In this time of uncertainty and transition, we would like to reassure you that the Santa Lucia Conservancy is continuing to adapt to the circumstances and make changes to our operations to help ensure the continued health of our team, our community, our conservation grazing herd and the land we all love.
Consistent with the recent Shelter in Place Order, the Conservancy office is closed until further notice. However, over the coming weeks we will continue to provide essential services that are in compliance with the Order while adhering to the Social Distancing Requirements. You may find Conservancy field staff caring for our cattle herd, supporting and monitoring construction efforts, and undertaking fuel and weed management activities. These employees will be traveling to sites in individual vehicles and working at distances of six feet or greater from each other. Except as specifically required by the work, they will be deployed in priority natural areas, avoiding Preserve facilities and residences.
Change seems to be the theme of 2020 and as you might have heard, the Conservancy is also going through a leadership transition. Christy Fischer is excited to begin her next professional adventure as the Greater Bay Area and Central Coast Director for the Trust for Public Land (TPL), advancing conservation on a broad regional scale. A fun fact – the TPL played an important role in founding The Preserve – ask us about it sometime! Christy’s final day as the Conservancy’s Executive Director is April 3 but you can stay in touch with her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Christy Wyckoff, who recently received a well-earned promotion to Deputy Director, will be stepping in as interim Executive Director while the Conservancy Board conducts a national search for a new leader to continue the Conservancy’s important work on The Preserve.
Even as we stay closer to home, our connections with nature remain important and strong. We’re delighted to receive so many notes from Preserve members and neighbors about wildlife sightings and other wonders right in our own backyards. Our natural communities, so important for our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being, are still here for us – we encourage you to take a moment to reconnect with nature every day and share your observations.
As you are looking for things to do in the coming weeks, you may also be inspired to explore and care for the natural areas of your own property. Our handy Landowners’ Guide to Weeds is available on our website, along with field guides and other resources. Hand-removal of weeds is always welcome, but please keep in mind removal of native vegetation or operating equipment within The Preserve’s protected Openlands requires Conservancy consultation. You are welcome to contact Jenna Allred with any questions.
The Preserve has always been and will continue to be, a safe and healthy place for our human and natural communities. As never before, our protected natural lands, secure water supply, spacious neighborhoods and small, integrated community provide a welcome refuge in a rapidly changing world. Wildflowers are abundant, fawns will soon appear, and through these welcome rains our streams will continue to ‘sing’ with springtime flows well into May. We remain a steadfast partner, guide and resource for the Santa Lucia Preserve community and are confident we will weather this storm together.
As always, you’re welcome to contact the Conservancy with any questions you may have about our work or simply to stay in touch. For your convenience, several staff contacts and useful resources are provided beneath this note.
With warmest wishes for your continued good health and resilience,