Land News – Fall 2016

cover-bylt_fall_news_2016What’s inside:

  • A Landscape Legacy
  • River Recreation
  • For the Birds
  • Seeds of Change
  • A Boy and His Plants
  • Slice of the Sierra Saved!

Message from Director of Land Stewardship Erin Tarr

A Landscape Legacy

imageOver the past five years, the Bear and Yuba Watersheds have captured my heart and soul. From the vast oak woodlands of Wild Rock Ranch and Garden Bar Preserve in southern Nevada County to the breathtaking vistas of Fordyce Lake and Upper Rock Lake in the high Sierra Nevada mountains, the fact is, we live in an amazing place.

These watersheds are within a biological hotspot that not only provides people with ample outdoor recreational opportunities but also provides refuge for a vast array of wildlife and plant species endemic to our region. BYLT plays an important role in our community effort to preserve the rural quality of life that we all cherish.

Now that Autumn has arrived, the landscape will once again be replenished with a much needed inundation of rainfall and snow; groundwater will be recharged, ephemeral streams will flow and seasonal wetlands will emerge. BYLT now holds over 10,400 acres in conservation easements and fee title preserves. With lands at elevations ranging from over 8,000 feet down to the Lower Yuba River at 200 feet we see the broad effects that water has on our landscapes.

Autumn also means that school is back in session. This year we have many exciting partner projects happening on our Preserves. At Rice’s Crossing South, French Bar, we are partnering with Grass Valley Charter School (GVCS) and California Native Plant Society (CNPS). Fourth and fifth grade students from GVCS will collect native seeds, propagate these seeds in their school greenhouse and return to the land to install the plants in an area previously inundated with Scotch broom. This type of hands-on learning provides meaningful connections with nature and our local native plants.

Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning (SAEL) pioneered a partnership with BYLT in 2013 and continues to use our Preserves as outdoor classrooms for their high school students. I find it very satisfying to know that through BYLT’s land conservation we are providing settings for youth to experience nature. Surely some of these students will continue to advocate for open spaces and wild places as a result.

Soon, many of the high country lands will be under heavy snow, inaccessible until next spring. Working with PG&E around important reservoirs in the headwaters continues to be a major part of my work at BYLT and the level of protection we will be able to provide around these beautiful landscapes is thrilling. Protection from development, preservation of recreational uses and protection against oil and gas exploration of these lands are the most important aspects of these land conservation efforts.

Our watersheds will continue to thrive because of the strong community support you provide and the continued efforts of BYLT Staff and Board to secure funding for critical landscape conservation. Through these endeavors we will create a landscape legacy of conservation that will continue in perpetuity. Future generations will surely be thankful.

~ Director of Land Stewardship, Erin Tarr

Download Land News – Fall 2016