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August 2020 HerbWalks &
OjaiHerbal Newsletter
Due to intense public interest, the U. S. Forest Service has extended the comment period on this controversial project until August 14. Please read the article below and then weigh in with the links provided. These are OUR local federal lands. How should they be used? You have just a few days left to make your voice heard.
When the August 15 date filled up, I added a second walk at Arroyo Hondo Preserve on Saturday, September 5. I am implementing a protocol for safe and healthful outdoor education, including limited attendance, temperature checks, facial coverings, and safe distancing. Click on the photo above to learn more and register if you would like to join us. Photo: Trish Salvatore
Herb Walks
Last summer at Arroyo Hondo Preserve on the Gaviota Coast. Photo: Jill Forman
Arroyo Hondo Preserve is the perfect place for a summer herb walk
The Herb Walk scheduled for Saturday, August 15, at the beautiful and biodiverse Arroyo Hondo Preserve filled up quickly so I scheduled another one on Saturday, September 5. You can sign up for the August 15 waiting list at this link or join the September 5 walk at this link.

There are many good reasons besides the ocean views north of Santa Barbara to make me drive almost an hour-and-a-half from Ojai to visit Arroyo Hondo. In the creekside riparian habitat we’ll see an array of Southern California native trees, including White Alder, California Bay, Blue Elderberry, Bigleaf Maple, and Coast Live Oak. Under their canopy we’ll look for shade-loving natives like Gooseberry, Mugwort, and Hummingbird Sage.

In the sunnier sage scrub and chaparral areas, native Toyon, Black Sage, Coastal Sagebrush, Prickly-Pear, Lemonade Berry, and “Mountain-Lilac” ( Ceanothus) are thriving.

Since resuming walks and workshops again in June, I have implemented several safeguards to prevent possible spread of the virus. They are described on each event listing.

Conifers and chaparral on Pine Mountain. Photo: Bryant Baker
You have until August 14 to comment on the Pine Mountain
logging proposal
I hold a Special Use Permit with the U.S. Forest Service to lead interpretive hikes in the Los Padres National Forest (LPNF). As a USFS partner and an advocate for healthy forest ecosystems with a degree in biology, I look carefully at any USFS plans to remove native vegetation on our public lands. The proposed Reyes Peak Fuels Reduction project troubles me. While both USFS and those opposed to the project present scientific rationales pro and con, the bottom line for me is that this project should not be approved without an Environmental Impact Statement. Recent legislation made it possible for tree and chaparral removal there to be fast-tracked without an EIS, a move I believe is not appropriate for this unique "sky island." 

Thanks to swift public outcry and a letter to LPNF Supervisor Kevin Elliott from Congressman Salud Carbajal, the Forest Service has extended the public comment period to August 14.

Last month I shared a link to a Los Padres ForestWatch webpage with a user-friendly form letter opposing the project. While I still recommend reading their position on the proposal and signing their letter, the USFS does not count those form letters as unique comments so they are of little value to the approval process.

Here are the steps to leave a personal comment that will count. First, go to this LPNF webpage:
Scroll down that page to click on a link to The Reyes Peak Forest Health and Fuels Reduction Project.
Finally, from that page you can click on  Comment/Object on Project  in the right sidebar to leave a comment.
Or you can just go straight to the comment page in the last paragraph if you've already formed an opinion.
Click on the USFS logo above to visit the Ojai Ranger District webpage for the latest info on trail openings, fire restrictions, and more.
Please visit and "like" the 
HerbWalks Facebook page
and follow me on Instagram at ojaiherbal. Thank you! 

Jim Adams teaching on the trail during a past workshop. Photo: Keith Farrar
Latest article on treating chronic pain by James Adams
Over the past 8 years, many of you have had the opportunity to meet Professor Emeritus James Adams in Ojai and benefit from his knowledge of plant pharmacology and the teachings he shares from his Chumash mentor Cecilia Garcia. Recently retired from USC School of Pharmacy, he seems busier than ever. He'll be back in Ojai for a Medicinal Plant Workshop on October 17 but in the meantime here's the latest journal article he co-authored. Published in May 2020, it's titled "Monoterpenoids: The Next Frontier in the Treatment of Chronic Pain?" Monoterpenoids are the phytochemicals that make up the aromatic essential oils that give plants like Black Sage and Coastal Sagebrush their fragrance. Not only that, they have pain-relieving and anti-anxiety properties as well.

The article is aimed at doctors and pharmacologists but you can find lots of similar information in more common everyday language in his book Healing with Medicinal Plants of the West.
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