Friday, March 31, 2017

Nature Conservancy Accepts Undeveloped Land

The California Pines Community Land Trust is a small organization, and its Board has concluded that while we can accept improved property donations, we cannot accept most raw land donations at this time due to the high cost of managing them. 

However, The Nature Conservancy, one of the Nation's largest land trusts, will accept many raw land donations.  So, if you are interested in donating your land to receive a charitable income tax donation and help land conservation efforts across the Nation, contact the Nature Conservancy.  You can reach them by:

Phone: (877)812-3698

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Eight New Supporting Members Join Land Trust

The Land Trust attended the Annual Meeting of the Property Owners Association Members, and had an opportunity to introduce ourselves and our work to the group.   We would like to thank the Cal Pines Lodge for allowing us to hand out informational materials in the hotel lobby, and we are very pleased to welcome eight new Supporting Members that joined the Land Trust at the meeting. We look forward to working with you to help improve Cal Pines!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Cornell Lab Grant Request Requires Matching Funds from Land Trust

In our continuing search for funds to improve California Pines, the Land Trust has submitted a $5,000 Grant request to Cornell Lab's Small Grant Program under the Land Trust Bird Conservation Initiative.  If awarded, funds will be used to help develop a long-term conservation agreement for the Donovan Reservoir satisfactory to all stakeholders that includes parameters for water use and retention, livestock grazing, recreational boating and fishing, hiking and jogging trail alignment and design, habitat maintenance requirements, and easement requirements on private land.  The agreement will be a first step toward securing building and maintenance funds for all of the above.

Grant awards are expected to be decided by April 30th, and will require matching funds from the Land Trust.  Do you want to see this project happen?  JOIN THE LAND TRUST TODAY!

Cornell Labs' Land Trust Bird Conservation Mission: To support land trusts and their partners in accomplishing bird conservation on private lands through acquisition/easements, habitat planning, outreach, and research.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Application in for Rose Foundation Grant

The Land Trust recently submitted a $5,000 Grant Request to the Rose Foundation to  document habitat conditions at the Donovan Reservoir and determine if it could be improved for waterfowl, fish and wildlife habitat.   The Trust would also use some of the funds to initiate discussions among all the local stakeholders to find out if there is any interest in doing so.

WHY?  The Donovan Reservoir is home to numerous waterfowl including Sandhill Cranes, Canada Geese, Tundra Swans, White Pelican, Great Blue Heron, and a variety of Egrets.  It also provides water for the ranching and agricultural community downstream, and is a significant recreational and open space amenity for California Pines.  

However, the reservoir is shallow and tends to shrink dramatically in the summer, making the water warm and unsuitable for many game fish.  It also has very few plants along its edge, which reduces its scenic beauty and its habitat value for many bird species. 

WHAT DO WE HOPE TO GAIN?   If all parties that have an interest in the reservoir can agree upon a plan for its enhancement and maintenance, then the Land Trust might be able to help raise the funds to make it happen.  

The plan could include a hiking trail that completely surrounds the reservoir, with exercise stops and educational signage pointing out the wildlife and plant species along the way.  The path could have scenic rest stops and designated fishing areas as well.  Where the path intersects private property, the Trust might be able to provide property owners with tax benefits in exchange for a voluntary easement for the trail so the trail can complete its loop and allow all waterfront property owners to access it as well.

FIRST STEP.  This grant would just be a beginning point for discussion, but it is an important first step that we hope will lead to something wonderful!

The Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment offers small grants to support grassroots initiatives to inspire community action to protect the environment, consumers and public health.