Recovery: Saving the lemon lily and mountain yellow-legged Frog

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The fragile ecosystem in the Southern California Mountains must maintain a delicate balance to protect itself from dramatic changes threatening the survival some species of frogs and plants.

The lemon lily plant and the mountain yellow-legged frog are two examples of species struggling to survive and efforts have been put into place to hopefully see future populations of the plant and frog thrive again in or near the beautiful mountain creeks in Idyllwild.

Photo: Avianna Jones

The lemon lily

The endangered lemon lily is a gorgeous fragrant flower native to Idyllwild. It now has its own month of appreciation in July thanks to the rallying efforts of Idyllwild citizens who held the first Lemon Lily Festival with great success last summer.

“This year we plan to double our numbers and make the Lemon Lily Festival one of Idyllwild’s largest community events,” said Doug Yagaloff, one of the festival organizers and a member of the Idyllwild Business Roundtable. Organizers expect the festival to draw about 8,000 people this year.

The Idyllwild Nature Center has more than 100 bulbs that are in the early stages of budding, he said.

“In June, there should be thousands of lemon lilies along Strawberry Creek in Idyllwild,” said Yagaloff, thanks to a growing program.

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