Conservation Lands Foundation, Partners Tour Coast Dairies
Conservation Lands Foundation staff joined partner Sempervirens Fund, California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird, and staff from Senator Boxer’s California and DC offices on a tour of California’s magnificent Coast Dairies properties north of Santa Cruz.
The tour started at Molino Creek with a discussion of potential public access up the canyon. The group then headed up San Vicente Creek and heard about efforts underway to enhance habitat for resident populations of coho salmon, steelhead trout and the indomitable red legged frog. At a stop at Liddell Creek , the group viewed an immature redwood grove and learned that these were the trees that followed the massive clear cuts of old growth redwoods early in the last century to rebuild San Francisco after the Great Earthquake of 1906.
Many partners, led by the groups of the Living Landscape Initiative, have done an incredible job of protecting one of the great slices of undeveloped California coast. Sempervirens is leading local efforts to create a community dialogue about how to ensure that this once private land, acquired and now managed for the public by the Bureau of Land Management, can provide outstanding outdoor opportunities that complement a conservation-first mission for this spectacular landscape. There is excellent potential for inclusion of the area in the National Conservation Lands.
A special thanks to the fine people of the BLM’s Hollister Field Office for their time and effort in guiding us. A particular shout out of thanks is needed to Dave Moore, Outdoor Recreation Planner of the BLM for leading a perfect tour, to Partnership and Outreach Coordinator Brady Owens for his vision of community engagement, and to Mike Westphal, Ecologist, for his infectious zeal in teaching us about the habits of coho, steelhead and red legged frogs. And finally, to Associate Field Office Manager George Hill for artful, gentle driving on some crazy steep slopes!