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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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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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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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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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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The Central Coast’s Intimate Relationship with Fog

Dew collected by a spider web. Photo by Andrew Evans. January 7, 2022 By Andrew Evans, Conservation Grazing Associate You may know that California is special for its unique climate and diverse range of habitats. The Mediterranean climate in the Central Coast Region, which is uncommon globally and characterized by wet winters and dry summers,
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Before & After: Tackling Invasive Teasel in 5 Photos

A patch of invasive teasel west of Cienega Pond on the Santa Lucia Preserve earlier this year. Photo by Jackson Brooke.  December 29, 2021 By Jackson Brooke, Restoration Manager In this post, we’ll take a look at some photos of our work with teasel (Dipsacus fullonum), one of the Conservancy’s Zero Tolerance Species of invasive
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2021: A Year of Growth and Change

Albino redwood growing from the base of its emerald parent tree. Photo by Alix Soliman.  December 21, 2021 By Jamison Watts, Executive Director After the first storms of the season, The Preserve is awash in new green grass, windswept leaves, the sweet smell of fecund earth, and the sound of babbling brooks and streams. As we
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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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How to Attract Monarch Butterflies to Your Garden

Monarch Caterpillar. Photo Courtesy of Courtney Celley / USFWS.  November 24, 2021 By Jenna Allred, Senior Manager of Climate Change Adaptation Monarch butterflies should be arriving to the Central Coast soon for overwintering, where they will stay to breed in February. After breeding, monarchs head north to find their summer sites. Read on to learn
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