Stewards of the Land

 The Preserve lies at the very heart of California’s central coast, an ecological crown jewel. Conserving this treasure-trove of diversity and wild natural beauty has been central to the Santa Lucia Preserve design since its conception. Recognizing the land’s global conservation significance, The Preserve’s founders set an ambitious goal: to create an innovative model for how people and nature can coexist and thrive together in a changing world. They chose to carefully weave the natural and human communities together in a manner that would inspire an abiding sense of stewardship in current and future generations.

To guide this process, the developers created and permanently endowed the Santa Lucia Conservancy in 1995 as an independent non-profit land trust. The Conservancy plays an essential role in delivering on the promise of the Santa Lucia Preserve design.  Science-based and forward-thinking, the Conservancy facilitates the realization of The Preserve’s full potential:  a place of enduring wild beauty and resilient biodiversity, actively cared for and protected by a thriving community of people who treasure it.

The American West is grappling with many of the same challenges and opportunities of biodiversity conservation shared by communities all over the world. Reflecting a culture of optimism and hope in the face of these challenges, the Santa Lucia Preserve is an extraordinary place where, by design, the future of the community and the land is interwoven. Working together, the Conservancy and Preserve is creating a legacy of health and wild natural beauty for many generations to come.

Grasslands and Conservation Grazing

The Conservancy’s experimental ‘Conservation Grazing’ program uses cattle to reduce thatch (dead organic material), manage brush and weeds, and improve conditions for a host of grassland plants and animals. Learn more.

Photo: Christy Fischer

Rare and Sensitive Species

The Preserve hosts an incredible diversity of plants and animals. Located at the intersection of the coastal and inland climate and with a variety of elevations and habitats, over 700 plant species, 172 bird species, 42 mammal species, 28 amphibians and reptiles and over 60 butterfly species live part or all of their life on The Preserve. Learn more.

Photo: Christy Wyckoff

Ecosystems of The Preserve

A diverse assemblage of ecosystems can be found in the 20,000 acres of The Preserve. Learn more.

Photo: Christy Wyckoff


From news publications and peer reviewed articles to guidance on living with wildlife on The Preserve, find it here in our Resource Library.

Photo: Christine Bush

Wildlife Corridors

Roads, dams, urban development, and logging operations truncate wildlife habitat. Preserving natural of wildlife corridors, the connective terrestrial and aquatic habitats that act as highways for wildlife, are vital for populations to roam between intact habitats. Learn more.


The Conservancy offers many opportunities for the community to contribute to protection of the Santa Lucia Preserve.

Click here to learn more about opportunities to get involved.