CNLM staff discuss conservation science and stewardship at three-day workshop
CNLM stewardship staff from California and Washington converged for a three-day intensive workshop at the UCLA Lake Arrowhead Conference Center in mid-October 2022. Typically an annual event, this was the first in-person Conservation Science and Stewardship Workshop for staff since 2019. Staff participants included preserve managers, regional preserve managers, restoration specialists, land stewards, rangers, and the Director of Conservation Science and Stewardship. Staff shared lightning talks highlighting scientific studies and stewardship successes and challenges across CNLM preserves. Topics included impacts on wildlife from public trail use, current restoration efforts, biological monitoring efforts across several preserves, use of aerial imagery in preserve monitoring, use of cattle grazing as a stewardship tool, native seed farming in Washington, and a session dedicated to apps of CNLM interest. CNLM’s General Counsel and Co-Executive Director/Chief Financial Officer joined part of the workshop, providing insight into important legal and financial matters of interest, respectively, to stewardship staff. An entire afternoon session was hosted by guest speaker, Phil Dye of Prometheus Fire Consulting. CNLM staff provided descriptions of regional prescribed fire context including how the tool may not be feasible in some locations. Phil described the background of prescribed fire in the West and his experience and current operations as a prescribed fire planner and consulting burn boss. Discussions included relevant legislation updates, the complexities of writing a burn plan, smoke management planning, and building capacity and relationships for successful prescribed burning. The workshop was valuable to CNLM staff—who work under diverse conditions and usually at great distances from one another—for professional development, building on CNLM stewardship protocols and culture, and providing opportunities for connectivity.