PLT to Preserve Scenic Vista & Habitat
By Bob Cooley-Gilliom
Placer Land Trust is pleased to announce the upcoming acquisition of 50 acres of open space north of Auburn above the American River.
Working in conjunction with the American Land Conservancy and Emigrant Trails Greenway Trust, PLT will take possession of the 50-acre “Canyon View Preserve” this year, ensuring its permanent protection.
The property is located along Lincoln way near Bowman exit of Interstate 80, and offers the best views of the Sierra Nevada mountains for many miles.
Aside from the incredible scenic values, the property contains diverse wildlife habitat (including several threatened species) in beautiful oak woodlands, with pine stands, wetlands, and open grassland.
The location of Canyon View Preserve also makes it an ideal roadside access point to the adjacent Auburn State Recreation Area, with connection to trails leading down to the North Fork American River.
“The preservation of this open space is a big accomplishment in our goal to preserve lands with scenic, environmental, and recreational values in Placer County,” said Executive Director Jeff Darlington.
More information about Canyon View Preserve will follow in the next few months; in the meantime, give us a call at (916) 663-1476 if you have any questions.
By Mark Perry
I saw a local artist sitting on the stone bridge over the Canyon Creek the other day, enjoying his surroundings. It made me proud to think that our restoration project at Stagecoach Preserve might help inspire art, as well as protect nature.
Even if you’re not an artist, summer is a great time to take an evening breather at Canyon Creek. A cool breeze flows down the creek as evening shades accent the trees and the local wildlife start their nightly adventures.
The trees and shrubs planted this spring are taking hold. We’ve lost a few, but non more than can be expected from “transplant shock”.
We’ve gotten some very positive comments about the streamside plants and flowers, especially the Queen Anne’s Lace, which is headhigh now with large white flower clusters.
Some PLT members noted the appearance of a construction crew laying pipe on the Preserve in June.
As part of our purchase agreement, PLT agreed to this water line being installed by an adjacent landowner.
Pursuant to our agreement, we worked with neighbors to determine the location with the least impact to the land. The water line was designed so that it would be able to provide additional irrigation to Stagecoach Preserve, if needed, including our restoration project along the creek. the construction crew did a great job minimizing the impacts of the trench, and with time and a little rain this fall, the trench will blend back in to the Preserve landscape.
To combat the ever so invasive weeds and to promote the continued growth of native species along the creek throughout the summer season, PLT is hosting another Canyon Creek Work Day.
Mark your calendars for Sunday, August 24, 2003, and come join us for a friendly, easy-paced afternoon of enjoying and enhancing Stagecoach Preserve’s Canyon Creek!
For more details about Canyon Creek, call us at (916) 663-1476.
Committees make PLT successful
By Patricia Callan-McKinney (2nd in a series of three articles)
Placer Land Trust bylaws state that the Board may designate one or more committees to assist with the work of the Trust. Eight of these “Board Committees” have been approved to assure the success of the Trust.
These are Board committees, but it is vital for our supporters to become involved and join these committees. Without spreading busy people too thin, committee work allows one to focus on an area of interest or expertise. In our last issue, the Fundraising and Project Selection Committees were highlighted. We welcome new members Tom Lumbrazo and Mehrey Vaghti to the Fundraising Committee, and encourage others to contact us to join any of our eight committees. below are three more committees that help us permanently preserve open space and farmlands in Placer County.
The Membership Committee promotes membership, including planning at least one membership campaign a year. This committee suggests ideas aimed at increasing our membership base. If you’re interested in this committee and have some time, we are in the midst of a large membership campaign . We will be mailing information about our organization to thousands of Placer County residents, and there will be a need for committee members who can help by supplying mailing lists, doing data entry, and stuffing envelopes.
The Legal Review Committee meets as needed to review any organizational and procedural documents, including easements, contracts, and other documents of legal consequence. Attorneys or others in the legal field who would like to volunteer to research legal issues or review documents would be welcome. This important committee helps safeguard the integrity of our organization.
The Stewardship Committee is made up of teams and chaired by the Executive Director. Each team is responsible for monitoring certain protected properties, including annual monitoring of easements. In certain cases, teams perform maintenance and conduct restoration. Volunteers may choose to work on any specific project. For example, team members are restoring Canyon Creek at Stagecoach Preserve in Auburn.
You can play a role in saving Placer County’s open spaces and agricultural lands by volunteering for any of these committees. Call us at (916) 663-1476 to join a committee.
From the Board Room
It has been nearly a year since i joined the Board of Placer Land Trust. With all of the organizational changes that have defined this past year, it’s amazing there was time left to preserve land.
But of course land preservation is the focus of PLT and we’ve stepped up our efforts to take a more active role in this important endeavor. And as we will be asking more and more for the community’s help and participation, I think about the many diverse interests that coverage to embrace our mission.
What does the conservation of agricultural lands and natural landscapes mean to you?
It may be the continuation of a family tradition, or the start of a new one. Farming has been and must continue to be viable vocation here in Placer County. Farmlands have a unique beauty and are an integral part of a healthy patchwork of land uses.
Opportunities abound for recreational uses of the diverse terrain with which Placer County is blessed. Wetlands support many species, as well as filtering runoff that flows to our rivers and streams.
To some, land conservation may be as simple as experiencing the peace and tranquility of a grassy meadow, a rolling oak savanna, or a lush forest.
We recognize that there are many reasons for supporting the preservation of open space and farmland in Placer County, and we value each and every one. Please let us know what’s important to you, and thank you for your ongoing support of Placer Land Trust.
——-Mara Bresnick, Secretary
Annual Placer Harvest Celebration to benefit Farmland Preservation
By Linda Raimondi
The Placer Harvest Celebration is back for its second year! Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 15, 2003, for this fun evening of wining and dining with friends, and fundraising for Placer Land Trust.
Last year was our first attempt at a large community-oriented event, and it was a huge success. We were able to raise nearly $15,000 to aid in our efforts to preserve farmlands and open space in Placer County.
Of course, we’ve set a loftier goal for ourselves this year, so the event committee is hard at work making plans, designing invitations, and generally getting organized to make sure that this year’s Placer Harvest Celebration will be even more successful.
The theme this year will be “Cowboy Casual.” The menu will be BBQ, including options for vegetarians. Working in conjunction with PlacerGROWN, our menu will once again showcase the plentiful agricultural harvest of Placer County.
The location will be the same: the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn.
As members, there are several ways you can help us with the second annual Placer Harvest Celebration. For example, in the upcoming weeks we will be addressing over 700 invitations….so all of you with good penmanship, we need you! Last year we had a fun “addressing party” and we’d love to have you join us this year.
Please give us a call if you can help!
We sold out last year, so we’re giving our members (and last year’s attendees) first chance to attend this year. Space is limited to 350 people, so mark your calendar for November 15 and make your reservation early!
Thanks again to all of last year’s great volunteers, sponsors and donors…we look forward to your participation this year!
With Fond Memories of Susan Cooley-Gilliom
Placer Land Trust bids farewell to Susan Cooley-Gilliom, who passed away on April 12, 2003.
Susan, a forester and natural resource planner by education and a professional artist, was well-known for her stunning paintings of the American River Canyon and surrounding areas. She combined her strengths to advocate for the protection of this beautiful area, including such projects as Stagecoach Preserve and the Auburn School Park Preserve.
Susan was also the founder and director of Emigrant Trails Greenway Trust, a trust working to promote the preservation of land along the path of early emigrants to Placer County. In this capacity she supported Placer land Trust’s mission to preserve open spaces and farmlands in our area, and for years her organization has been one of our most consistent and generous supporters.
Recently Susan pledged the support of Emigrant Trails Greenway Trust to the long-term stewardship of lands preserved by Placer Land Trust. Her painting “Greenway Dreaming” is also featured on Placer Land Trust materials, including our new brochures.
We will miss her generosity, but most of all we at Placer Land Trust will miss her spirit and love for the wonderful land in which we live.
Placer Profile: Thomas McMahan
Former County Planning Director Joins PLT Board
By Bob Cooley-Gilliom
We are pleased to announce the addition of former Placer County Planning Director Tom McMahan to the Placer Land Trust Board of Directors.
Tom joined the Board in May.
“We’re thrilled to have Tom on the Board,” said Executive Director Jeff Darlington. “As a long-time Placer County resident, Tom has been involved both personally and professionally in preserving the rural lifestyle we enjoy in our area.”
Tom brings a variety of skills and experience with land use and planning. He graduated from Fresno State with a degree in Urban Geography, and began his career as a planner for the City of Fresno. he moved to Placer County in 1965 taking a job with the County Planning Department. In his 25-year career with Placer County, he served 17 years as the Planning Director.
Tom is now retired and living in Auburn with his wife Nancy Holtz.
“Due to the high value of property in this County, there’s a strong speculative interest to commit to much of our land to urban-type uses,” said McMahan. “We must take steps today to preserve scenic, agricultural and open space lands for present and future generations.”
Tom’s passion for the outdoors is reflected in his hobbies, which include fishing,hiking, and travel. He also has an interest sustainable and local agriculture, and served as the County staff member to establish the now successful Foothill Farmer’s Markets.
“I look forward to contributing any small part to the efforts of Placer Land Trust to preserve farmlands and open space,” he said.
What’s New with Your Placer Land Trust Membership?
Starting this year, all memberships will run on a fiscal year basis. That means that any membership contribution donated in 2003 will expire in July 2004. So whether you donate on Groundhog Day or on Thanksgiving, your membership will be due for renewal around Independence Day the following year. We’re doing this to make our membership efforts more economical….putting your membership dollars to work for you in the most efficient way possible. Also, we’ve produced a standard membership response envelope, enclosed with this mailing for your convenience. Your membership expiration date will be printed on your Land Lines address label, and you will continue to be informed of the Trust’s efforts to preserve open spaces and farmlands in Placer County on your behalf. Remember that your contributions are tax-deductible, and thank you for supporting Placer Land Trust.
Executive Director’s Report
Well, the first half of 2003 has passed, and here’s a quick roundup of various items I wanted to tell you about.
First of all, I’m happy to announce that my wife Christa and I had a baby boy – Connell John Darlington – on May 5! he is the light of our life, and when I take him out for a walk in the beautiful open spaces in Placer County, I’m reminded that t he work of Placer Land Trust will stand for generations. perhaps through the Trust’s hard work this year, Connell’s children will be able to enjoy some of these same open spaces, despite our County’s rapid growth.
Placer Land Trust has been out and about in the community recently, talking to landowners about preserving family lands. We’ve made some real progress this year, especially with agricultural landowners. Look for some of these projects to be completed soon!
We produced a new brochure in June, featuring the beautiful artwork of Susan Cooley-Gilliom on the cover. Using the new brochure as an outreach toll, we’ve been attending community events, farmer’s markets, group meetings, and other activities. Look for us at the Gold Country Fair in Auburn on Sept 4-7!
We recently updated our website, and past issues of Land Lines are now available online. Please let us know if you’d like to receive future issues of Land Lines via e-mail instead of through the mail.
PLT Board and staff will be attending several regional meetings in the next few months. The Sierra-Cascade Land Trust Council is meeting to discuss collective conservation easement defense, a new idea that may help land trusts pool their resources to defend the validity of conservation easements. In October, we’ll be attending the annual Land Trust Alliance Rally in Sacramento, a great opportunity for us to hone our land preservation skills.
And finally, we’re working with the Auburn Area Recreation District to locate a new office for Placer Land Trust. More details soon…..