News

February 2022 Newsletter

Chorus frog floating in a pond on The Preserve. Photo by Matthew Savoca. February 28, 2022 By Jamison Watts, Executive Director Internationally recognized as a biodiversity hotspot, the Santa Lucia Preserve is located within the Santa Lucia Mountains at the intersection of coastal and inland climate gradients, with a variety of elevations and habitats. Over
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What Does Applied Ecology Look Like on the Santa Lucia Preserve?

Conservation Ecologist Dr. Brian Woodward conducts a raptor survey on The Preserve. Photo by Alix Soliman. February 24, 2022 By Dr. Brian Woodward, Conservation Ecologist Driving through The Santa Lucia Preserve, you may see Conservancy staff wading through ponds, crouched in a field looking closely at budding flowers, or gazing through binoculars at soaring raptors.
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The Field Season Has Begun, Meet Our 2022 Restoration Crew

The 2022 Seasonal Restoration Crew. Photo by Jackson Brooke.   February 15, 2022 By Jackson Brooke, Restoration Manager In 2019, the Conservancy launched its Grasslands Initiative after a rigorous assessment of the ecological health of The Preserve identified the 5,275 acres of grasslands as both an incredibly significant ecological asset and in dire need of restoration.
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Before & After: Preventing the Spread of Invasive Stinkwort

Invasive stinkwort. Photo by Joseph DiTomaso.  February 8, 2022 By Jackson Brooke, Restoration Manager Native to the Mediterranean and Middle East, Stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens) is a relatively new invader of California and was first reported in Santa Clara County in the 1980s. It has spread aggressively since then and is now found in a majority
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January 2022 Newsletter

Shooting star blooming on Black Mountain. Photo by Jenna Allred.  February 2, 2022 By Jamison Watts, Executive Director With the Colorado Fire in Big Sur nearly contained, the ongoing drought across California, and year 3 of the pandemic, adapting to the “new normal” has become a leading theme in my work and life, as I’m sure it
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Preserve Resident’s Stormwater Collection System Creates Drought Resilience in the Arid Oak Savanna

Kate Kennedy's stormwater collection tanks at her home on The Preserve. Photo by Joe Fletcher. January 24, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator On a foggy afternoon in December, I drove up to The Preserve and parked next to three massive tanks that make up Preserve Resident Kate Kennedy’s 30,000 gallon stormwater collection
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Honoring Leslie Dorrance’s Conservation Grazing Legacy

Leslie Dorrance, Dr. Rodrigo Sierra Corona, and Leslie's dogs take a break in the sun.  January 14, 2021 By Dr. Rodrigo Sierra Corona, Director of Ecological Management To create our Conservation Grazing Program from the ground up, the Conservancy needed a very special person. Someone with a deep knowledge of the land, an incredible mastery
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The Central Coast’s Intimate Relationship with Fog

Dew collected by a spider web. Photo by Andrew Evans. January 7, 2022 By Andrew Evans, Conservation Grazing Associate You may know that California is special for its unique climate and diverse range of habitats. The Mediterranean climate in the Central Coast Region, which is uncommon globally and characterized by wet winters and dry summers,
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Before & After: Tackling Invasive Teasel in 5 Photos

A patch of invasive teasel west of Cienega Pond on the Santa Lucia Preserve earlier this year. Photo by Jackson Brooke.  December 29, 2021 By Jackson Brooke, Restoration Manager In this post, we’ll take a look at some photos of our work with teasel (Dipsacus fullonum), one of the Conservancy’s Zero Tolerance Species of invasive
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2021: A Year of Growth and Change

Albino redwood growing from the base of its emerald parent tree. Photo by Alix Soliman.  December 21, 2021 By Jamison Watts, Executive Director After the first storms of the season, The Preserve is awash in new green grass, windswept leaves, the sweet smell of fecund earth, and the sound of babbling brooks and streams. As we
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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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How to Attract Monarch Butterflies to Your Garden

Monarch Caterpillar. Photo Courtesy of Courtney Celley / USFWS.  November 24, 2021 By Jenna Allred, Senior Manager of Climate Change Adaptation Monarch butterflies should be arriving to the Central Coast soon for overwintering, where they will stay to breed in February. After breeding, monarchs head north to find their summer sites. Read on to learn
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SLC Publishes Conservation Living Guide for Preserve Residents

The newly published Conservation Living Guide for Santa Lucia Preserve residents. Photo by Alix Soliman.  November 18, 2021 By Jamison Watts, Executive Director We’re thrilled to announce that the Santa Lucia Conservancy will be releasing the Conservation Living Guide for Preserve residents next week! Born from an imperative to foster a comprehensive understanding of what
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SLC Welcomes Conservation Ecologist Dr. Brian Woodward

Dr. Brian Woodward. Photo by Alix Soliman.  November 10, 2021 By Jamison Watts, Executive Director The Santa Lucia Conservancy is excited to welcome Conservation Ecologist Dr. Brian Woodward to our team. Dr. Woodward is a dedicated research ecologist and experienced project manager with a deep knowledge of California’s natural history and passion for education and
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Prescribed Fire Planned for Nov. 7 on the Santa Lucia Preserve

Members of staff from the Santa Lucia Conservancy participated in the 2018 Tassajara Fire Training.  November 3, 2021 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator On November 7, the Santa Lucia Conservancy and Central Coast Prescribed Burn Association (CCPBA) plan to conduct a prescribed burn on The Santa Lucia Preserve, just off of Rancho San
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How to Identify 5 Oak Species on the Santa Lucia Preserve

Comparing blue oak leaves (right hand) to black oak leaves (left hand). Photo by Alix Soliman.  October 26, 2021 By Jackson Brooke, Restoration Manager Some of the most dramatic trees on The Preserve are old oaks, which are found sprinkled on grassy hillsides to create brilliant savannas and clustered together in woodlands, providing habitat for
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It’s Going to be a La Niña Winter, Here’s What to Expect on The Preserve

How winter weather in the U.S. is impacted by El Niño and La Niña. Infographic courtesy of NOAA. October 20, 2021 By Jenna Allred, Senior Manager of Climate Change Adaptation With winter just around the corner, The Santa Lucia Conservancy is planning next year’s land management projects and priorities. As current and future climate conditions control
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