It’s Coyote Denning Season on The Central Coast

A coyote peeks out above the tall grass. Photo by Rodrigo Sierra Corona.  June 20 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator Coyotes are currently at the peak of their denning season, lasting from May through the end of summer. Right now they are more visible, vocal, and territorial than any other time of
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Chris Thomas is Building a Fire Resistant Fortress in the Woods

Owner-builder Chris Thomas stands on a bluff overlooking his home-in-progress. Photo by Alix Soliman.  June 15, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator Among the towering redwoods and dense oaks of Potrero Canyon, a fire resistant green home is on the rise. Since June 3rd of 2020, Chris Thomas and his brother in law,
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SLC Welcomes Keesha Stroman, New Director of Finance and Administration

Director of Finance and Administration Keesha Stroman. Photo by Alix Soliman.  June 7, 2022 By Jamison Watts, Executive Director The Conservancy is excited to welcome Keesha Stroman to the team as the Director of Finance and Administration. Responsible for managing the Conservancy’s daily operations including finance, Human Resources, IT, facilities, and administration, Keesha comes to
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How Conservation Easements Protect Land on The Preserve

Over 90% of the 20,000-acre Preserve is protected, while the other 10% is zoned for residential development and amenities. Photo by Adam White.  May 24, 2022 By Andrew Nguyen, Stewardship Manager With a residential community at its core, The Santa Lucia Preserve is built on a model of collaborative stewardship with the Santa Lucia Conservancy
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The Conservancy Uses eDNA to Find Threatened Amphibians

A mass of California Red-legged Frog eggs rests at the surface of a pond on The Preserve. Photo by Alix Soliman.  May 11, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator A major development in fish and wildlife monitoring, Environmental DNA (eDNA) is a scientific method that can tell us whether a species is present
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Shaded Fuel Breaks Increase Fire Safety on The Preserve

A shaded fuel break along Dormody Road, where young bay laurel trees and shrubs have been cleared in the understory. Photo by Jackson Brooke.  May 6, 2022 By Jackson Brooke, Restoration Manager The Conservancy’s vision for fire and fuels management on The Preserve is one that harmoniously combines the protection of life and property with
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April 2022 Newsletter

Blooming native wildflowers are evidence of a job well done by our seasonal restoration crew. Photo by Jackson Brooke.  Within the 20,000-acre Santa Lucia Preserve exists a mosaic of oak woodlands, redwood forests, grasslands, chaparral, ponds, and streams. One of the most important facets of the Conservancy’s work is maintaining and enhancing these natural habitats which
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What is Conservation Grazing and How Can it Benefit Coastal Prairies?

The contrast between a just-grazed pasture and the first day of grazing in a new, adjacent pasture on San Clemente. Photo by Andrew Evans.   April 20, 2022 By Claudio Núñez, Conservation Grazing Manager, and Andrew Evans, Conservation Grazing Associate In this ecological moment, animal husbandry is a controversial topic. Industrial livestock production has led to
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California Natives to Cultivate in Your Garden by Habitat Type

Redwood Sorrel is an herbaceous perennial plant that provides excellent ground cover in moist, shady environments. Photo by Serena Lasko. April 13, 2022 By Evany Wang and Sophie Heny, Seasonal Restoration Crew Members Waving grasslands decorated with strings of blazing wildflowers, oaks hung thick with moss, cattle marching through vivid green grass—The Santa Lucia Preserve
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Sudden Oak Death on the Santa Lucia Preserve

A volunteer pins a sudden oak death (SOD) sampling tag to a tree. April 4, 2022 By Dr. Brian Woodward, Conservation Ecologist Sudden Oak Death (SOD) is a tree disease caused by the exotic plant pathogen Phytophthora ramorum. Originally introduced with imported nursery plants, the pathogen has spread widely across coastal California and southwestern Oregon,
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March 2022 Newsletter

Our conservation grazing herd browses under the oaks at San Clemente. Photo by Andrew Evans. March 31, 2022 By Jamison Watts, Executive Director A visionary model, the Santa Lucia Preserve blends sustainable development into a permanently protected natural landscape. The founders’ vision led to the science and nature-based design of The Preserve with a dedicated
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How to Identify 7 Common Raptors in the Santa Lucia Mountains

Ventana Wildlife Society Biologist Mike Stake and Conservation Ecologist Dr. Brian Woodward conduct a Raptor survey on The Preserve. Photo by Alix Soliman.  March 25, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator Soaring overhead on rising thermals, dive-bombing rodents in the rolling grasslands with their piercing screeches echoing off of the hills – birds
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How Conservation Flows Downstream in the Carmel River Watershed

The Coastline at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. Photo by Alix Soliman. March 21, 2022 By Andrew Evans, Conservation Grazing Associate From Big Sur to Carmel Beach to Asilomar and beyond, the draw of the Central Coast is centered on its pristine landscapes, resilient habitats, abundant fisheries, and welcoming coastal towns. However, as global watersheds
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February 2022 Newsletter

Chorus frog floating in a pond on The Preserve. Photo by Matthew Savoca. February 28, 2022 By Jamison Watts, Executive Director Internationally recognized as a biodiversity hotspot, the Santa Lucia Preserve is located within the Santa Lucia Mountains at the intersection of coastal and inland climate gradients, with a variety of elevations and habitats. Over
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What Does Applied Ecology Look Like on the Santa Lucia Preserve?

Conservation Ecologist Dr. Brian Woodward conducts a raptor survey on The Preserve. Photo by Alix Soliman. February 24, 2022 By Dr. Brian Woodward, Conservation Ecologist Driving through The Santa Lucia Preserve, you may see Conservancy staff wading through ponds, crouched in a field looking closely at budding flowers, or gazing through binoculars at soaring raptors.
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The Field Season Has Begun, Meet Our 2022 Restoration Crew

The 2022 Seasonal Restoration Crew. Photo by Jackson Brooke.   February 15, 2022 By Jackson Brooke, Restoration Manager In 2019, the Conservancy launched its Grasslands Initiative after a rigorous assessment of the ecological health of The Preserve identified the 5,275 acres of grasslands as both an incredibly significant ecological asset and in dire need of restoration.
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Before & After: Preventing the Spread of Invasive Stinkwort

Invasive stinkwort. Photo by Joseph DiTomaso.  February 8, 2022 By Jackson Brooke, Restoration Manager Native to the Mediterranean and Middle East, Stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens) is a relatively new invader of California and was first reported in Santa Clara County in the 1980s. It has spread aggressively since then and is now found in a majority
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January 2022 Newsletter

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
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Preserve Resident’s Stormwater Collection System Creates Drought Resilience in the Arid Oak Savanna

Kate Kennedy's stormwater collection tanks at her home on The Preserve. Photo by Joe Fletcher. January 24, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator On a foggy afternoon in December, I drove up to The Preserve and parked next to three massive tanks that make up Preserve Resident Kate Kennedy’s 30,000 gallon stormwater collection
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