Conservation means not only protecting the land, but keeping it in good condition, too. POST’s stewardship team uses both traditional and innovative techniques for evaluating, prioritizing and caring for open space on each POST-owned property.
Our work ranges from essential maintenance like re-grading roads, fixing fences and managing vegetation for fire control, to ambitious long-term restoration projects that create vibrant habitats for native plants and wildlife. Other examples include invasive weed eradication, developing new trails, reviving river, stream and creekside habitats, and managing productive working lands like ranches, farms and forests.
We also monitor permanently protected lands annually by working with the landowners to ensure that the terms of our conservation easements are being met.
In 2017, POST completed our first selective harvest of redwood on 320 acres of San Vicente Redwoods under the direction of Nadia Hamey, a Registered Professional Forester. The harvest followed a rigorous Timber Harvest Plan (THP) that took nearly three years to prepare and was reviewed by POST, numerous state regulatory agencies and our project partners—the Sempervirens Fund who is co-owner of the property, and Save the Redwoods League. The goals of the plan were to improve forest health, improve the vigor of native plant communities, reduce fire hazards, and reduce sedimentation to waterways on the property while producing locally-grown, sustainably-harvested timber products. Revenues resulting from the timber harvest were invested back into ongoing stewardship of the property.
POST’s Farmland Futures Initiative is not just about farmland acquisition and protection; it’s also about strategic investments in the farm infrastructure that make farm businesses successful. Barns are some of the most iconic and necessary pieces of farm infrastructure and, together with our tenant Dede Boies and Karl Bareis of Santa Cruz Timberframes, POST rebuilt the over 150-year-old Root Down barn using sustainably harvested redwood from our San Vicente Redwoods property. Following a successful July 4th community barn raising in 2016, builders will be working through the fall on nitty-gritty details like framing, roofing, adding exterior doors, and wiring for electricity. Read more about the importance of barns to farm businesses, or delve into the construction details of a barn meant to last 300 years.
In 2016, POST partnered with the San Mateo County Resource Conservation District on a restoration project along a one-mile stretch of Butano Creek on POST’s Butano Farms property. The project involved the installation of log jams to limit further incision of the creek channel, improve habitat and reconnect the creek with 100 acres of historical floodplain.
The project reduces the amount of sediment flowing into Pescadero Marsh, creates habitat for coho salmon and steelhead trout and is increasing groundwater infiltration via the restored floodplain. The project was largely funded by a competitive grant from the state’s Urban Streams Restoration Program.