In partnership with the Catalina Island Conservancy, ACE Pacific West and Mountain West worked for two weeks on stunning Catalina Island. This 22-mile long island is a part of the Channel Islands of the California archipelago. Located approximately 29 miles south-southwest of Long Beach, CA, the island is home to a variety of flora and fauna.  It is estimated that the island has been inhabited for nearly 8,000 years. The island was originally inhabited by the indigenous people known as the Pimugnans or Pimuvit people who called the island Pimugna or Pimu. Territorial claims to the island passed from the Spanish Empire to Mexico and eventually to the United States. As a land of plenty, the island was used for hunting, mining, ranching and for military operations. The islands quirky history includes being once owned by William Wrigley, Jr. of Wrigley chewing gum and being the set of many Hollywood films. The land today remains largely undeveloped and wild due to Wrigley deeding 88% of the island to the Catalina Island Conservancy.  This February ACE deployed a six-person crew lead by ACE crew leader, Ali Gaugler. The objective of this project was to work alongside the Catalina Conservancy to assist them to complete funding from Natural Resource Conservation Service to restore 1111.1 acres of habitat by establishing native trees and shrubs. The mission of the Catalina Island Conservancy is to be responsible stewards of its lands through a balance of conservation, education, and recreation.By planting these native trees, this project will help restore and enhance Catalina Island’s native habitat. The crews were assisting with a process known as “out-planting.” This is the act of putting plants with established roots into the soil and usually follows with watering, as opposed to sowing, which involves tossing the seeds in a controlled manner into the soil to initiate their sprouting.

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