Before & After: Eradicating Pesky French Broom in 8 Photos

A thick stand of French broom before the field crew removed it at Penon Peak Gate. Photo by Jackson Brooke. August 31, 2021 By Jackson Brooke, Restoration Technician In 2019, the Santa Lucia Conservancy began implementing the Grasslands Initiative, an ambitious effort to manage and restore roughly 5,000 acres of grasslands on The Santa Lucia Preserve through invasive species management, [...]

SLC’s Restructured Stewardship Program Emphasizes Partnership

The Conservancy's new Stewardship Associate Izaac Tompkins and Stewardship Manager Andrew Nguyen monitor a new construction site on The Preserve. Photo by Alix Soliman. August 26, 2021 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator Over the past few months, the Conservancy has restructured its Stewardship Program to better serve The Preserve community and safeguard the protected values of 8,000 acres [...]

Field Notes: Reflections on Grassland Restoration

Mary Snook hand pulls weeds in the Enchanted Forest in July. Photo by Alix Soliman. August 24, 2021 Mary Snook, 2021 Field Crew Member  In April, we took a trip to Penon peak. We walked in a line to hear the results of the most recent plant surveys, and to learn about some of the successes we had seen so [...]

4 Environmentally Conscious Ways to Kill Invasive Plants

Natalie Chapman and Jackson Brooke hand pull weeds in the Enchanted Forest. Photo by Alix Soliman. August 16, 2021 By Jenna Allred, Natural Lands Manager, and Jackson Brooke, Restoration Technician There are numerous ways to treat invasive species in natural areas, however, not all methods leave the same mark on the landscape or can be applied everywhere. Here on the [...]

8 Things You Can Do on Your Openlands

Photo by Adam White. Ramona Bohlander sets up a wildlife camera on her property to help the Conservancy track the movements of our wild neighbors. August 6, 2021 By Izaac Tompkins, Stewardship Associate Each of the 296 residential lots on the Santa Lucia Preserve has two zones, a Homeland and an Openland. While the Homelands are basically building envelopes zoned [...]

Outdoor Education During the Pandemic: Expanding Our Virtual Horizons

Plaster casts of a bobcat track made in the Conservancy's mammal class. July 21, 2021 By Julie Sigourney, Conservancy Educator 2020 was a year of disruption, challenge and accomplishment for the Santa Lucia Conservancy’s Outdoor Education Program. The pandemic caused the sudden shut down of our live nature walks. Our last in-person class was on March 13, 2020 with a [...]

Can The Santa Lucia Preserve Become One of the First Rodenticide-free Communities in the Country?

A happy IPM customer holding a California mouse after adopting non-toxic rodent control. Photo by Rodrigo Sierra Corona July 27, 2021 By Sabine Cudney, Wildlife Technician Summary Rodenticides, poison baits used to kill rodents, threaten to upend natural predator-prey cycles by poisoning entire food-chains. Their negative impacts on wildlife have been widely documented in California, where studies have found rodenticide [...]

The Conservancy Welcomes New Board Members, Thanks Outgoing Members

Photo by Adam White June 30, 2021 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator The Santa Lucia Conservancy Board of Trustees convened earlier this month to bid farewell to distinguished members Ron Eastman, Jeff Langholz, Sue Sirkus, and Terry Watt, who provided tremendous direction and vision to the organization’s mission to steward The Preserve’s natural landscape for the benefit of [...]

The Plight of the Nomadic Tricolored Blackbird and its Life on The Preserve

Photo by Dr. Christy Wyckoff. A male tricolored blackbird perched in tall grasses. June 24, 2021 By Alicia Khuon, Field Technician They “darken the sky for some distance with their masses” wrote an observer in 1853 about tricolored blackbirds (Agelaius tricolor). Unfortunately, this is no longer true. The tricolored blackbird has been listed as threatened under the California Endangered Species [...]

Wildfire Resilience and Our New Fuel Management Plan Initiative

Lindsay Cope and Jenna Allred hold a fire hose at a fire safety training for Conservancy staff. June 17, 2021 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator Learning how to live with wildfire is one of the great challenges of our era and region. We must begin by accepting the fact that fire is an integral part of our ecosystem’s [...]