Like many parts of the country, California faces increasing environmental challenges, including those related to urbanization. Explosive suburban growth during the 1980s and 1990s, much of it spreading out from the urban cores of Los Angeles and San Diego, left a wake of development that decimated many natural plant and animal communities. A significant collaborative effort emerged in the 1990s to save what remained of one such natural community: coastal sage scrub.

Coastal sage scrub is composed of several species of sage plants, shrubs, and seasonal wildflowers. It is not something most people want to save, because it is too dense and prickly to walk in without a well-cleared ...

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