Staff Spotlight: Kelsey Setliff, Stewardship Technician

November 22, 2021

Posted in: News Articles

Staff Spotlight: Kelsey Setliff, Stewardship Technician

At Ag + Open Space, we have an incredible team of talented and driven individuals working together to carry out the community’s vision of a beautiful, thriving, and resilient Sonoma County. We’re proud of our team, so we are going to be sharing more about the amazing people working behind the scenes to protect and care for over 122,000 acres of land in Sonoma County. In our latest blog series, we’re going to talk to Ag + Open Space staffers about their path to land conservation, experiences they’ve had on the job, and even their favorite ice cream flavor! This week, we chatted with Kelsey Setliff, one of our Stewardship Technicians who help care for our protected lands by working with landowners, and overseeing vegetation management projects on the lands we own and steward.


What’s your favorite Sonoma County place to get outside and why?
I really enjoy getting out anywhere in West County because it has a little bit of everything – coastline, redwoods, small towns, and farms. Since we have a small child, it can be challenging to get out very far from the house, so I’m very grateful to have our local community park and Regional Parks nearby that we can get out to regularly.

What’s one fact, statistic, or interesting tidbit about land conservation that you enjoy sharing with others?
Protecting and stewarding open space and working lands plays a critical role in our health and wellness as well as the health of natural areas and wildlife. I’m constantly reminding myself and others, especially during the pandemic, that being out in a natural space, accessing open space and parks, and eating local food is so important for our mental and physical health. We are so lucky here in Sonoma County to have so many groups and individuals working to protect and take care of our natural and working lands. 

What’s your proudest moment working in land conservation and why?
I can’t really say I have one moment that I’m most proud of. I’m proud to be working as part of a team of dedicated and talented people that believe in the mission of Ag & Open Space. I’m proud to be a part of projects where we can get livestock back on the land to meet vegetation management goals. And it always makes me proud whenever I see or hear about youth spending time in nature or making a connection to where their food came from.

What compelled you to pick a career in land conservation?
I started out doing stewardship internships and volunteer work where a lot of fieldwork was involved with managing native flora and working to remove non-native plant species that may impact local ecosystems. It was important for me to start out with the “on the ground” experiences where I had direct contact with the resources being protected. That work and my interest in mapping technologies and agroecology inspired me to pursue a career in land conservation. 

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor and why?
Usually I would say chocolate because chocolate makes everything better! However, I recently went to an ice cream shop that had a lavender honeycomb ice cream that was truly amazing – super creamy with a subtle flavor of lavender.