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Prescribed burn planned for Van Hoosear preserve in Sonoma

The rescheduled prescribed burn at Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve is set for Friday, June 4. Watch for smoke west of the City of Sonoma. This controlled burn was originally scheduled for May 21, but weather conditions were predicted to be unfavorable, leading to its postponement.

From 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Friday, the Sonoma Ecology Center is organizing the prescribed burn at the 163-acre wildflower preserve at the foot of Sonoma Mountain. The planned blaze is hoped to be an effective way to remove excess flammable vegetation and manage invasive plants, according to the ecology center.

The Sonoma Ecology Center has co-managed the preserve since 2004, in partnership with the owners of the property.

Several non-native invasive plants grow on the preserve. According to the announcement of the burn, “Some of (the invasive plants) are not edible by cattle, so despite careful summer grazing, their populations continue to expand.” Medusahead, for example, is a particularly tough species to weed out.

“(Medusahead) is an invasive grass that creates a thick layer of persistent, flammable thatch that smothers native grasses and wildflowers and has a prickly seed head that cattle avoid,” the ecology center said in the announcement.

For information about the prescribed burn, contact Erica Warren at restoration@sonomaecologycenter.org or 707-200-8358.

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