Openlands Stewardship Plans

Openlands Stewardship Plans

The Openlands offer Preserve Landowners a unique opportunity to become an active steward of the land in partnership with the Conservancy. Through Openland Stewardship Plans (OSPs), we work with Preserve residents to customize habitat restoration activities that accomplish shared conservation goals.

Conservation Easements

Each property on the Santa Lucia Preserve contains a conservation easement known as “Openlands” outside of the building envelope, forming a buffer between residential development and the surrounding Wildlands. A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust that permanently limits the use of a property to protect its conservation values and transfers with ownership. The conservation easement protects the landowner’s investment by preventing negative impacts such as construction, vehicle use, agriculture, and other adverse footprints.

How To Start Your Openlands Stewardship Plan

Through Openlands Stewardship Plans, we encourage landowners to take the next step in their stewardship journey by taking an active role in restoring habitats and improving ecological health on The Preserve. In doing so, we enhance opportunities for wildlife viewing and retain unencumbered views of this iconic landscape. Sensitive resources including special status species, rare wildlife habitat, riparian and wetland habitats, and historic sites are protected in the Openlands and are carefully considered within each plan.

  1. A member of the Conservancy team meets with you on-site to discuss your conservation goals. Often, these are related to improving wildlife habitat, addressing resource concerns, safeguarding viewsheds, and managing pests and weeds sustainably.
  2. We write a site-specific Openlands Stewardship Plan to address your goals. OSPs may include prescriptions for invasive plant removal, native planting, owl nest box installation, hazard tree removal, or grazing through our Conservation Grazing Program. The site-specific OSP includes approved treatments and an implementation schedule to meet your goals.
  3. With the OSP in hand, you can follow the treatment schedule yourself or hire a qualified contractor to implement the plan.
  4. The Conservancy monitors vegetation changes annually to assess progress and will provide guidance if changes to your OSP are necessary.

Healthy Openlands are part of every Preserve landowners’ legacy. We look forward to working with you!