South San Diego County Grassland Project

The purpose of the project was to to develop landscape-scale, collaborative strategies for managing target grassland species in the South County MSCP. Phase I involved grasslands assessments, target selection, and experimental design while Phase II was the experimental design implementation. Develop BMPs for restoring native grassland and forbland habitat for Otay tarplant and Quino checkerspot. The native grassland habitat restoration experiment compared the effectiveness of seeding full extent vs. Desimone strip seeding method, determined whether recent fall burn impacts success of two seeding approaches, and evaluated whether hand weed control and seeding methods are as effective as mechanized methods. The research goal for forblands was to assess the effectiveness of two mechanized site preparation techniques that limit soil disturbance while reducing weed cover in sites with good access and low native forb cover.The research goal for Quino checkerspot butterfly was to assess the effectiveness of two seeding techniques in establishing Plantago erecta and other QCB forb species on difficult to reach sites and sites with sensitive soil crusts. The research goals for Otay tarplant were to evaluate the effectiveness of establishing OTP populations using hand broadcast seeding or two-way drill seeding and to determine if calcareous soils are limiting the establishment of OTP populations.

Habitat restoration
Vegetation Community
Project Focus

Otay tarplant, Quino checkerspot butterfly


Conservation Biology Institute

Land IQ

Jerre Stallcup; Travis Brooks

Sarah McCutcheon

Kris Preston

Project Protocol
Strategic Elements
  • FY15-16 - 2.1
File name Lead Author Year Type
Habitat Assessment Field Protocol: South County Grasslands Project Conservation Biology Institute 2012 protocol
Habitat Restoration Experiment: First Year of Seed Establishment Results Brooks, Travis 2017 powerpoint presentation
Habitat Specific Interim Best Management Practices: South County Grasslands Project Brooks, Travis 2017 powerpoint presentation
Landscape-Scale Habitat Restoration Approach: South County Grasslands Project Brooks, Travis 2017 powerpoint presentation
Otay Tarplant Habitat Experimental Project Conservation Biology Institute 2017 report
Otay Tarplant: Best Management Practices (Post-burn) Conservation Biology Institute 2017 powerpoint presentation
San Diego South County Grasslands Project Phase 2 2013 fact sheet
San Diego South County Grasslands Project Test of Habitat Restoration Methods Brooks, Travis; Griswold, Margot 2015 fact sheet
South County Grasslands Project Phase 2 Final Report Conservation Biology Institute; Land IQ 2015 report
South San Diego County Grasslands Project Overview Smith, Trish 2017 powerpoint presentation