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spring 2011


The Nature

From the Director

California Board of Trustees current as of february 2011 gene t. sykes, chair, los angeles angela nomellini, vice chair, hillsborough David h. anderson, santa Barbara Dr. theresa l. Bucher, los angeles Marie chandoha, san francisco Bryant Danner, rosemead William h. Davidow, Menlo park frank Davis, phD, santa Barbara anne g. earhart, laguna Beach ronald r. gastelum, los angeles Keith a. Johnson, san Diego charlene Kabcenell, portola valley William c. landreth, san francisco James c. Morgan, santa clara Julie packard, Monterey Kevin reilly, los angeles Dr. arthur D. riggs, Duarte christine M. scott, palm springs alan seelenfreund, san francisco christopher silbermann, los angeles norman f. sprague iii, MD, los angeles Barton h. thompson, Jr., stanford scott B. Wilson, Del Mar Trustees Emeriti lauren B. Dachs camilla chandler frost Walter B. gerken William l. horton thomas v. Jones Jon B. lovelace Don J. Mcgrath Donn B. Miller John D. Weeden

Editor's Corner


t's spring, a time of action in nature as all across california wildflowers pop up, our crops bloom and our streams fill

with the winter snowmelt. in this issue, we are introducing told us that they're seeking suggestions for actions they can take to better sustain their families and the planet. We all realize that the choices we make can have a profound impact on nature and our lives. We look forward to hearing from you on the actions you take to keep earth thriving. share your ideas on >

cover: Mandarins © gary soup/flickr; facing page: © rose hodges; this page: farm stand, santa clara river valley © Melinda Kelley

Actions That Matter. our readers have

Mike Sweeney Executive Director The Nature Conservancy in California

t h e n at u r e c o n s e r va n c y c a l i f o r n i a / spring 2011

As the water flowed from the tap into my glass, I thought about all the forests and grasslands it went through before it arrived in my kitchen, reaffirming our profound reliance upon nature for our most basic needs: water and food. If there was any doubt about the value to our daily lives of conserving nature, these two fundamentals dramatically dispel it. In this issue we explore the work of the Conservancy as we partner with the people who produce our food, together seeking nature-friendly practices that sustain the planet and us. For decades we've worked closely with ranchers, farmers and fishermen to create healthy habitats and harvests. As for water, I'm proud to report that throughout California, the Conservancy has played a role in protecting critical mountains, streams, rivers, wetlands and the land surrounding them to help keep our water fresh and flowing. >

`tis the season for warmer weather, longer days and plenty of sunshine. fruits and vegetables are cropping up all over. and so are california's farm stands. What better way to shop local? you can support your neighborhood communities and eat smarter and healthier in one easy step. so go green this spring and grab some of that fresh local produce. it's good for you and good for the planet.




Eat Smart. Become a savvy shopper. learn what's in your food, where it came from and who it impacts. Eat Locally and Seasonally. Buy food that is in season from local food producers to minimize the impact of longdistance shipping. Eat Sustainably. choose sustainably harvested seafood. Grow Something! Herbs, lettuce and radishes are fast and easy.

Food for Thought: Bringing Nature to Your Table

You're both a farmer and a conservationist. How does that work? Don't you feel like you are working on two different goals?

So in your mind there is a strong link between the food I eat and conservation?

Absolutely. Where and how we produce the food we eat can have a dramatic impact on our environment and our economy. For decades the Conservancy has been working with ranchers, farmers and fishermen to develop economically and environmentally sustainable practices that support their livelihood and the planet.

So I understand why farmers want to take care of their lands and waters. Why do conservationists care about ranches and farms?

Farmers think of building better soil and producing better food, while conservationists think about protecting and restoring nature. Both are key to keeping your family fed and healthy. Both farmers and conservationists are caretakers. As a farmer, I don't really "own" the farm. I'm just the steward of this land in this generation. The next generation will make it even better. It's the same in conservation work.

Some of California's agricultural land is also some of its most remarkable wildlife habitat--from grasslands to streams, creeks and forests. Plus, as California becomes an increasingly crowded place, these habitats become increasingly important to conservation.

What, exactly, does the Conservancy do?

Beneath the Pacific Flyway, we've partnered with the National Audubon Society and PRBO Conservation Science to work with rice growers to create temporary wetlands, providing essential


Dawit Zeleke, a 20-year veteran of the conservancy, is our central valley and Mountains regional Director. he's also a farmer of a satsuma mandarin orchard in northern california. here he talks to us about conservation and food.

t h e n at u r e c o n s e r va n c y c a l i f o r n i a


spring 2011


facing page: family enjoying dinner © harald eisenberger/getty images; this page: © rose hodges

habitat for millions of migrating birds. Along our coastline we've worked with fishermen who've been in the business for generations to help them develop more economically and environmentally sustainable ways to fish. We've even bought federal trawling permits and are now leasing them back to local fishermen interested in field testing selective fishing gear designed to lessen the impact on the sea bottom. All these actions lead to a healthier environment and, in turn, better food. >

Drinking in Nature's Benefits



In the Garden

water your garden early in the morning to reduce wind and sun evaporation. use organic mulch around plants to avoid water evaporation. Keep fertilizer use to a minimum to avoid runoff into our streams, rivers and oceans. choose droughttolerant plants that require less water.

t h e n at u r e c o n s e r va n c y c a l i f o r n i a / spring 2011 4


facing page: Boy drinking from garden hose © popofatticus/flickr

No nature, no water. It's that simple. What's not simple is how many different ecosystems are needed to quench California's thirst to produce one glass of drinking water. Depending on where you live in the state, we can be talking about no fewer than six distinctly different habitats spanning hundreds of miles. Compare this with other parts of the U.S. where water comes from a single, nearby source. If all these natural areas are not protected, that water glass will stand empty. For most Californians, it's a stretch to realize that our drinking water starts as snow far from home. Yet the vast majority of us are getting our water from the Sierra Nevada or the snowcapped mountains that feed the Colorado River. From the mountains, it's a maze of wildly varying habitats, including streams,

rivers and aquifers, that move the melted snow and rainwater incredible distances into the canals that distribute water to our cities. Keeping each of these habitats healthy and functioning is as fundamental for our survival as it is for the creatures that inhabit them. The need for conservation doesn't stop at this array of habitats either. "The health of the surrounding lands is vital to the integrity of these water-supply systems. Rainfall that passes through forests is cleaner than rainfall that drains from roads or disturbed lands. Groundwater that has passed through forested buffers is cleaner than water running directly off farm fields," says our freshwater scientist, Jeanette Howard, PhD. "The condition of the land--whether forested, used for agriculture or developed-- is a critical factor in determining the quality and quantity of our water." Perhaps no other issue so clearly illustrates the powerful role conservation plays in our lives as water. The Conservancy is working at every step of California's complex water system, from protecting forests to restoring rivers to partnering with state officials managing the canals. Obtaining a glass full of fresh water is a herculean task that requires the power of a series of healthy ecosystems. No matter how technologically sophisticated we become, how urbanized we are, we still depend on nature for our primary needs. It is often said that nature provides a service. With water, it's much more. Nature provides life. >

California's Incredible Critters

© juliagalah/flickr

© leslie scopes anderson/flickr

© JDshedd/flickr

© [email protected]/flickr

© lryna(ilaK)/flickr

© photoginthewild/flickr

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© leslie scopes anderson/flickr

© m2o/flickr

© magill_weber/flickr


People aren't the only ones who rely on fresh, healthy food and water. California is filled with a variety of animals who depend on a clean environment for their well-being. And thanks to you, we have a chance to show you some of them up close and personal. Here are some of our favorite photos of California's critters, sent to us by our members and friends. So, enjoy this family album of California's creatures, and keep those amazing photos coming! Be sure to check out our online newsletter to see more of your incredible images. >

Faces of Conservation

i'm focused on the future. we must leave our kids a decent, healthy place to live.

Angela Nomellini vice-chair of the california Board of trustees of the nature conservancy, angela nomellini is also a powerful advocate for education and youth. she cares passionately about providing children with a world and society they can thrive in.

A Conversation with Angela Nomellini

Angela Nomellini: "We don't inherit the land from our parents; we borrow it from our children." That's a personal belief of mine and why I feel so strongly about conservation and the work of The Nature Conservancy. We have an obligation to care for the Earth for future generations. My grandparents were farmers in the Central Valley, and I was raised to understand that farmers are stewards of the land. We were first attracted to the Conservancy because of its nonconfrontational approach. Then we learned about its grounding in science. Not only do I deeply believe conservation is necessary for the survival of the human race, but the Conservancy is proving that conservation is a smart investment. >

From the Frontlines

Sandi Matsumoto: Historically, miners took canaries into caves to assess when the air they were breathing was unsafe. Today hundreds of bird species are at risk from lost habitat, invasive species and our changing climate. As the miners learned centuries ago, when a bird's life is threatened, the threat to humans soon follows. At the Conservancy, I'm helping protect millions of birds by working with farmers to help make their fields suitable habitat for migratory birds. I do this not just for me, but now I think every day about my baby and am passionate to ensure he will see these birds and play in these wonderful natural areas that we are saving. >

protecting our environment is key to everything: our economy, our wildlife and our future.

Sandi Matsumoto attracted by the sense of quiet and serenity that rivers provide, sandi Matsumoto has dedicated the past eight years to preserving and protecting our rivers and wetlands. With a Ba in economics from yale and an MBa from ucla, sandi is now learning to fly-fish.

t h e n at u r e c o n s e r va n c y c a l i f o r n i a


spring 2011



facing page: angela nomellini © nancy crowley/tnc; this page: sandi Matsumoto © Dan roth/tnc

Make a gift that Keeps on giving: Join the legacy club

More information: Mari Marjamaa at (415) 281-0425 or [email protected]

these caring individuals have made a profound and lasting commitment to conservation via a life-income gift or by naming the conservancy as a beneficiary in their estate plans. the legacy club is a way for us to honor these supporters for their dedication to preserving the diversity of life and for their foresight in providing for its future. Welcome to these new members who made gifts between July 1, 2009, and June 30, 2010. special thanks to those who have made multiple planned gifts (in blue). >

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spring 2011




facing page: Woman kayaking © tim pannell/corbis

anonymous (37) lile adams Kathleen aguilar & antonio ramirez Jr. Karen allen & Brian cashore Keith Bancroft Mary Jill Bays lorraine Bazan & christopher stover Michelle Beko Kathleen Benz william D. Binder ann e. Bornstein Dorann Boulian & cathy ruebusch lois Bradbury Virginia Bria Mr. & Mrs. william Brieger leonard Brill geraldine p. Brillhart arthur D. Burhans Jacque Burris eric carrier John chang shirley chatalian Katherine c. clark

elizabeth f. cole Mary collins Diane p. cook garen l. corbett loren H. cornelius Jon J. courtway nita p. Daluiso Michael J. Damer elsie Darling leonard M. Davis Kenneth V. Dawdy Johanna Dawes ruth f. Dewar Janine Dowsett richard earl raymond l. elliott ilse epprecht thomas w. erwin eileen fagan richard e. fairchild Mark s. farber angene feves irene french Jay D. glass william D. glenn David goltzman

tandora grant edna grenlie freda J. guess Bill Hatchel Jan l. Hawkins & Kelvin n. walker charles Heckart Mary s. Heglar Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Helms Malcolm t. Henderson paul Henkart Donald p. Hickman sue Hooper Jeffrey w. House Mary c. ohara Houston Jodie n. Hulden Melissa Hutchinson stephen Jahan nancy & David Jamison geertruida c. Jansen-Krop Kelly J. & Vivian Johansen alice Johnson Joey J. Johnson linda D. Johnson James l. Johnston susan Jonas Martha Jones & paul J. Zerella Mr. & Mrs. robert Jones suzanne Keith David & nina Kidd alice H. Klein patricia M. Knight allan & Muriel Kotin armin a. Kuhlman Jeanne & william landreth thomas J. lawton nancy & lee leer pamela M. lenhert Doria leong william H. lerand edward lewis

Barbara lind Kathy linowski Jill litschewski ann wadsworth liuzza David lloyd & lynn pierce Marilyn a. & albert H. lozano Dr. & Mrs. gerald Maisel eugene Marquart sandra Martensen & alan selby Kreg Martin Billy McKinley Dave B. & laura e. Mcintire siegfried & Vera Mikuteit olivia Millard & Bill waldman richard s. Moore Jan M. Moreira & Daniel s. ward Marsha K. Moreland Marilyn e. Morgan laurie & Mark Muenchow audre & roger newman peggy a. nissen terri e. olson & teresa a. wilmoth-olson Diane orlando patricia pensworth & lewis pollard Donald e. polk Jeffrey D. pugh & Jennifer e. stern ashley r. radcliffe gail rains Dorothy J. & loren e. reed Mary ella & william reese susan rikalo Barbara roberson patricia roberts Mr. & Mrs. irwin roth Kenneth D. ryan Marvin salles susan samson Betty l. schnaar Judith & Malcolm scott

Kathleen sewell Donna skemp patricia slife eileen smith Marion H. softky carol st. Helen Herbert steierman Johanna stek James M. strong John M. & sheila r. suarez Meghan talt lois M. tandy nancy J. taylor Jeanne l. thomas patricia J. turner gay & Jim Ver steeg ralph & rosalie webb James f. wheeler Mr. & Mrs. arthur white Kenneth & geraldine wigglesworth todd Yoshida wei Yu

California Field Guide

Win a Trip to Santa Cruz Island

facing page: henry W. coe state park © ian shive; least Bell's vireo © Bruce farnsworth; this page: santa cruz island © oren pollack; island fox © ian shive

lace up Your Boots and step outside Spring is here, and there is no better way to celebrate the longer days, beautiful weather and brightly colored wildflowers in full bloom than with a hike. Spanning an impressive 87,000 acres, Henry w. coe state park is the ideal place to explore by foot. Containing over 250 miles of trails, Coe offers walks for everyone--from multiday backpacking routes to short, flat strolls--and the chaparral and oak woodlands that blanket its steep canyons and ridges provide beautiful scenery and spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. The Conservancy has added more than 10,000 acres to the park and protects many nearby properties--including 28,359-acre San Felipe Ranch--in order to protect critical watersheds and habitat in the region. >

t h e n at u r e c o n s e r va n c y c a l i f o r n i a / spring 2011

look, in the sky--it's a Bird! If searching for cool critters is up your alley, a trip to the san Diego national wildlife refuge is one you won't regret. This 57,000-acre refuge, a portion of which is owned and managed by the Conservancy, is a haven for rare coastal sage scrub, grasslands and riverside forests and provides other habitat for at-risk species found nowhere else. Birders can watch for rare migratory and resident species such as the least Bell's vireo, coastal California gnatcatcher and southwestern willow flycatcher. In addition to the thousands of waterfowl, seabirds and shorebirds that pass through annually, there are plenty more rare insects and animals to watch for. A visit to the refuge is the perfect family outing­programs for children provide fun, hands-on activities for learning. >


sign up for Your chance to win! use your smartphone and a Qr code reader to scan the Qr code below to enter.

Experience the inspiration for T.C. Boyle's new novel The story of Santa Cruz Island and its incredible return from the brink of ecological collapse is the setting for best-selling author T.C. Boyle's latest adventure, When the Killing's Done--a fictionalized tale of the island's restoration and the inherent controversies that accompany such a complex endeavor. Now you can let the beauty and grandeur of the island inspire you too! The Conservancy is proud to offer a chance for you and a guest to win a trip to Santa Cruz Island. Come meet the scientists who are saving this remarkable piece of California. Sign up today: >



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