by Ingrid Spetz
I just had a most interesting conversation with a man I met tonight over pizza. He is a board member from a land trust in Riverside -- a biologist by training, a Roman Catholic by religion. He asked me about my background in Tibetan Buddhism and we talked about the similarities in the ceremonies, the esoteric meanings behind them and how the traditions have meaning in our lives. It was the most in-depth conversation I’ve had about religion in a long time, and was quite energizing and refreshing. It wasn’t exactly what I expected when I accepted an offer to go out to dinner with my colleagues from land trusts across California.
But then again, none of this diversity training has been anything I would have expected.
by Nicole Na
Eleven years of hard work is coming to fruition this Sunday. Since the late 1800s, when the marsh at Sears Point was diked and drained for farmland, the land has seen a lot of change. It’s been farmed for oat hay, nearly been covered by a casino, acquired by Sonoma Land Trust, sat through years of fundraising and construction and paperwork, and was finally flooded through a levee breach. After all these big changes, it’s now time for the land to settle and grow back into the functional tidal marsh it was always meant to be.
On Sunday, Sonoma Land Trust will transfer the land at Sears Point to San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge to steward and protect in perpetuity. At the same time, we and our partners will open 2.5 miles of new Bay Trail to the public. We hope that future generations of Bay Area residents walking the Bay Trail will bear witness to future generations of the wildlife that make our bay marshes so special.
If you’d like to be among the first to walk the new Bay Trail, register here for our afternoon event, which starts at 2pm on Sunday.
We hope to see you there!
Nicole Na is Sonoma Land Trust's communications coordinator and blogmaster of Mountains + Molehills.
by Shanti Edwards
The sight of a golden eagle in flight, one of North America’s largest raptors, can make your heart soar and time seem to stand still — a momentous feeling that, if you are lucky enough, can be experienced at our Little Black Mountain and Pole Mountain Preserves. Thanks to the “eagle eyes” of neighbor Patrick Fisher and dedicated birders Larry Broderick and Diane Hichwa, a golden eagle nesting site has been documented on a large rocky outcrop of Little Black Mountain — the striking landmark for which the Land Trust’s property is named.
The Fisher family has a full vantage view of the rocky cliff face, so they’ve been observing and documenting eagle flight patterns and nesting behavior for decades. Some years are quiet with little activity, while other years see heightened activity with spectacular avian aerial acrobatics. Patrick captured these amazing photos of a golden eagle in flight (left) and a golden eagle/red-tailed hawk interaction (right).
Sonoma Land Trust is a local nonprofit based in Santa Rosa, CA, that conserves scenic, natural, agricultural and open lands in Sonoma County for the benefit of the community and future generations. This blog focuses on SLT's stewardship team, whose members do hands-on work to directly protect, restore, and safeguard the land for generations to come.