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Sonoma Land Trust TODAY

December rains create new landscape at Sears Point

Sears Point
The tiny islands are the tops of 6.5-foot-tall marsh mounds, which provide safety from predators for birds and other small species. Photos by Corby Hines.

The unusually heavy rains we received in December filled our newly constructed tidal basin at Sears Point so that it currently looks just like it will after we breach the old levee and let the bay water in this coming November. It is so stunning, and so suddenly filled with shorebirds, that we wanted more people to experience it and hosted a “flash hike” on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. This sneak peek of the coming wetlands attracted more than 350 people (and many happy dogs!) thanks to the Press Democrat article about it. It was a lot of fun watching visitors come up over the new levee and exclaim “Wow!” when they saw the new watery wonderland. Want to see this for yourself? Click here

Walking at Sears Point
Walkers and birders fanned out over the landscape to enjoy their sneak peak of the Sears Point wetlands restoration.

Introducing our interim executive director

Wendy Eliot Executive director Ralph Benson announced his retirement plans last summer and will remain with us through the end of February. While our search for a new executive director is still ongoing, and we expect to have her or him on the job in a matter of months, longtime conservation director Wendy Eliot has agreed to serve as interim executive director beginning March 1. Wendy is well known to the Land Trust community, having successfully completed numerous acquisitions projects, such as Haire Ranch, Sonoma Mountain Ranch, Bohemia Ranch, Sears Point Ranch, Stuart Creek Run and additional properties in the Sonoma Valley Wildlife Corridor, and much more. Sonoma Land Trust will be in excellent hands with Wendy, who will be supported by our highly functioning staff and board.

Have you seen any of these critters in Sonoma County?

porcupineOur fall camerawork in the Sonoma Valley Wildlife Corridor revealed a porcupine! As far as we know, porcupines are rare around here, and this is only the second time one has been photographed by a critter cam in the county (the first was at Pepperwood Preserve last summer). Sonoma County is at the southern tip of the rodent’s range in coastal California, where the animals primarily live in conifer forests during the winter and on grasslands and along creeks in the summer. These vegetarians generally make their homes in caves, rock crevices and hollow logs, but are also excellent climbers capable of climbing trees within a few hours of being born! Be sure to let us know if you see any around.

Become a monthly Sonoma Land Trust supporter

donor Even a small monthly gift can play a major role in protecting Sonoma County’s extraordinary landscapes. Monthly giving provides us with a dependable source of funds to save, restore and care for the land. “I grew up in Sonoma over 30 years ago and have an image of what it was like at that time,” says longtime monthly-giving donor Howdy Goudey. “I don’t want to see that change. When we enjoy the valuable places that we have remaining, it is important to reflect on the hard work by good people that preserved them. Without their efforts, and those who supported them in large and small ways, these exceptional natural and open spaces wouldn’t still be here today.” Monthly giving starts at just $10/month.

Click here to enroll in our secure monthly giving program or contact Karen Arrington at karen@sonomalandtrust.org for more information.


January 2015

Donate Now

Saying good-bye

Bill Kortum
Bill Kortum was a champion of many causes, but none more so than the land. This 25-year veteran of the Land Trust board of directors was an early advocate for land conservation and public access, recognizing that the way he grew up, rambling freely over the pastoral landscapes surrounding Petaluma, would be impossible for future generations without having protections in place. Sonoma Land Trust cherishes our gracious warrior’s memory and peerless legacy.

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Follow the SDC blog


The Sonoma Developmental Center Coalition is about to kick off an 18-month public dialogue to create a vision and set of recommendations for the future uses of the SDC property. If you are interested in staying current on the planning process and goals of the Transform SDC project, Sonoma Land Trust has created a blog where you will find articles, photos, links, videos and more about the project.

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Join us!
Upcoming workdays

winter workday
Willow Collecting & Planting at Sears Point Ranch
Thurs., Jan. 29, 9–2
Fri., Jan. 30, 9–2
Sat., Jan. 31, 9–2

Join Sonoma Land Trust staff for a day collecting various species of willows at Sears Point (Thursday) for streamside planting in the uplands of Sears Point (Friday). Come prepared to hike a distance and get into the mud! Tools and snacks provided. Please bring water and a lunch.

Spanish Broom Removal at Glen Oaks Ranch
Sat., Feb. 7, 9–noon

Join Sonoma Land Trust at the historic Glen Oaks Ranch in Glen Ellen and lend a hand removing invasive Spanish broom that threatens to overrun the Preserve’s meadows and oak woodlands. It’s a long-term effort to rid the Preserve of this noxious weed but we’re making great progress and need to keep the pressure on!

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