Seascape Uplands

Area: Approximately 150 acres

Location: City of Aptos, Santa Cruz County, California

Date Acquired: 1997

Acquisition Type:  CNLM holds a conservation easement as well as a long-term agreement to protect the imperiled species and their habitats on the preserve. The preserve is owned by third party.

Key Habitats:  Coastal Oak Woodland, Coastal Scrub and California Annual and Perennial Grassland.

Species of Special Interest to CNLM: Santa Cruz long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum croceum


The Seascape Uplands Preserve is located in coastal Santa Cruz County in the town of Aptos.  This Preserve was set aside under the terms of a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for a 107-home residential development. Approximately 150 acres were set aside to provide habitat for the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum croceum), a state and federally endangered amphibian. CNLM is responsible for perpetual management of the Preserve and holds a conservation easement for a 10-acre portion of the Preserve.

Conservation Significance

Elevations at this Preserve range between 180 and 360 feet above sea level. A mosaic of native habitats is supported here, including coast live-oak woodland, coastal scrub, mixed evergreen forest, coastal prairie, seasonal wetlands and willow riparian.  The Preserve also contains a freshwater pond that is one of the few protected breeding sites for the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander.

Our Work

CNLM is responsible for management of the Seascape Uplands Preserve. Our goals here are to maintain habitat for the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander.  To achieve these goals we implement various management strategies, including active vegetation management to improve habitat conditions.  Nonnative plants such as French broom (Genista monspessulana), cotoneaster (Cotoneaster spp.), and pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) are being removed.  Additionally, two ponds have been built on the Preserve to provide additional breeding sites for the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander. To reduce the potential for road-kill, salamander tunnels have been installed under the roadways . Annual population monitoring of the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander population is conducted at the Preserve.

Public Access

Use of the Seascape Uplands Preserve is restricted to hiking on designated trails.  No motorized vehicles or mountain bikes are allowed.  Dogs must be kept on a leash.  The ponds and restoration areas are closed to public access to reduce disturbance to these sensitive habitats.


For information and inquiries regarding Seascape Uplands Preserve or the Center for Natural Lands Management, please contact Regional Preserve Manager, Cathy Little at or 760.731.7790 extension 209.