Habitat Restoration

Jesusita Fire Hydromulch Assessment, Santa Barbara County, California

Jesusita Fire Hydromulch Assessment, Santa Barbara County, California
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Project Name: Jesusita Fire Hydromulch Assessment, Santa Barbara County, California
Services: Habitat Restoration
Client: County of Santa Barbara

The Jesusita Fire burned approximately 8,733 acres, and destroyed 80 residences. Approximately 1,250 acres of the burned area was treated with aerially-applied hydromulch, composed of paper, wood fiber, water and natural tackifiers. Padre conducted a study to determine the effects of hydromulch application on post-fire vegetation and wildlife habitat recovery. Eleven sample sites were selected at five locations, and consisted of side-by-side control and treatment plots. The control plots were covered with elevated plastic tarps, to prevent deposition of aerially-applied hydromulch. The control and treatment plots were sampled using four transects oriented perpendicular to the slope gradient. Overall, sixteen 0.25 square meter quadrats were sampled within each 40 square meter plot. The results of this study indicate the application of hydromulch did not affect total plant cover in the sample sites over the study period. In addition, the application of hydromulch did not affect non-native plant cover, or cause or facilitate weed infestation.