by Jen Stanfield
Sonoma Land Trust and Pathways for Wildlife staff placed infrared cameras along major rural roads in southern Sonoma County last summer to monitor underpass and culvert use by animals. We expected to leave the cameras in place for one year. However, we have recently experienced our first truly wet season since the wildlife corridor studies began several years ago, and it soon became clear that monitoring and maintenance for the cameras would be a wholly different experience from our past study.
by Kyle Pinjuv
Hiking season has arrived in Sonoma County. In fact, every season is hiking season in Sonoma County —we are lucky in that way! But hiking season also means tick season, and every season is tick season in Sonoma County. We are unlucky in that way. Our county is home to a variety of tick species, and knowing how to identify them, their behavior and how to deal with them is very important for your short and long-term health. Sounds dramatic, I know, but as a vector species, these small arthropods can transmit a number of diseases to their hosts (hosts being Sonoma County hikers, bikers, our pets, and others). Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tick-borne relapsing fever, tularemia, babesiosis, anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis are among the diseases that can be transmitted from a single tick bite, Lyme disease being the most common.
Ticks are often found hanging on the edge of a blade of grass, front legs outstretched, waiting for a host to walk by and brush against them so they can grab hold. At this point, they will begin their journey up and over your clothing, or an animal’s fur, until they find a suitable place to dig in for a meal. For humans, that place is usually at the interface between clothing and skin. Your sock lines, belt lines or collars are all common places for tick attachment. It is a misconception that ticks fall from trees or that they can jump onto their hosts. In actuality, if you find them on your neckline or scalp, they likely made a long journey from your boots or pants cuffs. Tucking the cuffs of your pants into your socks and your shirt into your pants can help keep ticks from finding bare skin.
by Shanti Edwards
After my last blog post about the cultural landscape of Little Black Mountain, I’d like to share some of the rich stories from the homesteading era of Cazadero, collected by Leslie Smirnoff, a former SSU graduate student. Leslie surveyed and recorded the property’s cultural sites, sifted through county records and historic maps, and interviewed neighbors to produce a “cultural resources management plan” for Little Black Mountain. The document chronicles the prehistory and history of the landscape and provides recommendations for the safekeeping of culturally sensitive areas. Based on this document and other stories shared by neighbors, here is a brief history of the Cazadero area and Little Black Mountain.
The forced relocation of Kashia Pomo from their ancestral lands on the Sonoma Coast — and a burgeoning era of European immigrant homesteading, ranching and logging — left its mark on the hills surrounding Cazadero. The post-gold rush era of Sonoma County history is characterized as a time of increased homesteading settlements into rural areas by European immigrants who engaged in farming, ranching, logging, the tourism industry and other related trades. Nearly the entire area was settled by 1897. By 1908, all land had been claimed.
Cazadero was initially called Austin when a post office was established in 1881. In 1886, the North Coast Pacific Railroad established a spur running from Duncan’s Mills along Austin Creek to the town, enabling the expansion of the lumber industry and tourism economy. In the early 1880s, Silas Ingram established a resort, and in 1886, the town was renamed Ingram’s after the resort. The bustling resort town and two-story hotel was subsequently re-named Cazadero (Spanish for “the hunting place”).
by Trevor George
As we all know, Sonoma County has recently endured severe rainstorms. We’ve seen serious impacts from these storms on our roads, yards, homes, and more. After events like these, stewardship staff take stock of the infrastructure and natural resources on our preserves. While inspecting Laufenburg Ranch, I came across a portion of Bidwell Creek that, from afar, looked to be missing trees. I walked toward the creek and found this:
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.