New Year metamorphosis at Sears Point
The new year brought king tides, heavy rains … and signs of renewal at Sears Point. Land Trust member Joan Geary shared with us some incredible shots she took of a hunting harbor seal, taken on a walk down the Dickson Trail. “The seal created quite a wake from under water as it captured this fish,” Joan said — and, as you can see, the catch was a magnificent sea bass! It’s wonderful to witness an interaction like this in a place that was a hayfield merely 14 months ago — a sign of transition and new beginnings that we’re all happy to see.
Supervisors celebrate our 40 years of saving land
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors presented Sonoma Land Trust with a Gold Resolution last month in honor of our 40th anniversary and accomplishments. It began: “WHEREAS, Sonoma Land Trust, founded by local visionaries in the Sonoma Valley in 1976, is an accredited land trust that is respected nationally, regionally and locally for its land conservation and stewardship, for its ability to marshal millions of dollars in public and private funding to protect land, for its commitment to connecting people with nature, and for its dedication to being a good partner and civic leader. Since 1976, Sonoma Land Trust has protected nearly 50,000 acres of natural, agricultural, open and wild land around Sonoma County for future generations.” The truth is, we couldn’t do this important work without your support and commitment to land conservation. Thank YOU!
The romance of raptors
Raptor expert Larry Broderick (center). Photo by Corby Hines.
This season’s outings brochure is in the mail and on our website. Amongst other fascinating events, we’re making the most of raptors’ increased winter presence with a series of bird walks led by raptor expert Larry Broderick. First, learn to identify raptors in a talk and slideshow at the Sonoma Land Trust office, then go out into the field to observe birds of prey along the bay at Tolay Creek Ranch, Sears Point and Skaggs Island. We’re always grateful to have Larry lead our outings — he’s a treasure to the aspiring birders among us and is a noted presence in the county. In fact, Bay Nature magazine paid him tribute in this article.
Learn more about our winter outings
Planting the new levee at Sears Point
Extreme acidity and low nutrients make for very difficult growing conditions on the new levee at Sears Point. We learned from last year’s efforts that unless the seed is very local (harvested from the immediate area), success is limited and it's best to look at what grows on local bay muds and draw from there. One of the local plants is creeping wild rye, a hearty perennial grass that spreads from below-ground shoots (rhizomes). Beginning last November, we started working with consultants Save the Bay, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ducks Unlimited to increase our harvesting methods from shovel work to excavation. This month, we are ramping up our efforts to complete a big segment of the levee planting. With all the rain, the weather couldn’t be better.
In land she trusts
Last month, the Sonoma Index-Tribune profiled our donor relations director, Reta Lockert, and the almost 40 years she’s dedicated to Sonoma Land Trust. As Oak Hill Farm's Anne Teller is quoted, “She’s been honorable and helpful and strong. Other people have come and gone, but she’s been there for us all along.”
Read it here
Land Trust news
The Winter 2016 newsletter offers in-depth looks at our latest endeavors. Learn about Tolay Creek Ranch becoming a park, our remarkable founders, citizen scientists monitoring bird life at Sears Point and the current status of SDC.
Read it here
OpenRoad is back!
OpenRoad with Doug McConnell is back for Season 3. Get ready for a full season about the Bay Area’s open and natural spaces protected by people like you. Catch it every Sunday at 6:30pm on NBC Bay Area — and watch for episodes featuring your land trust.
Learn more about the show
Commutes and corridors
Mountains + Molehills featured its first guest blogger, Tom Robinson (above), formerly of the Open Space District and now with the Bay Area Open Space Council. Tom writes about how his new commute from Sonoma County to Berkeley keeps him appreciative of those who protected so much of the North Bay.
Check it out
KRCB-TV on saving land
A North Bay Bountiful episode on land preservation will air Monday, January 30 at 7:30pm on KRCB Channel 22. Look for a story about our Sears Point Wetland Restoration!