Shooting star blooming on Black Mountain. Photo by Jenna Allred.
February 2, 2022
By Jamison Watts, Executive Director
With the Colorado Fire in Big Sur nearly contained, the ongoing drought across California, and year 3 of the pandemic, adapting to the “new normal” has become a leading theme in my work and life, as I’m sure it has for you. Like most things in life, it’s not what happens that defines us as individuals, organizations or communities but, rather, how we respond. At the Conservancy we recognize that climate change is driving the most serious biological and climatic threats we will face in our lifetimes, including drought, wildfire, emerging pathogens, and invasive species.
In response, our Board-staff team is actively researching, developing and implementing climate change adaptation strategies across our programs and projects. We’ve replaced two of our gas work vehicles with electric ones and, with the Board’s leadership, amended our endowment investment policy to completely divest from fossil fuels. To date, we are 95% of the way to divestment.
The Conservancy’s vision for the Santa Lucia Preserve is “a place of enduring wild beauty and resilient biodiversity, actively cared for and protected by a thriving community of people for the benefit of all.” The phrase ‘enduring beauty and resilient biodiversity’ is poetic, but what does it really mean? To us, it means maintaining the unique beauty and wildness of this special place by managing our habitats in such a way that they bounce back from impacts caused by, but not limited to, Sudden Oak Death, wildfire, weed infestation, and brush encroachment. “Keystone” or “indicator” species tell us how we’re doing, and when their populations are stable or improving, we know we’re heading in the right direction.
In partnership with all of you – our incredible conservation community – we are advancing our collective vision of a place where both people and nature thrive!
Click the button below to learn more about our work in our January Newsletter.