The quarter-mile stretch of Santa Rosa Creek on this rugged property also provides ideal conditions for the spawning of threatened steelhead trout and for the rearing of juvenile steelhead. “Because this parcel is so important to fish and wildlife, we will work with County Parks to put an emphasis on protecting the wildlife corridor and critical fish habitat,” says Tony Nelson, Sonoma Valley stewardship manager for the Land Trust. “This property is wild and undisturbed, and we hope it will remain that way.”
“Literally, today, just over the boundary into this property from the park, I saw an 18-inch steelhead in Santa Rosa Creek!,” exudes John McCaull, Sonoma Land Trust’s acquisitions manager for Sonoma Valley. “This mature fish came back from the ocean via the Russian River, through the Laguna, through downtown Santa Rosa, and then five miles up the slopes of Hood Mountain. This is the first time in over a decade that a steelhead has been documented in the upper reaches of Santa Rosa Creek and it gives our protection of this property even more importance.”
Although a majority of Hood Mountain burned severely in the Sonoma Valley fires last fall, Santa Rosa Creek Redwoods escaped the flames. With no legal road access, it was a relatively inexpensive acquisition at $90,000, with funding provided by Wine Country Weekend, the San Francisco Foundation and major donors of the Land Trust.
Sonoma Land Trust added another 162 acres and a half mile of Santa Rosa Creek to the Hood Mountain/Sugarloaf Ridge park complex in 2016. “We are always looking for opportunities to protect more of Santa Rosa Creek and to connect Hood Mountain Regional Park to Sugarloaf Ridge State Park,” says McCaull. “Putting together an integrated park system can take decades of work. That’s why Sonoma Land Trust is in the business of ‘forever.’”
About Sonoma Land Trust
Sonoma Land Trust believes land is the foundation of our economy and our community’s health and well-being. Since 1976, Sonoma Land Trust has protected over 50,000 acres of scenic, natural, agricultural and open land for future generations, and is accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.