In Pinnacles National Park ACE currently has two EPIC interns working the with the park’s Vegetation and Restoration team. The park’s restoration team is lead by Park Ranger Mike Shelley with the main objective to restore and protect native plant species and to maintain the landscape.
Joshua Mosebach and Karina Garcia (ACE EPIC Interns) of the restoration team take part in native seed collecting, planting, monitoring and research. The internship is currently six weeks into a twenty-one week program in the park. “I’ve learned a lot about working in the federal government and the park service during the last few weeks,” explained Karina, “I didn’t know that the park conducts research and works with native american tribes.” While Karina is still determining what path she would like to pursue, she explained that she has been able to explore a variety of different career paths within the National Parks Service during her time in the park.
During the week of April 24th, 2017 the team was working in Jawbone Canyon on the west side of Pinnacles National Park. A new trail has been slated to go through the canyon and through a section of Italian thistle, an invasive species. It is crucial for the invasive plants to be removed from the trails, as “the seeds will attach to hikers boots and pant legs and spread to other areas of the park,” Mike Shelley explained during his introduction to invasive species removal with a local Native American tribe.
The park has been working with the Amah Mutsun Land Trust since 2009 on various local projects. The Amah Mutsun Land Trust group came out with the team to work on the removal of this area of Italian Thistle. There are two areas in the park that have cultural significance to the tribe because the areas contain deer grass and white root sage. These are plants that are used for weaving by the tribe. The park and tribe worked together to have the first prescribed burn of deer sage since the mission period.