by Kyle Pinjuv
It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.
— Napoleon Hill
No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it. — H.E. Luccock
Creative collaboration is awesome. — Alicia Silverstone
Though Ms. Silverstone was probably not referring to creative problem-solving between organizations and agencies to attain environmental conservation objectives amidst an ever-changing social and political landscape, her statement is nonetheless true. Collaboration is awesome. We all impact the land on which we live, work and play. We all probably cross dozens of invisible jurisdictional boundaries in our commute from our homes to our workplaces. We all want our neighbors to treat their land as we treat our own — and vice versa.
As a landowner and the holder of 45 conservation easements, Sonoma Land Trust is fortunate to have partners, ranging from other nonprofit organizations and government agencies to conservation easement landowners and individual volunteers who are out on the land almost daily, to help achieve our conservation goals. Below are two examples of recent collaborations with partners of the Land Trust. Both were different in scale and purpose, but both served very important roles in the fulfilling of our mission.
by Trevor George
The acorn woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) is a common species of bird that lives in oak woodlands ranging from Oregon down into Latin America and even parts of Colombia. Its primary characteristics are the bright red patch covering the crown of its head, a black and white clown-like face, and wide eyes with a black beak. If you take a stroll in our local woodlands, you’ll likely hear one or more drumming away on an old tree or dead branch. But, if you walk through the farmstead at Live Oaks Ranch, you’ll hear that drumming on the side of our barn!
These woodpeckers will eat bugs and occasionally dine on tree sap, but they prefer to feast on acorns. They use their strong beaks to peck holes into wood where they’ll store their tirelessly collected spoils. For them, the barn turns out to be the perfect granary. In most cases, we would be excited to provide habitat for a native species. However, the holes pecked in the wood can lead to water damage, insect infestations, mold and other problems. Our infrastructure is important to our mission and the management of our preserves, so we must strike a balance for the benefit of the birds and for the rest of the preserve.
by Shanti Edwards
“The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.”
— Muriel Rukeyser
Sonoma Land Trust’s preserves are some of the most enchanted places in Sonoma County — lands of extraordinary natural beauty and plentiful resources that have drawn humans to them for millennia. SLT’s conservation successes along the North Coast of Sonoma County and connections between Little Black Mountain, Pole Mountain and the Jenner Headlands have allowed us to reconfigure the landscape and bring the stories of the land back to life. If the universe is made of stories, then the land is made of memories and connections to these places.
by Corby Hines
Last Sunday, the first rain of the season coincided with a Sonoma Land Trust public hike out to Pole Mountain. Although it was just a light shower, it was wonderful to be outside in the rain and to smell the aroma of the wet earth. The rain let up just as we started and the sun shone brightly through glistening leaves.
Autumn is my favorite season. I love the crisp air and the changing colors, the migrating birds and the replenishment of our streams and rivers. One can almost feel the trees and grasses breathing a sigh of relief when we get that first big storm that ends the dry season. I love the summer heat when it arrives, but I love it more when it goes away. Most of all, I love the greater truth that the change of seasons reminds us of.
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.