CNLM alum publishes book on native grasses of Idaho

  |   General News

As part of the CNLM stewardship team in San Diego County, Justin Trujillo had a diverse set of responsibilities – from conducting vegetation surveys, to monitoring for conservation easement compliance, to conquering invasions of non-native invasive plants.  Recalls San Diego Regional Preserve Manager Markus Spiegelberg, “Justin adjusted quickly to the challenges of preserve management and was keenly interested in learning about plants—their identification and ecology.”

Inspired by his experience in managing sensitive habitats and endangered species, Justin left CNLM in 2011 to pursue more formal education in conservation fields.  He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Rangeland Ecology and Management, followed by a Master of Science in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho, Moscow.

Pursuing his passion for identifying and managing the diversity of native plant species, Justin and colleague Dr. Eva Strand recently published ‘A Field Guide to Grasses and Grass-like Plants of Idaho’.  This user-friendly field guide describes the most common grasses and grass-like plants of Idaho with easy-to-use dichotomous keys, plus information about each plant’s distribution, forage value, importance to wildlife, erosion control, and use in restoration projects. Comments Justin, “In the beginning, the idea of creating a grass book for the state of Idaho was unreal to me.  However, as I started to take pictures out in the field and creatively come up with new ideas for the dichotomous keys, the concept of putting together an easy-to-use field guide became more in-focus to me”.  The book is currently available from the University of Idaho Extension website.  The field guide content is also available in the form of an off-line smartphone app that can be purchased from the App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android). Justin indicated that he hopes to have an electronic version of the Idaho grass book soon.