How a Third La Niña Winter in a Row Could Impact Drought

The California Drought Monitor Report released November 17, 2022. Map Courtesy of Brad Rippey/Drought Monitor. November 22, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator We have experienced two consecutive La Niña winters and NOAA climate experts have announced another La Niña winter this year. Precipitation and temperature are influenced by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation
Read more …

9 Common Birds in the Santa Lucia Mountains

A California Scrub Jay cocks its head at the camera. Photo by Christy Wyckoff.  November 10, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator Birding on the Central Coast of California is a rich experience for new birders and old-timers alike, with almost 500 species identified in Monterey County alone. This area is centrally located
Read more …

SLC Completes Successful Prescribed Burn in Dairy Field

Conservancy and CSD staff set grasslands in the Dairy Field Burn unit ablaze on November 6th, 2022. Photo by Alix Soliman. November 7, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator On Sunday, November 6, the Santa Lucia Conservancy conducted a successful prescribed burn in Carmel Valley totaling approximately 19 acres with cooperation from the
Read more …

Restoring Land: How Two Preserve Households are Trekking the Path of Stewardship

Matt Himmelman, Rachel Finlay, and their dog Reese under their favorite oak on The Preserve. Photo by Alix Soliman. November 2, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator It is difficult to comprehend the change this land has known over its lifetime – mountains have risen and eroded; the sea has lapped up and
Read more …

October 2022 Newsletter

Crows roosting before a waxing gibbous moon. Photo by Nik Blaskovich. October 31, 2022 By Jamison Watts, Executive Director With the Conservancy’s burn on the San Francisquito Flats and CAL FIRE San Benito-Monterey Unit’s burn on more than 1,000 acres in Gabilan Range, October has been a busy month for prescribed fire in Monterey County.
Read more …

The Ecosystem Benefits of Dead Standing Wood, or “Tree Snags”

A tree snag on The Preserve left standing long after the death of the oak tree. Photo by Serena Lasko. October 26, 2022 By Andrew Nguyen, Stewardship Manager Throughout their life cycle, trees serve as important habitat for many wildlife species, from when they are actively growing to when they’re decomposing back into the earth.
Read more …

SLC Conducts Successful Prescribed Burn on San Francisquito Flats

CCPBA participants lay flames down on thick stands of invasive Harding grass. Photo by Michael Troutman / DMT Imaging. October 20, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator On Sunday, October 16, the Santa Lucia Conservancy conducted a successful prescribed burn in Carmel Valley totaling approximately 65 acres with cooperation from the Central Coast
Read more …

Prescribed Burns Planned for The Santa Lucia Preserve

The Central Coast Prescribed Burn Association (CCPBA) and Conservancy staff heading out to the prescribed burn site on The Preserve in November 2021. Photo by DMT Imaging.  October 10, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator The Conservancy is planning to conduct prescribed burns this fall totaling approximately 90 acres of grasslands in the
Read more …

September 2022 Newsletter

A rainbow forms over The Preserve after the first rains of the season. Photo by Andrew Evans. September 30, 2022 By Jamison Watts, Executive Director In the business of life, it’s all too easy to lose sight of the simple pleasures—those exquisite experiences that are often right in front of us if only we are
Read more …

It’s Tarantula Mating Season in California

A tarantula looking for love on a foggy morning at the top of Cantera Run. Photo by Jackson Brooke. September 22, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator Humans tend to find fuzzy creatures “cute.” Why, then, do tarantulas have such a bad reputation? A common belief is that arachnophobia is a lingering survival
Read more …

800 Goats Forage to Reduce Fuels on The Preserve

Goats muching on grass in their first pasture on The Preserve. Photo by Alix Soliman. September 14, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator Last week, we welcomed 800 goats and an entourage of herders and dogs from Star Creek Land Stewards to conduct fuel reduction on The Preserve and help fulfill The Conservancy’s
Read more …

Before & After: Conservation Grazing on the Flats

Andrew Evans steps over the single-wire fence into the San Francisquito Flats pasture. Photo by Alix Soliman. September 7, 2022 By Andrew Evans, Conservation Grazing Associate Eating an estimated 1,051,200 pounds of forage each year, the Conservancy's herd of cattle manages disturbance in The Preserve’s prairie ecosystems across a 2,800-acre footprint. Adapted to fire, our
Read more …

August 2022 Newsletter

Dr. Brian Woodward presents on current scientific collaborations at The Santa Lucia Preserve. Photo by Alix Soliman. August 31, 2022 By Jamison Watts, Executive Director When the Partnership purchased The Preserve (formally Rancho San Carlos) in 1990, they scrapped the conventional land development model of carving larger properties into smaller saleable parcels for the novel
Read more …

SLC Awarded $1.2 M CAL FIRE Grant for Palo Corona-White Rock Fuel Break Access and Enhancement Project

Santa Lucia Community Services District Fire and Fuels Management Specialist Emily Aiken and CAL FIRE BEU Fire Captain and Pre-fire Engineer Chad Cooper assess a fuel break on The Preserve. Photo by Alix Soliman.  August 16, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator CAL FIRE awarded the Santa Lucia Conservancy a $1,225,000 grant to
Read more …

How to Prevent Birds from Striking your Windows

An Anna's Hummingbird perches on a feeder. Photo by Adam White.  August 10, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator From a bird’s perspective, windows reflect the outside world and create the illusion of a seamless continuation of surrounding habitat, which can lead to what’s known as a “bird strike.” According to the Audubon
Read more …

Field Notes: Highlights from the 2022 Seasonal Restoration Crew

2022 crew members pull Italian Thistle in the Enchanted Forest on The Preserve. Photo by Jackson Brooke. July 21, 2022 By Jackson Brooke, Restoration Manager, and the 2022 Seasonal Restoration Crew When the Santa Lucia Conservancy launched the Grasslands Initiative in 2019, one of the goals that we set was treating 500 acres annually for
Read more …

10 Common Butterflies on The Santa Lucia Preserve

A Lorquin's Admiral butterfly, commonly mistaken for its look-alike, the California Sister. Public Domain Photo. July 18, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator As far as insects go, the Central Coast is most famous for the annual arrival of the Monarch butterfly from late November to December. Having migrated 1,000 miles or more
Read more …