Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Poppies in Peril: An Update on the Proposed Fairmont Butte Racetrack...

Serious Orange...An excellent discussion on the proposed Fairmont Butte Racetrack continues at CalPhoto eGroup on Yahoo.  Jeff Conrad and several others have suggested ways to best counter the Racetrack's attempts to get the area re-zoned.

Just so you're aware of the area in question, I've posted a short video on Flickr called Poppies in Peril... (You Can Help!). It was taken in April, 2010, and provides a panoramic view of the area that would be affected if the racetrack is allowed to build there. (My apologies for the excessive camera movement. Didn't have the tripod handy!)

If you think you can attend the hearing or lend your support in some way to those who oppose the racetrack, please read the earlier post for contact information, etc.  Thank you.

The Wildflower Conservancy

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

More News of Poppies in Peril...

"Delicate Beauty" - Intimate Poppy Portrait No. 3I follow Carol Leigh's CalPhoto eGroup discussion forum regularly.
Recently, one of the members posted information on a development project on private land right next to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve that would wipe out most of the prime fields in that area.

This acreage often has more spectacular blooms than the reserve itself. While it certainly is within the property owner's rights to develop the land, in this case it would require re-zoning for its contemplated use as a race track, "Fairmont Butte Motorsports Park." Here's a link their website:  Fairmont Butte Motorsports Park.  Info on the next public hearing, scheduled for June 9th, is posted there.

Is it the end of an era for the California Wildflower Hotsheet?If you would like to oppose this development, please consider attending the hearing or voicing your concerns directly to the Los Angeles County Planning Commission.  The specific case information regarding the Fairmont Butte project on the LACPC website is here.  To contact them, go to their website Who Should I Contact? page. (Bad grammar is theirs, not mine...) 

It seems a shame for so much prime poppy territory potentially to be lost to a major development like this.  But if the property fails to be re-zoned, perhaps the owners will look elsewhere to build their motorsports park.  There certainly is plenty of other poppy-free acreage in the Antelope Valley in which to do so.

The Wildflower Conservancy

Monday, May 3, 2010

Should Poppies Perish Purely For Our Personal Pleasure?

A Wizard of Oz Moment...No, it's not likely that California poppies will disappear any time soon.  But since efforts have been made to protect our state flower, I just wanted to write a quick note to bring to everyone's attention some concerns raised recently by the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. In their Latest Poppy Reserve Research Field Notes and Observations on 4/26, they mention:
A Trampling We Will Go...I would like to address a problem we are having this year. Visitors need to know they must stay on the trails. There has been a great deal of damage to poppies and other wildflowers this year because people are going into the areas of wildflowers for photos. They are walking and sitting on plants and destroying them. Every plant that is destroyed cannot go to the seed producing stage. The poppies and many other wildflowers are annual plants and we need them to go to the seed stage for the seed bank for the next year’s flowers. One should also stay on the trails because there have been many sightings of the Mojave Rattlesnakes."

Rush Hour...I also noticed that the L.A. Times ran an article by Lisa Boone on April 27th about the peak poppy bloom this year.  Only at the end of the article did she mention a few "no-no's" such as staying on trails, no dogs, no flower picking, etc.  It might be the angle of view, but unfortunately, the large picture they ran with the story shows a female photographer who appears to be standing in the middle of a poppy field.  Talk about mixed messages! 

I will be sending a letter to the editor shortly and encourage others to do the same.

The Wildflower Conservancy