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
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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
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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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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.
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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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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
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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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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
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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
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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
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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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June 2022 Newsletter

An acorn woodpecker searches for the best storage site. Photo by Chuck Bancroft. June 30, 2022 By Jamison Watts, Executive Director We reside in one of just 36 biodiversity hotspots in the world. Known as the California Floristic Province (CA-FP), our biodiversity hotspot stretches from the Pacific coast to the Sierra Nevada Mountains and covers
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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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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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