Stewardship & Land Management
What Does Stewardship Mean?
Stewardship means actively working with the land and the community to protect and restore the different native habitats, creeks, wildlife corridors, productive farms and ranches, and permanently protected private lands that are under our care. Our experienced staff develop innovative projects to improve and heal our treasured landscapes through tidal wetland restoration, planting native trees and shrubs along our creeks and streams, and removing barriers to steelhead migration and wildlife movement — in addition to keeping our buildings and roads in good repair, managing vegetation to reduce the risk of wildfire and controlling invasive weeds. We work with our community to keep Sonoma County a wonderful place to live, partnering with landowners to steward conservation easements, providing land for local farmers to grow food and fiber, engaging youth and schoolchildren in restoration work on our preserves, and providing opportunities for volunteers to get their hands dirty.
The 2017 Fires
The firestorm that raged across the landscape in the fall of 2017 continues to be a human tragedy. But Sonoma County is strong and we are humbled every day to hear the stories of heroism, strength of character and resilience as we work together to recover. We believe that our community’s best days are ahead of us. Resilience means more than just bouncing back — it also means being better prepared for our future.
Fire has been a part of our landscape for thousands of years. This land we love has and will continue to be shaped by fire, so we must allow it to serve its purpose while managing and reducing the risks to our homes and families. Sonoma Land Trust will continue to manage our preserves for these inevitable wildfires, reducing the amount of fuel in the woods, working with local fire districts to provide access and collaborating with local organizations to manage the landscape to mitigate the effects of future wildfires.
Already, our natural lands our rebounding. By the spring of 2018, the blackened landscape had a green sheen spreading in the spring sunshine. Oak trees that looked burned and dead sprouted spring growth. Native plants displayed a bounty of colorful wildflowers. Birdsong returned to the near moonscape of the chaparral as the manzanita and scrub oak sent new tendrils of growth from their fire-resistant root systems. Mountain lion scat and scratchings reappeared as the animals returned to their normal routines. We are watching and listening to nature to determine what further steps, if any, we need to take as the fire-adapted landscape recovers. We look forward to continuing to share this inspiring experience with our community over the next several years as we lead hikes into the burned landscape and watch nature unfold.
Watch “Sonoma Fire Lessons” from OpenRoad TV with Doug McConnell on NBC Bay Area.
A hawk injured in fire-damaged fencing at Sears Point Ranch was rehabbed and released.