What do native plants have to do with fire safety?

Maintaining native plant diversity can promote fire safety in and around the home. Native plants are fire resilient, and native plant landscapes consume less water, which means more is available for suppression if the need arises.

What is a native plant?

Our native plants grew here prior to European contact. California’s native plants evolved here over a very long period, and are the plants that the first Californians knew and depended on for their livelihood. These plants have co-evolved with animals, fungi and microbes, to form a complex network of relationships. They are the foundation of our native ecosystems, or natural communities.

Knowledge of local native plants can be beneficial to rural landowners:
-They can recognize non-native invasive species and eradicate them before they take over their property.
-They can plant native plants that support native pollinators and provide habitat for birds and animals.
-They can promote water conservation by landscaping with native plants. Once native plants are established they area able to survive with the seasonal rainfall they are accustomed to.
-They can promote and enhance native plant communities and encourage good sustainable land management practices.

The California Native Plant Society

If you are interested in the wild plants of forest and field you are in good company. The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is made up of a diverse group of native plant enthusiasts from neophytes to professionals who are knowledgeable about the local flora. The Sanhedrin Chapter includes inland Mendocino County and Lake County (www.cnps-sanhedrin.org.) The Dorothy King Young Chapter is our local coastal chapter (www.dkycnps.org). CNPS sponsors public talks and hikes in our area to promote education and the enjoyment of the native plants of Mendocino County.

Want to learn more about native plants?

The CNPS has an  informative website with everything about native plants from an on-line growing natives forum to contact information for native plant nurseries as well as information on native plant flower shows, available books, conservation issues and more. Our local Sanhedrin Chapter is lead by Andrea Davis (tworns@pacific.net) and Jen Riddell (602-326-3142, jenariddell@gmail.com), who may be able to answer your questions or direct you to someone who can. Be sure to check too with your local nursery to find native plants that will do well on your property.

You can find more information on the CNPS website (http://www.cnps.org/).

We particularly recommend the local chapter’s native plant gardening page (https://sanhedrin.cnps.org/index.php/native-gardening) and fire resource page (https://sanhedrin.cnps.org/index.php/fire).

The state CNPS website also has a nice fire recovery guide:  https://www.cnps.org/give/priority-initiatives/fire-recovery

And here are some links from their website on fire recovery in various situations: