The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is issuing a permit to LD Ford, Consultants in Rangeland Conservation Science (Permit No. 2081(a)-21-018-RP) pursuant to Fish and Game Code section 2081(a) for a project to contribute information for a Santa Cruz tarplant species status assessment, 5-year review, and recovery plan under the federal Endangered Species Act. The Project activities include two parts: (1) a seed bank analysis and (2) a residual dry matter analysis. The seed bank analysis involves collecting soil and evaluating the seed bank from selected population sites by performing germination experiments. The species composition of the seed bank and rate of germination will be examined and compared across sites. The second part of the project activities will investigate the residual dry matter at selected population sites to test the relationships between
ecological variables, vegetation, site management, and Santa Cruz tarplant presence and abundance. The residual dry matter experiment will evenly apply three treatments and a control to 1-m2 quadrats. The treatments are: (1) one quarter of 1-m2 quadrats will not be clipped to measure vegetation height (control), (2) one quarter will be clipped to 15 cm, (3) one quarter will be clipped to 5 cm, or (4) one quarter will be scraped to bare soil. In the spring and summer of 2022, the presence and abundance of Santa Cruz tarplant and all other plant species will be measured in each quadrat, and the percent cover of dominant three species, bare soil, and litter will be estimated.