Placer Land Trust Preserves more of historic Oest Ranch
Placer Land Trust is pleased to announce that an additional 36 acres of one of Placer County’s oldest cattle ranches has been permanently protected.
PLT worked with the Oest Family of Auburn to voluntarily place an agricultural conservation easement on the northernmost portion of Oest Ranch near Highway 49, permanently prohibiting subdivision, development, and harmful land uses.
“Through local partnerships like between PLT and the Oest family, voluntary land conservation is becoming a new American tradition,” said Executive Director Jeff Darlington. “Working with land trusts is a way for our nation’s farms and ranches to stay productive, and it keeps local communities, environments and economies healthy and sustainable.”
The 947-acre Oest Ranch spans two watersheds and two highways and has been in continuous agricultural production by the family since their pioneer ancestors came to Placer County in the 1850s for the Gold Rush. Today Oest Ranch is primarily a cattle ranch, but also produces PlacerGROWN honey through a partnership with Miller Honey Farms.
This 36-acre project was the third phase of a multi-phase project to ultimately protect the entire 947-acre ranch; so far 545 acres have been protected since the partnership between the Oests and the land trust began in 2007.
“The Oest Ranch and the Oest family embody those things in Placer County’s agricultural history that are important to honor and protect,” said Jennifer Montgomery, Placer County’s 5th District Supervisor. “On behalf of Placer County, I thank the Oests for their continued commitment to open space.”
The agricultural conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement attached to the deed of the property that permanently ensures the property will remain open space viable for agricultural production, while keeping the land privately held and managed by the Oest family.
“This ranch was built by my great-great-grandfather and continued by a lot of hard work down through the generations,” said Loren Oest, the fifth generation of his family to work this land. “We love the land, and we worked with PLT because we want to see our family’s ranching legacy continue for future generations.”
The protection of this property provides multiple public benefits in addition to protecting our local agricultural land base and economy.
Livestock grazing keeps invasive species down which benefits native species, and grazing reduces fuel loads that can lead to wildfire. Conservation of rangelands benefits soil quality, water quality, and carbon sequestration.
The oak woodlands on the property also contain critical habitat for a wide diversity of foothill plant and animal life, and the property provides a scenic open space buffer for the City of Auburn along Highway 49.
Funding for the agricultural conservation easement acquisition and long-term stewardship was provided to PLT by its members as well as the State Wildlife Conservation Board, Placer County, and Emigrant Trails Greenway Trust. The Oest family also contributed financially to the project.
For more information about PLT’s work to protect small farms and ranches in Placer County, contact Jeff Darlington at (530) 887-9222.
Welcome new Stewardship Assistant Jim McBride
Jim joins the stewardship team in managing PLT Preserves, working with volunteers, and implementing restoration and trail projects.
“I’m excited to join the team at PLT as the Stewardship Assistant, and for the opportunity to work with and engage communities on impactful projects,” said Jim. “I’m thrilled to get the chance to work on a variety of landscapes and help protect critical lands in Placer County.”
In 2012 Jim graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in natural resources. Jim also has a minor in Fisheries and Wildlife.
After graduating, Jim spent a couple of years serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer with the Mountain Alliance Conservation Corps in the Mojave Desert and the Nature Conservancy in Arizona where he worked on projects consisting of forest thinning and fuel load reduction, trail building and maintenance and stream flow monitoring. More recently, Jim worked for the State of Wyoming, Military Department (National Guard) as a Grounds and Building Specialist where he performed grounds and building maintenance.
Jim’s professional background in natural resource management will be a huge asset as PLT works to manage our Preserves. PLT Board and staff would like to welcome Jim to the team; we look forward to working with him!
BIG Day of Giving was more than BIG, it was HUGE!
On May 5th, Placer Land Trust and 528 other nonprofits rallied to kick off the Sacramento region’s 2nd annual BIG Day of Giving. By the end of this 24-hour online giving event, $5.6 million was raised for our nonprofit community!
It was such an honor to be part of an event that raised so much for the many worthy nonprofits in our community.
Placer Land Trust was completely blown away by the level of support we received on the BIG Day. In just 24 hours, over 300 supporters gave to Placer Land Trust (including 85 new members), totaling more than $127,000. When you add in the $11,250 in cash prizes we earned, plus the incentive funds offered by the Community Foundations, our grand total was $145,724—that’s a 97% increase over last year! This impressive response from our supporters gave Placer Land Trust the distinguished honor of taking FIRST PLACE out of all 529 non-profits for the most money raised!
Aside from the money raised, the BIG Day of Giving was an opportunity to be a part of something HUGE for our region. It allowed us to further develop great relationships with the Placer Community Foundation and the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, who both did an amazing job providing leadership and guidance leading up to and during the BIG Day of Giving. The BIG Day of Giving gave our Board members and staff the platform to tell our community the “Placer Land Trust story” and the chance to walk the talk, so to speak—100% of all our Board and staff members made contributions to PLT that day!
BIG thanks go out to our three top donors: Emigrant Trails Greenway Trust, Barry & Lynda Keller, and Andy & Shana Laursen. Their gifts helped to shine the spotlight on Placer Land Trust and inspired others to give! But it was the hundreds of gifts of all sizes, from both long-time and new members alike, that made this day a success. And we promise to give it back to you ten-fold in the form of beautiful permanently protected landscapes, and increased opportunities for all to get out and enjoy our treasured natural playgrounds!
We hope you’ll all come out and help us celebrate in November at a Sacramento Kings game where Placer Land Trust will be showcased—this was an award we won on the BIG Day of Giving which was announced at the Cesar Chavez Park in Sacramento during the halftime celebration.
To those of you who supported us on the BIG Day … THANK YOU!
PLT Member Spotlight – Mike Driscoll
Mike Driscoll has built a life around taking good care of himself, others, and the world around him.
Placer Land Trust (PLT) is honored to have the support of people like Mike and his wife, B.J., who first donated in 1999, and have been consistent PLT members since 2008. Mike and B.J. believe in PLT’s mission in land conservation.
“Once it’s gone, it’s gone. We have to preserve what we have,” said Mike. “Groups like Placer Land Trust are important … without them, who knows what would happen.”
Mike is not against development, but wants to see it done with a purpose and with consideration of the future. He shared a favorite quote by Frank Lloyd Wright that sums up his philosophy:
“No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together each the happier for the other.”
Mike also enjoys the health benefits of nature, which makes sense since he is a doctor at Kaiser Permanente. He enjoys hiking near his home along the American River Canyon while B.J. runs the trails. Mike likes to share the benefits of spending time outdoors with others by coordinating hikes for his Kaiser colleagues.
However, it is Mike’s current adventure that really made his face light up…his second medical mission to Kenya, where he currently is.
He is traveling with Unimedlink International, a charitable organization that he helped create that consists of doctors, nurses, and other volunteers.
This small organization partners with a community clinic in Kenya to conduct a medical camp, providing locals with services such as vaccinations, deworming of children, wellness education, wound care, and matching hundreds of patients with prescription eyeglasses.
In 2014, the medical team saw over 1,000 patients in two days, and with a larger team this year, they hope to serve even more.
Aside from the medical care provided, Mike and his team are helping to bring awareness to locals that this community clinic is a great resource for them. They are also working with 10 Kenyan medical students to deepen their training and education.
Mike and the team are paying for their own travel expenses and medical supplies, and are relying on donations to make this medical mission possible.
If you’re interested in helping a good person do some good work for a community in need, then consider supporting his mission at unimedlinkinternational.com.
The votes are in…Everyone who enjoys a good trail has won!
Our members have generously spoken with their dollars and shown just how much our community really values trails—meaning our Trails & Recreation Capital Campaign has successfully come to a close!
Through a combination of private, foundation, and corporate contributions, plus in-kind services, and the generous support of Placer County, we have exceeded our $750,000 goal by raising over $780,000 to build and maintain 20 miles of new trails.
PLT was honored to participate in REI’s Every Trail Connects campaign, as one of 10 selected trails across the country. PLT’s Coon Creek to Bear River Trail System shared the national stage with the likes of the Appalachian Trail, a Colorado Fourteener, and other amazing trails. The public was allowed to vote for their favorite trail, and REI funded the associated nonprofit with $5 per vote.
Thanks to 4,642 votes, PLT received over $23,000 from REI in just 37 hours! REI was so inspired by the outpouring of support from trail lovers that they decided to give an additional $10,000 to all 10 trails, bringing PLT’s total to $33,210.
To celebrate, PLT will partner with REI to host a free event at our Big Hill Preserves in celebration of National Public Lands Day. Sign up on our website to join us on Saturday, September 26th for one or more of the following: trail run, service project, kids’ nature activities, and/or lunch and wine tasting next to Coon Creek. It will be a great day to celebrate the natural playgrounds that we all enjoy so much!
Despite all of the activity and celebration, we are still a few years off from opening these new trails to the public, primarily because we don’t yet have public road access to the preserve system.
We are currently working with Placer County on trail design, permitting, and environmental reviews. Our trails will eventually connect to those already established at Hidden Falls Regional Park. Our plan for the future is to obtain a new trailhead closer to the Bear River. We have already constructed new trails at our Big Hill Preserves, and plan to add trails to our Harvego Bear River Preserve this fall. But you don’t have to wait several years to enjoy these new additions now—just sign up for one of our monthly docent-led hikes and we’ll gladly show them off to you!
We are FOREVER grateful to everyone who contributed their time, talent or treasure to this campaign! Those thoughtful donors have made it possible for future generations to enjoy more opportunities to soak in the many benefits of nature that these trails will bring. We can’t wait to see our grandchildren taking in the beautiful oak woodlands, exploring Coon Creek, watching local wildlife in their protected habitat, and learning all about the natural world around them from land and trails made possible by PLT members!
Congrats to Jessica Daugherty – 10 years with Placer Land Trust!
On June 25, PLT staff pulled off the impossible by throwing a “surprise” 10 year work anniversary party for Jessica Daugherty, PLT’s Assistant Director. (Those of you who know Jessica will understand why this was such an accomplishment.)
With the help of her husband Josh, approximately 45 colleagues, family, friends, and coworkers gathered in Auburn for a surprise party and celebratory dinner.
Jessica was hired in June 2005 and was the second staff member to join PLT. She has been integral in the success and growth of the organization. She has spearheaded many of the innovative projects that PLT has undertaken, and earlier this year she was recognized as one of the top “40 Under 40” young leaders in the Sacramento region.
Congratulations Jessica, it’s been a great first 10 years and here’s to 10 more!
From the Hardcourt to the Hardwoods
In July several members of the Sacramento Kings staff joined Placer Land Trust for a hike through the oak woodlands on our Big Hill Preserves, and PLT Executive Director Jeff Darlington was interviewed by Kings announcers Scott Moak and Scott Freshour.
The reason for the outing and the interview was to tip off a new Kings #DoGood initiative to support successful nonprofits doing good in the community.
During the BIG Day of Giving in May, PLT won the #DoGood Challenge sponsored by the Sacramento Kings. This award was given to the organization that raised the most money by noon on the BIG Day of Giving.
The award includes a suite at an upcoming Kings home game plus marketing and fundraising assistance. PLT was asked to choose two other nonprofits to join us at the game: we chose Child Advocates of Placer County and 916 Ink. These two nonprofits serve different needs within our community, and we’re pleased to create some common ground with them and the Kings!
Stay tuned for more details about our partnership and the game details. We hope you’ll join us at the game in November!
PLT Volunteer Docents – Training to keep you safe!
If you come on a hike with Placer Land Trust, rest assured you’ll be in good hands.
Our team of volunteer docents recently participated in First Aid/CPR classes we offered in order to keep them ready in case of an incident out on the trails.
As Program Manager Janet Voris says: “It’s a skill that we hope they won’t need to use, but it’s comforting to know that our volunteers have the training needed to help them respond to someone in need.”
Our team was in great hands with instructor Sue Fossum, who is a registered nurse as well as being an equestrian docent with Sacramento Valley Conservancy. Being a trail docent herself, Sue was able to structure the class using real-life scenarios that our docents might encounter while leading hikes.
“I really enjoyed the class,” explained docent Susan Kotelnicki. “The instructor went into great detail training us using examples we might actually see while we’re leading hikes. She also gave us informational handouts we can refer back to later.”
In addition to the first aid class, a couple of our docents also attended a Risk Management Training class offered by the Sacramento Valley Conservancy.
“It’s great to be able to work together and share ideas, and we appreciate SVC inviting our docents to participate in these special trainings, all of which will help keep our guests safer,” said PLT Community Relations Manager (and class participant) Kara Walker.
Thanks go out to our volunteer docents for taking time out of their day to refresh their skills and help us run safe activities. They are an amazing team, and we hope you find the time to attend one of our docent-led activities in the coming months!
Placer Land Trust Staff OUT-and-About
Placer Land Trust staff enjoyed summer vacation time as much as anyone. Over the summer Kara went to Lake Tahoe with her husband Aaron and daughters Kya and Janae; they enjoyed biking, hiking and swimming in the lake. Justin took his first real vacation in years; he went to Anchorage Alaska, where he enjoyed a lot of fishing and even got to see a few bears!
Join us Thursday, Oct. 22 – Annual Placer Conservator Award Dinner
Please join Placer Land Trust and friends on October 22, 6-9pm, at the Blue Goose Event Center in Loomis to honor Mark Fowler with the 2015 Placer Conservator Award.
Mark is being honored for his role in enriching the quality of life in Placer County through resource conservation.
We’re excited to honor Mark for his years of service as an award-winner teacher at Lincoln High School, (now retired) where he was instrumental in the development of a School Farm Program.
He continues to impact youth today by leading outdoor education programs, and also makes our community a better place through his tireless volunteer service on community boards and commissions.
Mark serves on the boards of the Wildlife Heritage Foundation, Placer County Fish & Game Commission, Western Placer Education Foundation, Rural Lincoln Municipal Advisory Committee, Placer County Conservation Plan Biological Working Group, Fruitvale School Association Board, and Lincoln High School Farm Foundation.
It seems the only thing that Mark hasn’t been able to accomplish in his retirement is relaxation!
This annual fundraising event includes amazing PlacerGROWN food, and a unique auction you won’t want to miss. Proceeds will go right back into the community in the form of protected, restored and enhanced landscapes for all of us to enjoy.
For tickets or more information see placerlandtrust.org or contact us at (530) 887-9222.
Attention Members – PLT’s new Membership Program
Placer Land Trust has recently developed a new Membership Program to help show our members how much they mean to us. Below are the rewards that our members will now receive, in addition to a pretty new PLT membership card!
You should have received a letter in the mail with all the information in it. If you have donated to PLT in the last year and have not received any sort of correspondence about our new membership program please contact Sarah Darney in our office firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 887-9222.
ALL PLACER LAND TRUST MEMBERS…
• Experience the joy of knowing they’re supporting a cause that improves the
quality of life for so many
• Get opportunities to connect with a great group of like-minded members
• Receive recognition in our annual Community Report, mailed in December
• Enjoy discounts to PLT events
• Get a 1-year subscription to our monthly e-newsletter, The Placer Steward
• Receive a 1-year subscription to our bi-annual newsletter, Wonders
• Get a PLT Membership Card, which covers the household for one year
MEMBERSHIP LEVELS AND BENEFITS…
$35 FRIEND – Includes benefits listed above.
$100 ADVOCATE – Includes benefits listed above, plus an invitation to exclusive member hikes & events.
$250 STEWARD – Includes benefits listed above, plus an invitation to quarterly coffee with PLT staff, and option of a PLT branded item.
$500 PROTECTOR – Includes benefits listed above, plus an invitation to an annual gathering with PLT
$1,000 GUARDIAN – Includes benefits listed above, plus an invitation to a group tour for Guardian and Ambassador Members ONLY, and an invitation to the reception before our annual Placer Conservator event.
$5,000+ AMBASSADOR – Includes benefits listed above, plus an invitation to be the first to tour new
acquired/protected lands, and a private tour with a scientist/expert or a picnic for up to 20 people.
PLT to partner with Sierra College
“Hi, this is Joe. What is the possibility of teaching an ecology class at one of your preserves?”
This was the start of a recent phone call from Sierra College Professor Emeritus Joe Medeiros. Well, of course we’re happy to oblige … we think the outdoors is the perfect classroom and a great learning opportunity for students!
Medeiros will be teaching a half-unit biology field class (Bio 16A) in October on local ecosystems in Placer County, and the “classroom” will be on several of our preserves.
PLT has worked with Sierra College in the past on different levels, but this will be the first time that our preserves will be the official classroom for a college level course.
There is room for 20 students and registration is open to the public on Sierra College’s website.
We are happy to partner with Sierra College to offer students a chance to study local ecosystems on our preserved land. The class is expected to include a visit to our Swainsons Grassland Preserve, Doty Ravine Preserve, Taylor Ranch Preserve, and Canyon View Preserve.
Volunteers wanted – the Great Sierra River Cleanup
Please help us keep our watersheds clean and healthy on Saturday, September 19th from 9am to Noon.
Placer Land Trust is pleased to be participating once again in the annual Great Sierra River Cleanup. This will be our 6th year of hosting a cleanup to help keep our waterways free of trash and debris. This is a family-friendly event fun for all ages and open to anyone!
Once again, we will focus our efforts along the Miner’s Ravine Trail in Roseville. Nearly 70 volunteers came out two years ago to help pick up over 500 pounds of trash along this popular trail. We are hoping for great support from the community again this year. After the cleanup, volunteers will enjoy lunch courtesy of Whole Foods Roseville and other sponsors.
The Great Sierra River Cleanup is coordinated by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and is the premier volunteer event focused on removing trash and restoring the health of waterways throughout the Sierra Nevada Region. Every year it is held in conjunction with California Coastal Cleanup Day. The Sierra Nevada Conservancy indicates that “during the first six years of the Great Sierra River Cleanup, more than 24,000 volunteers have joined together to remove nearly 700 tons of trash and recyclables from watersheds throughout the Sierra Nevada.” That’s amazing!
You can help with this event in several ways. For more information, to register to participate, or to sponsor the event, visit our website placerlandtrust.org or contact Janet Voris at (530) 887-9222.