early detection and rapid response, and control and management of invasive species.

Finally, a poem: - Thanks to Tanya Baxter at GGNRA for pointing this out:

The identification of grasses, by Harold Harrington.
A grass can be "glumey" in more ways than one,
When its classification remains to be done;
You pull off the parts, and soon feel your age
Chasing them over the microscope stage!

You peer through the lenses at all of the bracts
And hope your decisions agree with the facts;
While your oculist chortles with avid delight
As you strain both your eyes in the dim table light

You are left at the horns of quite a dilemma
When you count the nerves on the back of the lemma;
Then you really get snoopy and turn each one turtle
To see if the flower is sterile or fertile

And then the compression, no problem is meaner -
Is it flat like you wallet or round like a wiener?
"How simple," you think, "for a mind that is keen" -
But, what do you do when its half-way between?

You probe and you guess how the florets will shatter,
For you know later on it is certain to matter;
You long for the calmness of labor that's manual
When the question arises - "perennial", or "annual"?

And that terrible texture, the meanest of all,
Is one of the pitfalls in which you can fall;
"Cartilaginous", maybe - or is it "chartaceous?"
Has the even the experts exclaiming "Good gracious!"

Then you wail as you wade through the long tribal key,
"Oh, why must this awful thing happen to me?"
"Grasses are easy," our teacher declares,
As he mops off a brow that is crowned with gray hairs!

>From "The identification of grasses" (1977)