Fostering Land Stewardship

Fostering Land Stewardship

The Santa Lucia Preserve was founded upon a bold and unique private land conservation model. Over 90% of the 20,000-acre Santa Lucia Preserve is permanently protected and managed by the Conservancy to maintain ecological values. The remaining 10% is zoned for residential development, supporting a vibrant community of people who are actively engaged in the preservation of this magnificent landscape. Our collaborative relationships with landowners lead to improved ecosystem health, increased understanding of wildlife populations, broad conservation of the landscape, and enduring scenic beauty. 

Every landowner contributes to the preservation of The Preserve through conservation easements, known as “Openlands,” which ensure that this magnificent landscape will endure in perpetuity. By initiating an Openlands Stewardship Plan, you can implement strategies to enhance wildlife habitat, improve the scenic quality of your property, and create a legacy of stewardship. Learn more!

Preserve community members will become familiar with the howl and yip of the coyote, the evening calls of owls, and the screeches of hawks. As the seasons change, you will come to learn the life cycles of both our resident and transient wildlife. Check out our recommendations for incorporating wildlife-friendly design elements into your home, and learn what to do when you encounter wildlife on The Preserve. Learn more!

Our vision for fuel management on The Preserve is one that harmoniously balances the protection of life, property, and biodiversity with long-term ecosystem resilience. Our proactive wildfire resilience strategy includes shaded fuel breaks, prescribed burns, conservation grazing, invasive plant removal, a Preserve-wide fuel management plan, and lot-specific fuel management plans for individual homeowners. Learn more!

Managing your property in this protected landscape takes proper planning and care. Activities like mowing, tree pruning, removing invasive plants, and landscaping with native plants should be done during the appropriate seasons and take into consideration the complex life cycles of native plants and wildlife. This will help you be both effective and ecologically sensitive. Learn more!

The Preserve Design

Preserve Lands: 18,000 acres of The Preserve that are permanently protected, including:

  • Wildlands: 10,000 acres owned by the Conservancy and permanently protected
  • Openlands: 8,000 acres owned by individual Preserve landowners and protected by conservation easements held by the Conservancy


Settled Lands: 2,000 acres of The Preserve zoned for development, including:

  • Homelands: the residential building envelopes, which maximize privacy and opportunities for viewing wildlife
  • Rancholands: the collective amenities including the Ranch Club and Golf Club facilities and roads