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
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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Living in Harmony with Bears

A black bear caught strolling on the Conservancy's Rancho San Carlos Trail wildlife camera in 2020. July 7, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator While they are the state animal, California’s track record with bears is grim. When the state became more densely populated during and after the gold rush, conflicts between the
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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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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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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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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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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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Honoring Leslie Dorrance’s Conservation Grazing Legacy

Leslie Dorrance, Dr. Rodrigo Sierra Corona, and Leslie's dogs take a break in the sun.  January 14, 2021 By Dr. Rodrigo Sierra Corona, Director of Ecological Management To create our Conservation Grazing Program from the ground up, the Conservancy needed a very special person. Someone with a deep knowledge of the land, an incredible mastery
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Wild Pigs on The Santa Lucia Preserve

Wild pig caught on a camera trap set up in the Garzas neighborhood of The Santa Lucia Preserve. Photo courtesy of Rich Griffith. December 1, 2021 By Dr. Brian Woodward, Conservation Ecologist Whether you have directly observed wild pigs (Sus scrofa) foraging on The Santa Lucia Preserve or not, you have likely noticed the damage
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SLC Publishes Conservation Living Guide for Preserve Residents

The newly published Conservation Living Guide for Santa Lucia Preserve residents. Photo by Alix Soliman.  November 18, 2021 By Jamison Watts, Executive Director We’re thrilled to announce that the Santa Lucia Conservancy will be releasing the Conservation Living Guide for Preserve residents next week! Born from an imperative to foster a comprehensive understanding of what
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Prescribed Fire Planned for Nov. 7 on the Santa Lucia Preserve

Members of staff from the Santa Lucia Conservancy participated in the 2018 Tassajara Fire Training.  November 3, 2021 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator On November 7, the Santa Lucia Conservancy and Central Coast Prescribed Burn Association (CCPBA) plan to conduct a prescribed burn on The Santa Lucia Preserve, just off of Rancho San
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How to Identify 5 Oak Species on the Santa Lucia Preserve

Comparing blue oak leaves (right hand) to black oak leaves (left hand). Photo by Alix Soliman.  October 26, 2021 By Jackson Brooke, Restoration Manager Some of the most dramatic trees on The Preserve are old oaks, which are found sprinkled on grassy hillsides to create brilliant savannas and clustered together in woodlands, providing habitat for
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