News

Conservation Champion: Inspiration from Our Community

Migration to Nature Moving from San Francisco’s Russian Hill to The Preserve is quite an extreme transition. From frantic streets, hordes of tourist and unlimited leisure options to the complete tranquility of Long Ridge Trail. To the south, the mountains of Big Sur and the Ventana Wilderness, to the north, Peñon Peak and the Pacific Ocean. While this change of [...]

Grassroots: Notes from the Field

Day in and day out, the Conservancy's Field Crew returned to the office in a state of happy lethargy; simultaneously pleased with the day’s accomplishments and exhausted by long days in the field. Pictured left to right above: Brett, Isidro, Austin, Ryen and Chris. Before I joined the Conservancy’s inaugural Field Crew, I could not have identified French broom out [...]

Into the Weeds: A Deeper Dive into The Preserve’s Plant World

There is a lot to explore on The Preserve’s 20,000 acres. A stroll in the Openlands with a neighbor or a member of the Conservancy team can reveal exciting discoveries and inspire new passions. Originating as a joint effort to manage invasive thistles, one landowner partnership has evolved into protecting rare deciduous oaks. When landowners team up for conservation, exciting [...]

When the Cows Come Home: News from the Herd

There are more than a few things that I love about working with our cows on The Preserve. The land is beautiful, the sun is bright, the cows are good company, and everything is hands on. But one of my favorite parts of this job is hearing members ask, “When can the cows be here?” and I love hearing the [...]

Sharing the View: Wonderlands

My favorite conversations with Preserve landowners often start with something like, “I wonder what’s special about my Openlands?”  My reply invariably is, “Let’s find out together!”  A walk through the Openlands anywhere on the Preserve is an opportunity to discover something that surprises and delights. The Openlands are the Wonderlands of The Preserve. These protected portions of each residential lot [...]

My favorite conversations with Preserve landowners often start with something like, “I wonder what’s special about my Openlands?”  My reply invariably is, “Let’s find out together!”  A walk through the Openlands anywhere on the Preserve is an opportunity to discover something that surprises and delights. The Openlands are the Wonderlands of The Preserve. These protected portions of each residential lot [...]

Wild Preserve: Connections with Our Natural Neighbors

Hidden in Plain Site: Openlands are Wildlife Habitat Did you know that nearly half of the special resources on The Preserve reside in the protective hands of our landowners? One of the brilliant, and yet often uncelebrated, design elements of The Preserve is the fact that each landowner is a vested partner in protecting the things we care about such [...]

Nature Rocks! How Greer Hoffmann Combines Computer Science and Nature

When I was in fourth grade, I was completely obsessed with rocks. At nine years old I could name all of earth’s geologic eras. I spent hours upon hours searching for rocks within each classification of the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. While most other children asked for Disney themed birthday parties, I begged for a rock-themed birthday. I even [...]

Boosting Bovine Breadth

The Preserve’s newest residents have finally arrived. Allow us to introduce the Conservancy cattle currently scattered throughout The Preserve: The Big Herd: The Original Grazers (OG) - 35 head The OG make up the foundation of the Conservancy’s Cattle Grazing Program. This week, these bovine babes are moving to San Francisquito Flats. They have been enjoying a summer along Rancho [...]

Conservation Champion: Inspiration from Our Community

After knocking a few minutes on Cheryl Thiele’s door last month with no answer, I looked more closely at a sticky note on the wooden door. “If I don’t answer, I’m in my office. Please come in.” I entered and was immediately greeted by a very handsome and youthful looking 15-year old cat, Miles, purring as he inspected how good [...]

A Deeper Dive into the Preserve’s Plant World

Last year one of the world's most prestigious redwood researchers visited The Preserve to measure redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) in Trappers Loop, as part of a redwoods and climate change study spanning over a decade. Humboldt State University Professor Steve Sillett’s work has been featured in National Geographic, the BBC and NPR, to name a few. In 2018, Steve and his [...]

Grassroots: Notes from the Field

In our first newsletter, the Conservancy introduced our ‘Weed Warriors,’ a group of five seasonal staff spending day after day methodically traversing The Preserve to take down invasive weeds. In this edition, we want to showcase the hard work within The Preserve community by featuring four of your ‘Weed Warrior’ neighbors: Anne Cardone, Scot Smythe, Ivan Humphreys and Rich Griffith. [...]

Wild Preserve: Connections with Our Natural Neighbors

Oh-my-kiss, that is how the fisheries biologists refer to them. No, it isn’t an affectionate term for a loved one, but short hand for Oncorhynchus mykiss, also known as the steelhead trout. The silvery steelhead is one of the most remarkable animals on the planet. They are a unique form of rainbow trout that are anadromous. Like their pink fleshed [...]

Grasslands, Explained: Serenading Santa Lucia Cattle

A cow’s life doesn’t get better than grazing at the Santa Lucia Preserve. As hard working and highly qualified members of the Conservancy team, our bovine enjoy exceptional employee benefits.  Their scope of work is primarily to eat grass, trample weeds and shrubs, and increase organic matter in our soils. Why do we need them to do this you may [...]

Sharing the View: A World from the Executive Director

The fragrance of lupin fields and hum of native bees across The Preserve this Spring is a powerful reminder of the resilience of the natural world. Spending a few minutes soaking in the sounds, colors and scents of the season reaffirms what an extraordinary place this truly is.  The Preserve lies at the heart of the Central Coast, one of [...]

The fragrance of lupin fields and hum of native bees across The Preserve this Spring is a powerful reminder of the resilience of the natural world. Spending a few minutes soaking in the sounds, colors and scents of the season reaffirms what an extraordinary place this truly is.  The Preserve lies at the heart of the Central Coast, one of [...]

Conservation Champions: Inspiration from Our Community

The first hint that we are on our way to interview a bird lover is the owl sitting atop the home’s sign post. Indications become more prevalent as we park in this Vermont native’s drive and approach her front door. Bird baths and feeders dot the perimeter of the yard, spiral bird tape create rainbow prisms near glass doors and [...]

Grassroots: Tales from the Field

There are many beautiful and diverse grasslands around the world, as two of our newest staff members can attest. Before joining the Conservancy team, Rodrigo researched prairie dogs, ran cattle, and managed bison in the arid grasslands of Janos, Chihuahua, Mexico. While Lindsay snorkeled seagrass meadows in the Philippines, working with fishing communities to protect and restore this threatened ecosystem. [...]

Into the Weeds: A Weed Warrior’s Toolkit

When I first received the exciting news that I would be working with the Conservancy on the Santa Lucia Preserve, I did not really know what was in store for me. However, spending the day at Peñon Peak filled me with enthusiasm about my role here as the Natural Lands Manager. Surrounded by the call of raptors and buzz of bees busily [...]

Wild Preserve: Coyotes, It’s a Family Affair

One of the joys of living on The Preserve is the fabulous wildlife watching opportunities that exist here, every season of the year. Spring is one of the best times to see our second largest resident predator, the coyote. Right now, coyotes appear bigger, or rather, fluffier, as they are still sporting their thick winter coats but in reality, coyotes [...]