The term Resource Island was
given to me by Gabor Bethlenfalay from Oregon State when he decribed a
resoration in La Paz Mexico. I've adapted that thought into California
and it's native plants and wildlife.
If you're trying to restore a habitat or create a wildlife corridor you
never have enough resorces. No one wants to pay the $50,000-100,00 per
acre that is needed to do even a passable job in restoration of a
native system. Weed control alone can eat up $1-5,000 per acre per year
and you'll need to do that for at least 3 years. If you have a 50 acre
ranch or farm you're trying to restore, very few of us are willing to,
or have the ablity to pour that kind of money down a squirrel, deer, or
rabbit hole. Thus resource islands.
Each resource island needs a fence to protect it from deer, rabbits and
sometimes squirrels. The fence should be 30-50 ft. across and 6 ft.
tall with chicken wire or small mesh covering the bottom 2 ft. or so.
The islands should be between 100 to 300 ft. apart. If you only have
the resources for one enclosure, put it about 100 ft. from an existing
oak, pine or other native tree or bush.
The further you are from town and the drier the site, the better the fence had better be,
Each resource island usually needs water for the year. We usually use a
microsprinkler, rainbird or MP-rotator to water a full circle and we
put the fence line where the circle of water covers. If the circle is
larger than 50 foot the deer will jump into the enclosure and actualy
live in the 'safe house'. If you like to gamble, you can try these
without irrigation, on wet years they will or just fine. On dry years
you will lose the entire planting.
The resource island should include a mixture of pioneer and secondary
pioneer plants from you area. Here are a few lists for different areas
of California. Use at least 5 species in each island.