Continuing to steward the lands we own

June 29, 2020

Posted in: News Articles

While some aspects of our work have been limited due to the COVID-19 emergency, we have continued to complete several stewardship projects on our fee lands, the properties that we own and manage. From general maintenance to prepping these lands for wildfire season, our staff has been hard at work. This past month, we have:

  • Started working with the California Conservation Corps (CCC) to implement a shaded fuel break at Calabazas Creek Open Space Preserve. To create a shaded fuel break, more flammable lower or “understory” vegetation and smaller diameter trees are selectively thinned and removed while leaving the majority of larger, more fire tolerant trees in place to provide a nearly contiguous canopy of shade for wildlife use and to maintain moisture and cooler forest temperatures. This is the inaugural project of he CCC’s Forestry Corps, which is funded and established by California State Assembly Bill No. 2126.
  • Completed a spring repair at Carrington Coast Ranch ahead of the planned transfer to Sonoma County Regional Parks. Regional Parks will lease the property for grazing in the future, and access to water from the repaired spring will help facilitate grazing on the property.
  • Completed seasonal mowing on many of our fee properties: Calabazas Creek Open Space Preserve, Carrington Coast Ranch, Dogbane Preserve, Haroutunian North, Haroutunian South, Oken, Paulin Creek Preserve, Saddle Mountain Open Space Preserve, and Young-Armos. This fire abatement mowing includes cutting grass near public roadways and buildings and mowing internal roads and trails for vehicle and pedestrian access by Ag + Open Space staff, consultants, and volunteers.
  • Implemented a new seasonal grazing lease at Haroutunian South. Cattle will graze the property from approximately June-October, depending on annual rainfall conditions. Grazing will help reduce fuel and encourage the growth of native plants on the property.
  • Completed a contract project at Young-Armos to repair the water system, including the well, solar pump, and water tank. This water system repair is necessary to establish grazing on the property, and we are planning to release an Request for Proposals for a new seasonal grazing lease in the coming months.

Stay tuned in July for more updates on our work this summer.