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.
On a very wet October morning, I met a County of Sonoma crew at one of our conservation easement properties to remove a discarded culvert from a creek bed. Over the last 20 years, the culvert had slowly moved downstream until it came to rest against a tree, perpendicular to the flow of water. There were concerns that the old culvert would act as a barrier, essentially damming the flow of water. At the 11th hour, the creek had risen from the recent storms, reached the culvert and immediately started filling this rusted piece of metal with debris. The crew was able to saw the culvert into six pieces and completely remove it within 30 minutes. Problem solved. Thank you to the County and to the conservation easement landowners for their incredible response, both in time and effort.
On Sunday, October 16, SLT celebrated its second annual Conservation Easement Landowner BBQ, a chance for conservation easement landowners to meet one another and learn about potential partnership opportunities for conservation purposes. In addition to our landowners, representatives from Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) and LandPaths were in attendance. Gatherings like these are perfect examples of how we as a conservation community can utilize the strengths of partnering organizations, agencies and individuals.
These are just two ways how the conservation community has come together recently in our collective efforts to preserve the land we love. We witness these collaborations daily — and it is important to remember that we are not in this alone. That we can sit across the table from one another, exchange ideas, work together to wrestle a rusty piece of metal from a creek bed and discuss restoration efforts is, well, awesome.
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.