PLT Protects American River Land
417 acres protected for pubic recreation, water quality, and wildlife habitat
Placer Land Trust has teamed with the Trust for Public Land to protect more land along the North Fork American River: 417 acres across from Sore Finger Point at Big Bend.
The property, known as “Big Bend North Fork Preserve”, was purchased from a local developer and permanently prohibits residential incursion into the river canyon, while at the same time permanently protecting the public’s access to the river along Ponderosa Way.
“PLT is committed to doing our part to keep the American River wild and scenic for all of us to enjoy, forever,” says Executive Director Jeff Darlington. “This is the fourth river-front property we’ve acquired and protected along a 10-mile stretch of the North Fork American River above Lake Clementine.”
The North Fork American River has long been an area of special interest and continues to be a priority for PLT, due to it’s special value to our region.
Each year close to a million visitors come to enjoy the American River’s 100+ miles of trails, the world-class river recreation, and the raw natural beauty of the river canyons within the Auburn State Recreation Area (ASRA).
The American River also provides substantial domestic water for Placer County and the surrounding region, and PLT has an interest in keeping that water clean by preventing pollution and sedimentation.
Big Bend North Fork Preserve was acquired through funding from the California Natural Resources Agency, and transferred from the Trust for Public Land to PLT.
Funding for ongoing and permanent management of the land was provided by the previous landowner, the Foresthill Land Company, and the Trust for Public Land. PLT is working with California State Parks on the management of the land, and plans to transfer it to State Parks eventually, as part of the ASRA.
“There is no higher or better use of this land than to keep it open and in the public trust,” said Darlington. “Big Bend North Fork Preserve is one of our natural wonders, and we’re very pleased to work with willing landowners and conservation partners to protect these wonders, now and forever.”
A dedication ceremony, including the public opening of the Bradshaws Bar Trail on the Preserve, will be held this summer in conjunction with State Parks 150th anniversary.
PLT has now protected 14 projects totaling 1,856 acres in the American River watershed, out of a total 7,766 acres county-wide.
From the Board Room
Best of luck to two of our favorite family members!
By Fred Yeager
As many of you know Karrie Thomas, long time beloved Placer Land Trust staff member, has accepted a position as Executive Director for the Vermont-based Northern Forest Canoe Trail. While she loved being a part of the PLT family and playing in the outdoors in California, she and her husband Culley’s family all reside in the north east. She longed to return home so that they could raise their children near their grandparents.
“To each of you that I have had the privilege of connecting with over the years, I am so grateful for your commitment to protecting all that makes Placer County so special,” said Karrie. Near and dear to her heart is seeing the successful completion of the trails campaign in 2014. Lone Buffalo Vineyard hosted a beautiful going away fundraiser for PLT, in honor of Karrie’s departure, raising over $4,000!
Recently, we also said congratulations and goodbye to our star Land Management Technician, Troy Outman, who accepted a job closer to his career aspirations in landscape architecture with Sacramento County.
While he has moved on to a new role and responsibilities, Troy still has a strong commitment to PLT.
Troy is continuing to volunteer on special projects, including recently helping Eagle Scout Conner Getz with his Eagle Scout project at Canyon View Preserve.
“I believe in what PLT stands for,” said Troy. “As a former employee I’ve seen the dedication and passion that is behind all they do. I believe in the cause and I believe in the team, and they need our help.”
“We are so thankful to have been blessed to work with these two outstanding individuals,” said PLT Executive Director Jeff Darlington. “They are family, and we wish them the best of luck in their endeavors!”
What’s in a blog, anyway?
Placer Land Trust is excited to announce that we have a blogger!
Trish Caspers-Ross will be working with PLT staff on our new website blog and other social media.
We are excited to have Trish on our team. She is an award-winning poet who grew up in Auburn and attended Placer High School. She continued on to CSU-Chico where she earned a B.A. in English and then to Mills College where she earned an MFA in Creative Writing.
In June 2013, Trish and her family returned to Auburn where they keep bees and chickens, grow and hunt mushrooms, hike, bike, kayak, and climb trees.
Building New Homes
Eagle Scout prospect Evan Pugh of Rocklin Boy Scout Troop 29 is making a difference through volunteer work with Placer Land Trust.
Evan began working on a project to learn about native bats and their habitat needs, and eventually design and build bat boxes for use on PLT preserves near Lincoln. Part of the project involved a family field trip at sunset to the Yolo Causeway (between Davis and Sacramento) along Interstate 80 to observe one of the largest colonies of Mexican free-tailed bats in California.
With assistance from his father, Evan came up with a unique design that allows bat box support poles to be unbolted and swivel down to within reach of the person performing cleaning and maintenance – a great innovation!
The nest boxes are approximately 15 feet off the ground which will help encourage the bats use the boxes. The boxes were finished with waterproofing sealant and a beautifully tiled roof.
Each of the boxes may hold up to 200 bats!
Five boxes were installed on PLT preserves this spring. Evan rallied assistance from friends and fellow Scouts during the installation process. Each volunteer took a turn augering deep holes for the support posts, mixing concrete, and making sure the support posts were level before the concrete set.
Hopefully they rinsed the concrete off their clothes before putting them in the washing machine. (They were warned!)
After completing the installation of the new boxes, we decided to relocate an older box that was built and installed a few years ago. While removing the box from the back of the barn, a tiny bat fell from between the box and the barn. At first glance it appeared dead, but upon closer examination the bat was indeed alive – just disoriented from being awakened from its hibernation.
With a little persuasion the sleepy bat was coaxed into one of Evan’s new boxes, and we raised the box back into its upright position.
“This project was a huge success and it was great to get to know and interact with the Pugh family as well as Evan’s friends,” said PLT Land Manager Justin Wages.
The bat boxes also received praise from various natural resource agency personnel who have visited the sites since then.
Placer Land Trust honors our 2013 volunteers
On February 12, Placer Land Trust and a group of 50 people honored our 2013 volunteers.
PLT’s annual volunteer appreciation event, formerly known as “Happy Hour,” is a fun way to recognize the incredible achievements of our volunteers, and the huge benefit they provide PLT and our community. Attendees also learned more about upcoming volunteer opportunities with PLT.
Thank you to the ladies of the South Placer Chapter of the National Charity League for providing the food and helping us during the event, as part of their ongoing volunteer support of PLT!
This year, Susan Kotelnicki was named our 2013 Volunteer of the Year. Susan came to PLT in 2011 during her winter break and began volunteering in our office. She later joined our docent team leading hikes on our preserves.
Susan assisted in the event planning for the 2013 Great Sierra River Cleanup, researched information for our Trails & Recreation Campaign, and helped mail membership renewal letters. In 2013, Susan volunteered over 100 hours of her time. Whenever she has a spare moment from school, she’s in our office!
“Volunteers like Susan don’t come along every day,” said PLT Executive Director Jeff Darlington. “We really appreciate everything Susan has done for our organization, both in the office and as a hike docent.”
Susan and her husband of 33 years live in Loomis. She is a student at Sierra College pursuing a degree in Biology.
“I was very surprised and honored to find out I was being given this award because it’s so easy to volunteer with PLT,” said Susan. “Most people have some sort of talent that PLT can use, whether it’s walking, talking to people, or just working in the office,” she said. “And volunteering with PLT is so much fun!”
Our 2013 Land Steward of the Year award was awarded to the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) for all of their volunteer help over the past two years.
Based at McClellan, the AmeriCorps NCCC Pacific Region provides job training and work experience to young men and women between the ages of 18-24. Members sign up to serve 10 months of service to AmeriCorps, a federally funded volunteer service program, and they come away with leadership training, work experience, new job skills, and a stipend to use for college.
PLT was contacted by AmeriCorps NCCC in 2012 after they heard about PLT on Capitol Public Radio, and we’ve been fortunate to host three teams since then.
The first team to serve PLT was the 8-member Gold Three team in Spring 2012, who cleared brush to reduce fire risk and built new trails on PLT preserves.
In fall 2012, the 8-member Green One team planted trees and native vegetation, removed invasive species, and built trails on PLT preserves.
The 10-member Silver Three team started in fall 2013 and camped for 5 weeks at Fruitvale Community Hall in Lincoln while they worked on our preserves, primarily removing invasive species and reducing fuel loads.
“AmeriCorps NCCC Pacific Region is honored to have been awarded the 2013 Land Steward of the Year award by Placer Land Trust for the service our members have performed over the last few years,” said Deanne Young-Reeves, AmeriCorps NCCC, Pacific Region Assistant Program Director.
“Placer Land Trust staff have provided wonderful learning opportunities for our members in conservation activities and leadership development, and have made a lasting impact on our members. Thank you for honoring us with this award!”
“We are so grateful and fortunate to work with AmeriCorps NCCC,” 2014 explains PLT Land Manager Justin Wages, dubbed ‘Shadow Minister of the Environment’ by the Silver Three team.
“Not only do I get to work with a bunch of inspirational young adults teaching them valuable skills and educating them about the environment, but I also learn from them as well. And we get a ton of work done!”
We are hosting a couple NCCC teams on a special project this spring, and we hope to apply for another team in fall 2014.
May 6 BIG Day of Giving
WHAT is BIG Day of Giving?
BIG Day of Giving is an online networking and giving event that provides nonprofits the opportunity to gain exposure to and start relationships with new donors.
“This is a chance for people in the Sacramento region to come together to raise as much money as possible for local charities within a 24-hour period,” said Veronica Blake, CEO of the Placer Community Foundation, one of the event organizers.
WHEN is it?
The online event will take place all day on Tuesday, May 6th.
WHERE is it taking place?
At your computer. BIG Day of Giving takes place online. On May 6, credit card donations may be made at your convenience via the BIG Day of Giving donation website.
Visit www.givelocalnow.org/placerlandtrust on May 6th to donate
WHAT methods of payment are accepted?
Visa, MasterCard, and Discover
WHY is this so important to Placer Land Trust?
Placer Land Trust – hopefully one of your favorite charities can benefit from this event to raise tens of thousands of dollars in one day to further our land conservation mission!
WHY should I donate on May 6, rather than some other day?
The Placer Community Foundation and other philanthropic nonprofits have raised a pool of matching funds for this event.
The more online donations PLT raises, the greater percentage of those matching funds will be given to PLT at the end of the BIG Day of Giving.
In short, your charitable gift to PLT will accomplish more if made online on May 6!
Heads up! Special Prizes for Placer County …
Your donation enters PLT for up to 10 special cash prizes for Placer County nonprofits.
You too are eligible for prizes for your donation to PLT!
Thanks to prize sponsors: Placer Community Foundation, ioSafe, Magnussen’s Auburn Toyota, Community 1st Bank, Whole Foods Market, and more.
• Donate online on May 6
• Go to www.givelocalnow.org/placerlandtrust to donate!
Placer Land Trust Board of Directors
Welcome two new members!
We are excited to have two community leaders join Placer Land Trust’s Board of Directors.
After taking a couple years off, we are pleased that Doug Houston has rejoined the PLT Board.
Doug is Vice President of The Houston Group, a government relations and counseling firm headquartered in Sacramento. In his professional capacity, Doug advocates for local, regional and state park improvements, non-motorized trail enhancements and open-space and watershed protections. He is also President of Parklands Group, a Rocklin-based grant writing and park and open-space resource consulting firm.
Doug is a former member of the Auburn Planning Commission and Menththe Auburn Economic Development Commission, and a former Placer County Parks Commissioner.
“I’ve led a very charmed life and I’ve been blessed to reside in areas where open spaces has been plentiful and part of my being,” said Doug.
“I can’t imagine a childhood without the availability of parks and open space opportunities, and I hope my involvement with PLT will help to preserve some of these valuable lands for future generations.”
Doug graduated with honors from U.C. Davis with a degree in Political Science. In his spare time he is an avid mountain and road cyclist and spends much of his free time outdoors. He has three sons and resides in Rocklin.
PLT is also very pleased to announce that Larry Menth has joined the PLT Board.
Larry has an extensive background in labor relations and served as the Principal Labor Relations Officer with the Governor’s Office of the Dept. of Personnel Administration.
He currently owns a consulting business specializing in labor relations and human resources, and he is an adjunct professor at Heald College. He served for 12 years on the City of Rocklin Planning Commissioner.
“I am particularly drawn to the oak woodlands and those efforts to preserve them,” explained Larry. “Witnessing the PLT Board’s commitment to open space and community access, while working with and respecting landowners, is refreshing and important, and something that I look forward being part of.”
Larry has degrees in English and Political Science from CSU Sacramento, and a law degree from the Lincoln Law School in Sacramento.
Larry and his wife have lived in Rocklin for the past 22 years. They have three grown children and four grandchildren with the fifth on the way. He enjoys reading, golf, and skeet shooting.
Reiki & Yoga Specialist
PLT is happy to announce that we will be hosting a special intern in May, Trula Daugherty.
If the name sounds familiar, yes, Trula is the mother in-law of our own Assistant Director Jessica Daugherty.
Trula works as an IT Systems Analyst for Vail Resorts in Colorado. She has been sponsored to intern with PLT through Vail Resort’s Epic Volunteers Program.
On May 21 Trula and Jessica will host “Guided Meditation & Reiki in the Woods,” and on May 24 Trula will host “Nature Yoga”, both on lands permanently protected by PLT. Stay tuned for further details.
Trula is a certified Yoga Instructor and Usui and Karuna Reiki Master. She has also led meditation sessions for individuals and groups.
Trula says she is often filled with gratitude and a deep peace when snowshoeing or hiking in the great outdoors. She is committed to preserving our environment for future generations to enjoy.
Her desire is to share yoga, Reiki, and meditation to help others find balance and peace in their often stressful lives. Trula is particularly excited to help PLT develop a mind, body and spirit program whereby we can offer these types of healing activities on PLT lands in the future.
A long-time yoga practioner, Trula has obtained her 500-hour Yoga teacher training certificate. She is also certified for Anjali Restorative Yoga, and she received a certificate of completion at Duke Integrative Medicine for Therapeutic Yoga for Seniors.
She is a Reiki master-level practitioner and teacher, and she has been offering Karuna and Usui Reiki for over a decade. Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered primarily by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that a “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s life force energy is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress; if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy. Reiki treats the whole person: the physical, mind, and spirit.
Jessica Daugherty is also a certified Reiki practitioner and will be assisting Trula in her outings.
“We look forward to learning from Trula and launching a new mind, body and spirit program as part of our docent led tours,” says Program Manager Janet Voris.
Out and About
PLT is invested in our quality of life and you can often find us out-and-about in the community, Agency, and transferred from the Trust for Public Land to PLT. Funding for ongoing and permanent management of the land was provided by the previous landowner, the Foresthill Land Company, and the Trust for Public Land. PLT is working with California State Parks on the management of the land, and working with our partners. Pictured at right/front, PLT Assistant Director Jessica Daugherty at the Metro EDGE EMERGE Summit in Sacramento, designed to spark passion and create relationships among young professionals to collaborate regionally and across industries.
April 26 Fun Run!
Join Placer Land Trust and REI for a 5k/10k Fun Run at Hidden Falls Regional Park in Auburn on Saturday, April 26.
Call (916) 924-8900 or register online for the 5k or 10k run at www.rei.com/stores/sacramento. Cost is $15. To explore other REI Outdoor School classes on PLT-protected lands, see www.rei.com/outdoorschool/141.
Placer Land Trust Recognized for Innovation, Excellence
PLT was recently featured in the Spring edition of Saving Land, a national land conservation magazine.
The article discusses the growing interest in sequestering carbon in our forests and woodlands, and utilizing the sequestration process to sell “carbon credits” to generate revenue for land conservation and sustainable land stewardship.
PLT was highlighted in the article for being the first land trust to investigate carbon sequestration in oak woodlands (rather than conifer forests).
PLT is also pleased to announce that we were one of the first land trusts to receive renewed national land trust accreditation status!
Land trusts must undergo a rigorous process in order to qualify as a nationally accredited land trust. An accredited status signifies the highest professional, ethical, and organizational standards, and recognizes land trusts that have demonstrated sustainability in their commitment to perpetual land conservation.
Stay tuned for more details!