Managing Fire

The growing field of fire ecology now recognizes wildfire’s immense benefits. When understood, wildfire is not as frightening as sometimes depicted–images showing flames licking up trees, emitting thick black smoke.    Many of California’s diverse ecosystems can not only tolerate wildfire, they require it.

Photo: Lindsay Cope

Fire ecology

A cursory observation of wildfire’s aftermath prompts the widely held conclusion that fires are destructive. While this is true when fire approaches the wildland-urban interface, fire is a natural and important part of the environment. Learn more.

Photo: Susan Palmer

Soberanes Fire Response

On July 22, 2016 the Soberanes Fire put up it’s first smoke plume.  By day two it was clear that The Santa Lucia Preserve would be an essential strong hold to keep the fire from spreading into the community of Carmel Valley. Learn more.

Photo: Joe Fletcher

Fuel Management

The Preserve’s unique conservation design includes a thoughtful, expert-driven approach to managing wildfire risk.  Learn more. 


Cycles of natural disturbance are important for the landscape. Like fire, ungulate herds can have positive benefits for the land. Learn about how the Conservancy uses cattle to mimic the effect of Tule elk herds of centuries past.