Help us Reach Our Goal
PLTs Trails & Recreation Campaign
You may ask why is Placer Land Trust working so hard to raise $750,000 and build 20 miles of new trails on rocky soil?? The answer is that we believe they make our lives BETTER by increasing access to nature!
Spending time in nature has numerous benefits, which are not only good for us as individuals, but can also be good for our economy.
“Every dollar invested in trails for physical activity leads to nearly $3 in direct medical benefits and health-care savings,” says Dr. Richard Jackson, former State Health Officer for California. “Promoting healthier lifestyles not only improves our quality of life, but offers a way to help drive down health care costs and preempt a host of preventable diseases.”
In addition to health benefits, trails provide opportunities for people to disconnect from the noise of their daily lives and reconnect with each other, explore hobbies that give their lives meaning, experience adventures that boost self-esteem, and enjoy educational experiences that bring science to life and invigorate the senses.
Check out the River Cats article to see how YOU can help PLT finish our Trails & Recreation Campaign by National Trails Day on June 6, 2015.
We need your help to make this happen for all of us who live or play in Placer County!
From the Boardroom
Welcome new Board member Charles Leininger
By Fred Yeager
Placer Land Trust is pleased to announce that Charles L. Leininger of Roseville is the newest member of its Board of Directors.
Charles is an attorney and founding partner with Merus Law, APC located in Roseville. His law practice focuses on the areas of family law and estate planning, including wills, trusts, and powers of attorney.
Aside from his law practice, Charles is also actively working to enrich the quality of life in our community, particularly the business community. He is on the Leadership Council with Ignite Leaders, a division of the Roseville Chamber of Commerce’s economic development department. Last year he was a finalist for the Roseville Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professional of the Year. He is also a member of the Metro Edge, a young professional program of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce.
Charles has served on the Executive Committee of the Placer County Bar Association’s Family Law Section for the past two years.
“Having lived in cities much of my life, I feel compelled to preserve the beauty and abundance of nature. PLT’s work in conserving wilderness and natural lands in Placer County inspired me to join its Board of Directors,” explains Charles.
“I look forward to enhancing the community’s awareness of Placer Land Trust, particularly through their current Trails & Recreation Campaign, so that others can be inspired as I have been.”
Charles attended the University of Southern California earning a Bachelor of Science in Music Industry. He then went on to Pepperdine University School of Law, receiving his Juris Doctorate in 2006.
While at Pepperdine University, he served as an Associate Editor with the Journal of National Association of Administrative Law Judges (NAALJ). He was elected as a representative to the Student Bar Association, where he organized numerous social and charitable events, including the 1st Annual Pepperdine School of Law Charity Poker Tournament. While in school, he received many awards and academic scholarships.
“We are excited to have a young professional of Charles’ caliber join our Board” said PLT Vice President Mehrey Vaghti. “We hope his leadership experience and connections will help engage and inspire the next generation to share in his passion for the outdoors.”
Leininger likes to travel and is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys mountain bike riding.
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PLT honors three exceptional volunteers
On February 19, with more than 50 people in attendance, we honored three volunteers for their exceptional service contributions to Placer Land Trust.
Our “Volunteer of the Year” Award is given to an outstanding individual or organization who volunteered services to PLT.
Tricia Caspers-Ross was named our 2014 Volunteer of the Year.
Tricia began volunteering in March 2014 writing blog posts, press releases and helping with other communications. She also helped us with social media and was big part of our Big Day of Giving team last year doing Twitter posts.
She came to our office twice a week and brought a warm personality and great sense of humor. From March to August, Tricia volunteered just shy of 200 hours of her time, until she got a full time job.
“It was so much fun helping out at the PLT office,” said Tricia. “Everyone is so nice and friendly, and I’m glad I could help out and contribute to the good work PLT is doing for the community.”
Tricia is an award-winning poet who grew up in Auburn and attended Placer High School. She went to Chico State earning a B.A. in English Literature, and then to Mills College in Oakland where she earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing.
Tricia is married to Rick Ross, who is one of our hike docents. Her daughter “Oli” is a senior at Placer High, and her son Seamus is 7. Tricia wrote a book of poetry that will be published in September 2015.
Our “Land Steward of the Year”, honors volunteers who assist us with the ongoing maintenance, monitoring, protection, and improvement of PLT Preserves.
Andy Herum was named our 2014 Land Steward of the Year.
We first met Andy when he volunteered at the Earth Day dedication ceremony for Harvego Bear River Preserve in 2011.
“I volunteered to help at Harvego Bear River Preserve,” said Andy. “I loved the property and the plan to build more trails. I signed up right then and there to be a docent hike leader.”
Andy is one of the four original docents on our team, and has led more than 25 of our 2nd Saturday hikes. He also led two very popular Moonlight hikes last summer. He is also a Special Steward for our Canyon View Preserve, helping us make sure the public trail there is clean, and reporting any vandalism, down trees, or anything else that we might need to know about.
When he’s not volunteering with us, Andy is a Production & Quality Manager at Galil Motion Control in Rocklin. He grew up in Grass Valley and then attended Chico State earning a degree in Mechatronic Engineering in 2005, and started working for Galil right after that.
Andy and his wife Ashley have four children (Taylor, Deacon, Finn, and Hunter) and they live in Auburn.
This year we felt it necessary to add a new volunteer category for an Outstanding Youth Volunteer.
Our newest award, the “Outstanding Youth Volunteer” award is to recognize a young person who has volunteered with PLT at a significant level and demonstrated an outstanding passion for conservation and community service.
The inaugural Outstanding Youth Volunteer award was given this year to Olivia Brophy.
Olivia first started volunteering with PLT when she was a girl scout and earned her Silver Award badge doing a service project at our Doty Ravine Preserve.
Along with her mom Heather, Olivia joined the National Charities League (NCL) and continued volunteering with PLT through her service with NCL. She has helped us at numerous events, including a scotch broom challenge, the Canyon View Preserve trail grand opening, two of our annual Placer Conservator fundraising events, our recent Taylor Trails Day event, and a prior volunteer appreciation event.
“Since we have so many great volunteers, including young people, we felt it was time to add a new youth award to our volunteer program,” said Janet Voris. “Olivia has been a delight to work with, and I was honored to present her with our first ever Outstanding Youth Volunteer award.”
Olivia is the epitome of what makes a great youth volunteer! In addition to her volunteer work with PLT and NCL, she also tutors at her school and was in Girl Scouts for 11 years. She is a senior at Western Sierra Collegiate Academy in Rocklin and is the class valedictorian. She will also be receiving a Congressional Award at the Gold Level for volunteering over 400 hours in the areas required to receive this prestigious award. She plans to continue doing community service in her college years. She lives in Granite Bay with her parents Andy & Heather and her brother Nolan.
“Our volunteers are a vital part of our organization allowing us to accomplish so much more for the community than we could otherwise,” says PLT Executive Director Jeff Darlington. “We are truly honored to have exceptional people like Tricia, Andy and Olivia volunteering their time with PLT. ”
Thank you team Blue 2!
PLT had the pleasure of hosting another AmeriCorps NCCC team this past fall, team “Blue 2”.
In November, we received a team of 11 young adults ranging in age from 18 to 26 and originating from all over the country, mostly from the east coast. Their first task was to work prepping for PLT’s “Taylor Ranch Trails Day” event in partnership with REI on November 9. The team led and assisted PLT and REI volunteers in smoothing out trails, planting native flower seeds, stabilizing stream banks, and erecting protective cages around oak saplings.
During their brief 5-week stay with us, they accomplished a significant amount of work including restoring almost a mile of trail, removing 3,800 pounds of exotic vegetation from 5-acres of a preserve bordered by houses, tended to 77 trees or shrubs, restored or protected 5 acres of wildlife habitats, planted 741 new trees, planted nearly 4,000 native plants, collected 900 pounds of seeds, and taught environmental education classes/workshops to 50 people.
AmeriCorps team Blue 2 worked in some trying conditions and never once complained or showed displeasure despite the heavy December rain and multiple trips to urgent care for severe poison oak. Even the wind storm that “uprooted” their tents and flung them about the backyard of the fire station, where they were camped, failed to dampen their spirits. One member even woke up with a mouse inside her sleeping bag!
The team was also part of two large fuel load reduction projects, one at Aeolia Preserve where they removed invasive broom, olive trees, and ladder fuels to reduce fire hazard. (We are currently planning additional fuel load reduction work there this spring.) The second fuel reduction project was at Stagecoach Preserve, where the team removed invasive broom, blackberry and ladder fuels. Half of the preserve was cleared this year, and we plan to clear the other half next year.
In mid-December we bid farewell to our new friends as they packed their gear and prepared for a short holiday vacation before being deployed to Wyoming where they would assist Habitat for Humanity in building shelters.
Thanks AmeriCorps NCCC!
PLT has worked on multiple fuel load reduction projects on our preserves to prepare for the upcoming fire season. With drought conditions causing increasingly dry vegetation it is important that we do our part in reducing potential fire hazard on our preserves.
PLT also worked with the California Conservation Corps (CCC) and contractor Bella Wildfire & Forestry Services on a fuel load reduction project at Harvego Bear River Preserve, and we worked with the CCC to re-treat an existing fuel load project at Canyon View Preserve.
Volunteer Spotlight x3
Helping Hands in the PLT office
When we boast that we have amazing volunteers, we really mean that! And fortunately for us, not all of our volunteers want to do field work.
Cindy Whitson-White has been volunteering in our office since August 2013 helping us two or three times a month with various projects.
Sometimes, she takes projects home so she can enjoy Giants baseball games on TV while she’s simultaneously helping PLT. But for other assignments requiring more resources, she comes in to the office where she’s able to work with staff and use our computers, printers and other equipment.
Cindy has also graciously taken on some of the less glamorous tasks, such as washing wine glasses and table cloths after our events. Those jobs, which would not appeal to many volunteers, are a huge help to our staff and frees our time so we can focus on preserving land.
“Volunteers like Cindy don’t come along very often and we are so happy to have her help,” explains Janet Voris, Program Manager and Volunteer Coordinator. “Cindy will gladly take on just about any kind of project we have, even the ones that seem menial, which are often the ones that help us the most.”
Cindy lives in Auburn with her husband Roke. They are both retired and enjoy traveling, sports, birding, and spending time with their grandchildren. Thank you Cindy for your continued volunteer service!
We also want to welcome a couple new volunteers that have recently been giving us a helping hand.
If you’ve seen some of the recent blog articles on our website, we have Alyssa Harmon to thank for that. Alyssa started writing blogs for us last month, with a goal of producing one a week.
Alyssa is a senior at Sacramento State University focusing on conservation biology and also works at Western Care Construction (one of our Placer Partners) in Rocklin.
Also helping with our fundraising and outreach efforts is Cindy Kasberg, who is currently working with Kara Walker, our Community Relations Manager to promote ticket sales for the April 11 River Cats game. Cindy is recently retired from Hewlett Packard and lives in Auburn with her husband Dave.
We are thrilled to have all three of these ladies volunteering their time with our organization!
For more information about volunteering with Placer Land Trust, please contact Janet Voris at (530) 887-9222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Land Trust Alliance Rally 2014
Accreditation & Oysters
In September 2014 a few of our staff members attended the Land Trust Alliance Rally in Providence, RI. Staff spent two days learning all the latest best practices in land conservation.
On our first day in Rhode Island we took a field trip to Matunuck Oyster Farm. We went on a tour of the oyster farm which sits on a 7-acre commercial agricultural lease. Matunuck also has an all organic vegetable farm.
Owner Perry Raso believes the same concept as we do here in California with our farm-to-fork movement, but Perry adds “pond-to-plate” for the oysters. All of the oysters and the vegetables from the farm are served at Perry’s Matunuck Oyster Bar in Matunuck, RI.
How are we doing?
As a member, donor, or friend of PLT, we want to hear from you. Be on the lookout for an email from PLT with a link to a short survey. We’d appreciate a few minutes of your time as your feedback is invaluable to us. If you don’t currently receive The Placer Steward (our e-newsletter), please sign-up on our website or drop us a line at email@example.com or 530-887-9222.
Annual Staff Retreat
In February PLT staff had our annual staff retreat, taking two days out of the office to strategize plans for the future of PLT.
Day 1 was spent at Lone Buffalo Vineyard in Auburn (winetasting was put off until the end of the day!). We visited Labadie Farm and the Columbia Wetlands Preserve in Newcastle, which were among the first properties that PLT preserved.
Day 2 consisted of walking meetings at Linden Lea Ranch in Grass Valley, courtesy of our hosts, the landowners Bill & Anna Trabucco, who worked with our neighbor Bear Yuba Land Trust to permanently protect this beautiful ranch property via a Conservation Easement.
Help build trails by watching baseball!
Join Us at the River Cats Game: Saturday, April 11
You can help Placer Land Trust build our Field of Dreams – 20 miles of new trails connected to Hidden Falls Regional Park – by buying River Cats tickets from us for the April 11 game.
We’re selling tickets at the REGULAR price: $10 for general seating on the lawn, and $20 for assigned seats a nearby section. A portion of the ticket sales will support our Trails & Recreation Campaign.
To support PLT and get your tickets, go to our website: www.placerlandtrust.org, and click on the “PLT at the River Cats” button on the left side of the page.
This is a great fundraiser for us … and all it costs you is a trip the ball game.
We hope to see you and your family and friends at the ballgame.
And feel free to spread the word!
“40 under 40” Award goes to PLT Assistant Director
We are pleased to announce that in November Jessica Daugherty, PLT’s Assistant Director, was selected as one of the 2014 “40 under 40” business professionals by the Sacramento Business Journal (SBJ).
Each year the SBJ honors 40 people under the age of 40 from the Sacramento region who excel in their profession and make a difference in their community. The awardees are selected by a panel of independent judges from public nominations.
“I am incredibly honored and excited to be included in the Top 40 under 40 winners,” said Jessica. “I am also thrilled that the leadership I’ve provided to PLT and the importance of our conservation mission is reaching a level of significance to the region, and that people are taking notice of our work.”
Jessica has had an incredible impact on the growth and success of PLT. Her role is comparable to a CFO or COO in larger for-profit corporations, and as a critical component of her job she helps oversee PLT staff and finances. She’s been instrumental in obtaining and overseeing the management and investment of PLT’s financial assets, which have increased from $180K in 2005 to over $7 million today.
As part of the shared leadership structure of PLT (together with the Executive Director and Board President), she has had a huge impact on fundraising and land conservation. PLT has raised more than $20 million in funding for the protection of over 7,000 acres in Placer County since she came on board in 2005.
“I’m very proud of Jessica for all of her accomplishments and being selected to receive this award”, said PLT’s Executive Director Jeff Darlington. “Jessica is our go-to leader for forward thinking and well deserving of this great honor.”
May 5 Big Day of Giving
Leverage your donation on #bigdog2015
BIG Day of Giving is an online networking and giving event that provides non-profits the opportunity to gain exposure and funding.
“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 5th.
WHERE is it taking place?
At your computer. BIG Day of Giving takes place online. On May 5, credit card donations may be made at your convenience via Placer Land Trust’s individual page on the BIG Day of Giving donation website bigdayofgiving.org/#npo/placer-land-trust.
WHAT methods of payment are accepted?
Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover
WHY is this so important to Placer Land Trust?
Placer Land Trust – hopefully one of your favorite charities – can raise tens of thousands of dollars in one day, which we are designating toward our Trails & Recreation Campaign. Your donation also automatically renews your PLT membership.
WHY should I donate on May 5, rather than some other day?
Incentive funds and cash prizes!
Our local community foundations have raised a pool of “incentive” funds for this event.
The more online donations PLT raises, the greater percentage of those incentive funds will be given to PLT, and the more likely PLT is to win special cash prizes. The incentive funds more than make up for credit card fees on this day!
In short, your charitable gift to PLT will accomplish more if made online on May 5!
Special Prizes for Placer County …
Your donation enters PLT for cash prizes on Big Day of Giving. Last year PLT won $9,000 in cash prizes thanks to our donors’ generosity! Can we do it again this year?
Big Day of Giving donors are eligible for prizes too!
• Donate online on May 5
• Use the unique Placer Land Trust weblink, bigdayofgiving.org/#npo/placer-land-trust., or select us from the pull-down menu.
• If you donate, PLEASE tell your friends about it via email or social media.
• You can help PLT be #1!
In last year’s BIG Day of Giving PLT raised $75,000, took 2nd place region-wide, and 1st place in Placer County. Our success that day led to greater exposure to new donors and new partners, leading to even more success!
However, 500 other organizations are gunning for PLT this year. Can PLT still come out on top? Your gift may decide!
Please mark your calendars to make a donation to PLT on May 5 and look for more details soon.
THANK YOU for your support!
Worlds first Protected Mandarin Orchard
Side Hill Citrus
At the end of 2014 as mandarin season began, a multi-year conservation project came to a successful close. Rich Ferreira, PLT Board member and owner of Side Hill Citrus in rural Lincoln, permanently protected his 47-acre mandarin orchard by deeding an agricultural conservation easement to Placer County.
When Rich joined our Board in 2003, he was already thinking about protecting his land. He said then: “In order to remain in agriculture in Placer County, most farmers and ranchers need some other means of income. Me, I weld to farm.” (Rich owns and operates a welding business from his home in order to make ends meet.)
“I feel strongly that if action is not taken now to preserve some of what’s left that makes this County so special, it will be too late,” Rich said.
“Agricultural conservation easements are a great way to help farmers and ranchers stay on the land, and keep the lands protected and productive for years to come. That’s how I want to protect my land.”
Years later, Rich got serious. We had already agreed it wouldn’t be appropriate for PLT to hold an easement on land owned by one of our Board members. But fortunately in Placer County there are other conservation options, including the county’s Placer Legacy Open Space & Agricultural Conservation Program.
In 2009, Rich began a conversation with Loren Clark and others at the County. In 2012, the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved a Placer Legacy expenditure and authorized a grant application to the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) to secure funding to purchase an agricultural conservation easement.
The private Emigrant Trails Greenway Trust also contributed funding.
In October 2014, with matching funding in hand, the County purchased the easement from Rich at a “bargain sale” rate (below fair market value). Rich agreed to sell the easement for $20,000 less than its fair market value, savings passed on to the County and the State.
The result … the world’s first permanently protected mandarin orange orchard!
“I’m really happy to be part of this,” said Bob Kingman, representing SNC. “SNC recognizes the importance of preserving working landscapes in the Sierra Nevada region.”
Placer County Supervisor Robert M. Weygandt noted that the easement will ensure the farm is preserved for agricultural uses in perpetuity, and will help protect an increasingly important sector of the local agricultural economy: locally grown and distributed fruits and vegetables. “It can’t be split up,” Supervisor Weygandt said. “It will stay always as an agricultural opportunity.”
Located on Pleasant Hill Road in rural Lincoln, the farm has approximately 2,500 mandarin trees, as well as Meyer lemons and grapefruit. Side Hill Citrus is a labor-intensive organic farm that produces high-quality fruit and plays a role in the local farm-to-fork movement by selling directly to local consumers.
Congratulations Rich for making our world a little sweeter!
Welcome PLT’s newest member
PLT congratulates our Program Manager Janet Voris and her husband John on the completion of the adoption of their granddaughter Destiny!
In 2011, Janet and John stepped up to provide a stable, loving home for Destiny as her foster parents .
“We thought this was just going to be a temporary placement, but about six months later the social worker asked if we would consider starting the adoption process” explains Janet. “We finally completed the adoption in November 2014 and we are so happy!”
Destiny was also diagnosed with a genetic condition called Charcot Marie Tooth disease, a neuro-muscular disorder in the Muscular Dystrophy family. It has required frequent visits to a specialist in Sacramento, on-going physical and occupational therapy appointments, and specialized leg braces to help Destiny walk. However, anyone who knows Destiny knows that she hasn’t let this slow her down; she is an outgoing, happy first grader, and can often be found exploring out at a PLT preserve.
Congratulations to the Voris family!
Build it, they will come…
Keep reading inside to learn how YOU can help turn a baseball diamond into multi-use trails right here in Placer County! You won’t want to miss this event!