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Sonoma Land Trust TODAY
...to protect the land forever | November 2017

Fire impacts on our lands

before fire

after fire

Before and after photos of Live Oaks Ranch near Calistoga. Photos by Corby Hines.

Thank you to our wonderful community for all your concern for Sonoma Land Trust during the firestorm. Here, thankfully, our staff and their families are all safe, although one tragically lost his home and one has been displaced. While we are still completing the process of assessing how the fires impacted our properties, we can tell you that 13 of our preserves and conservation easement lands, a total of 3,000 acres, burned to varying degrees. Some infrastructure also burned, including the historic barn at Glen Oaks Ranch and outbuildings at Live Oaks Ranch. Looking to the future, we want to help create more resilient, healthy landscapes, reducing the risk for another catastrophic fire in our community. If you missed our “Heart of the Land” community gathering, please review our 2017 Fire Update here to learn more.

View interactive map of major fires in the Sonoma County region from 1939−2016

$2 million challenge begins now


The land is the heart of the community. Photo of White Rock Preserve by John Hanses Photography.

Join a growing community of supporters who believe that healthy lands are foundational for the health and well-being of people, fish and wildlife. We are grateful for Fran Conley, Rob Das and Beth Berkson who have, together, contributed $1 million and challenged us to raise another $1 million by December 31. When you donate to Sonoma Land Trust this season, you have tremendous impact on our work ahead, helping to address the immediate needs on our preserves and finding ways to use land management practices that make our community more resilient.

Please donate today!

Calling all bird enthusiasts

bird monitoring

Birders of all experience levels welcome! We are seeking volunteer citizen scientists to help us monitor bird use at the Sears Point tidal marsh restoration site. The data gathered will help inform us and the larger wetland restoration community about how birds respond to the changes over time. A training session with renowned bird expert Daniel Edelstein will take place December 2, at 1pm, at Sears Point Ranch. New volunteer bird monitors are expected to attend the training session. Dates of bird monitoring sessions are being scheduled and currently include December 8 and 11.

Interested? Please email our volunteer program manager

Redesigning Highway 37 to benefit marshlands

Hwy. 37

Levee built to protect Highway 37 for the Cullinan Ranch tidal marsh restoration project, part of the USFWS San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Ducks Unlimited.

In June 2017, Sonoma Land Trust and our conservation partners working in the San Pablo Baylands formed the State Route (SR) 37 – Baylands Group to participate in the Highway 37 redesign effort led by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the transportation authorities of Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solano Counties. The redesign of SR 37 provides an unprecedented opportunity for collaboration between conservation groups and transportation agencies to design a new highway that is compatible with our restoration goals — primarily to expand tidal wetlands — and resilient to sea level rise. At the end of October, the SR 37 – Baylands Group completed a white paper that details the current and planned investment in restoration in the San Pablo Baylands, and provides recommendations for the redesign process that protect our ecological values and economic investment in the region.

Read the white paper here.

Donate Now

Heart of the land

community event

Exactly one month from the start of the fires, your land trust held a “forum” attended by more than 300 members and friends. “Heart of the Land” brought together our community of supporters with our board and staff to learn what happened to our protected lands and what will be necessary to heal them. We were grateful to talk with so many people who deeply care about Sonoma County’s singular landscapes.

Enjoy event photos

A new look!


Our logo and publications are sporting a new look, which we hope you agree evokes our beautiful Sonoma County. In fact, the new logo colors are inspired by the very lands and waterways we protect. Many thanks to InHouse Creative of Healdsburg for being our partner in this fun endeavor.

Annual Report to the Community

annual report

Our annual report, featuring our new look, highlights the various ways our community comes together to make our work possible. If you didn’t receive this publication in the mail last month, please enjoy it here.

The bridge that saved Live Oaks Ranch


This week on our Mountains and Molehills blog, Trevor George discusses how our newly built bridge at Live Oaks Ranch proved indispensable in the firefighters’ fight to save homes.

Read it here

Watch short video of Tubbs Fire at Live Oaks

Welcome, Ali!

Ali Records

Ali Records joined us last month as membership program manager. A native of Washington, she comes with experience in community development and program management. Most recently, she supported Indigenous-led grassroots activism at the American Friends Service Committee. She is delighted to put her skills to work to help grow our membership. Welcome aboard, Ali!

We are grateful ...


As we look forward to Thanksgiving next week, we wish to express our deep appreciation for each of you and for your love of the land. May your holiday be filled with the warmth of good company, good food and good cheer. For the land!


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Questions or comments? Email Sheri Cardo, managing editor.
Copyright 2008-2017 Sonoma Land Trust. All Rights Reserved. Newsletter produced by Athena Design.