News

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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It’s Tarantula Mating Season in California

A tarantula looking for love on a foggy morning at the top of Cantera Run. Photo by Jackson Brooke. September 22, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator Humans tend to find fuzzy creatures “cute.” Why, then, do tarantulas have such a bad reputation? A common belief is that arachnophobia is a lingering survival
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800 Goats Forage to Reduce Fuels on The Preserve

Goats muching on grass in their first pasture on The Preserve. Photo by Alix Soliman. September 14, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator Last week, we welcomed 800 goats and an entourage of herders and dogs from Star Creek Land Stewards to conduct fuel reduction on The Preserve and help fulfill The Conservancy’s
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Before & After: Conservation Grazing on the Flats

Andrew Evans steps over the single-wire fence into the San Francisquito Flats pasture. Photo by Alix Soliman. September 7, 2022 By Andrew Evans, Conservation Grazing Associate Eating an estimated 1,051,200 pounds of forage each year, the Conservancy's herd of cattle manages disturbance in The Preserve’s prairie ecosystems across a 2,800-acre footprint. Adapted to fire, our
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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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Field Notes: Highlights from the 2022 Seasonal Restoration Crew

2022 crew members pull Italian Thistle in the Enchanted Forest on The Preserve. Photo by Jackson Brooke. July 21, 2022 By Jackson Brooke, Restoration Manager, and the 2022 Seasonal Restoration Crew When the Santa Lucia Conservancy launched the Grasslands Initiative in 2019, one of the goals that we set was treating 500 acres annually for
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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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The Conservancy Uses eDNA to Find Threatened Amphibians

A mass of California Red-legged Frog eggs rests at the surface of a pond on The Preserve. Photo by Alix Soliman.  May 11, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator A major development in fish and wildlife monitoring, Environmental DNA (eDNA) is a scientific method that can tell us whether a species is present
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Shaded Fuel Breaks Increase Fire Safety on The Preserve

A shaded fuel break along Dormody Road, where young bay laurel trees and shrubs have been cleared in the understory. Photo by Jackson Brooke.  May 6, 2022 By Jackson Brooke, Restoration Manager The Conservancy’s vision for fire and fuels management on The Preserve is one that harmoniously combines the protection of life and property with
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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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What is Conservation Grazing and How Can it Benefit Coastal Prairies?

The contrast between a just-grazed pasture and the first day of grazing in a new, adjacent pasture on San Clemente. Photo by Andrew Evans.   April 20, 2022 By Claudio Núñez, Conservation Grazing Manager, and Andrew Evans, Conservation Grazing Associate In this ecological moment, animal husbandry is a controversial topic. Industrial livestock production has led to
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California Natives to Cultivate in Your Garden by Habitat Type

Redwood Sorrel is an herbaceous perennial plant that provides excellent ground cover in moist, shady environments. Photo by Serena Lasko. April 13, 2022 By Evany Wang and Sophie Heny, Seasonal Restoration Crew Members Waving grasslands decorated with strings of blazing wildflowers, oaks hung thick with moss, cattle marching through vivid green grass—The Santa Lucia Preserve
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