News

From Redwoods to Mesquite, Dr. Rodrigo Sierra Corona Returns to the Desert

Dr. Rodrigo Sierra Corona with cattle on The Preserve. Photo by Serena Lasko.  Dear residents, members, and colleagues, During the last five years, we built a top-of-the-line Ecological Management Department, which redefined the Conservancy’s identity and solidified our value in the conservation community. This was the result of a collective effort, countless long days in
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What Happened to California’s Beavers?

An American coot skittering on the vernal pool in the Chicken Flats, an ephemeral wetland that once expanded into the San Francisquito Flats when beavers were common.  Photo by Andrew Evans. January 17, 2023 By Andrew Evans, Conservation Grazing Associate Every major river in California, except the Smith, is dammed… but no longer by beavers.
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December 2022 Newsletter

Albino redwood on the Santa Lucia Preserve. Photo by Alix Soliman.  December 31, 2022 By Jamison Watts, Executive Director It is with pride and tremendous gratitude that we reflect on the impact we’ve made together in furthering SLC's mission to protect and steward the unique natural capital of the Santa Lucia Preserve while promoting environmentally sustainable
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Six Years After the Soberanes Fire, How are Coast Redwood Forests Recovering?

Blackened redwoods stand among a cleared forest floor after the Soberanes Fire in 2016. Photo by Christy Wyckoff.  December 13, 2022 By Dr. Brian Woodward, Conservation Ecologist The Soberanes Fire burned over three months in 2016, starting in Los Padres National Forest and spreading north through Big Sur and into the southwest edge of the
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Managing Invasive Yellow Starthistle on The Santa Lucia Preserve

Conservancy staff hand-pull yellow starthistle. December 7, 2022 By Jackson Brooke, Restoration Manager Referred to as one of the most serious rangeland weeds in the state, yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) favors drought conditions and invades grassland, coastal prairie, and oak savanna habitats across California, opportunistically taking over heavily disturbed areas like roadsides and working lands.
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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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SLC Completes Successful Prescribed Burn in Dairy Field

Conservancy and CSD staff set grasslands in the Dairy Field Burn unit ablaze on November 6th, 2022. Photo by Alix Soliman. November 7, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator On Sunday, November 6, the Santa Lucia Conservancy conducted a successful prescribed burn in Carmel Valley totaling approximately 19 acres with cooperation from the
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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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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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