SPECIAL REPORT                                                     

Mill Bend Preserve Conservation Plan

Habitats of redwood, bishop pine, and alder forests, willow thickets, coastal scrub, emergent wetlands, and the Gualala River estuary are recovering from historic industrial and timber harvest disturbance. Even while burdened with extensive invasive plant populations and residual soil damage, existing habitats support diverse native plant and animal life, some of particular rarity. The Mill Bend Preserve Conservation Plan describes specific measures to restore habitat health, support native species, and adapt to climate change.

Public access improvements include approximately 2 miles of new trails, boardwalks through wetland and riparian areas, restrooms, and picnic areas. The existing California Coastal Trail can be extended from the Gualala Bluff Trail to the estuary via the upland Preserve to boost visitor experience and safety. More detailed designs have been prepared for improving recreational access to the estuary, including a durable access road and parking, a boardwalk into the willow forest, and off-channel backwater habitat. Interpretive signs are planned to inform visitors and support community engagement activities, such as guided walks.  Click here to continue reading an abstract…

Events

Mill Bend Preserve Tours

When: Saturday, October 1, 2022

We invite you to spend the morning experiencing Mill Bend Preserve this upcoming Saturday, October 1st.  Four walking tours highlight the Preserve’s nature and history, each lasting an hour on flat to moderately sloped trails. Enjoy as many as you like!

For more details and to sign up, click here…

RCLC Wish List for tools and equipment  See list

Hello all you amazing Gualala River Stream Team volunteers! Our kick-off training and monitoring event in July was a great success thanks to all of you!   Click here to READ MORE…

Gualala River Stream Team Stewardship Project 

The Coastal Commission recently awarded a Whale Tail Grant to the CA Urban Streams Alliance – The Stream Team. The grant is to initiate a stewardship engagement and watershed monitoring effort for the impaired, lower reach of the Gualala River and estuary, a habitat for endangered species such as young Coho salmon and steelhead.

Redwood Coast Land Conservancy (RCLC) and Friends of the Gualala River (FOGR) are partnering with The Stream Team in this volunteer, community-based project. The project is inclusive, aiming to recruit and involve a broad spectrum of Mendonoma residents from Manchester to Stewarts Point including students, teachers, and members of community organizations.

Although The Stream Team is based in Chico, California, Timmarie Hamill, the Director of The Stream Team, is not new to coast. Her involvement began in 2000, when she landed a grant with Friends of the Garcia River (FrOG) to engage students and community members in conducting water quality surveys of the Garcia River. In 2003, Timmarie completed her teaching credential while working at Point Arena High School and Pacific Community Charter School as a student teacher of biology. For Discover the Coast in 2016 and 2017, The Stream Team provided a docent station to test the water quality of a creek on Point Arena–Stornetta Public Lands.

The Gualala River Stream Team Stewardship Project has four main goals: (1) Raise awareness about the Gualala River and its estuary by promoting education and engagement through environmental stewardship; (2) Establish a Gualala River Stream Team to engage the community in watershed assessment; (3) Involve a wide range of Mendonoma residents; and (4) Build organizational capacity to sustain the projects.

The Stream Team’s annual training and quarterly water monitoring events will take place on RCLC’s Mill Bend Property. At the annual training in July, participants will learn about: 1) habitat and water quality impairments within the Gualala River watershed, 2) life cycle of Coho salmon and steelhead, 3) effects of climate change on watershed health, 4) effective stewardship practices, 5) proper use of monitoring equipment and sampling protocols, and 6) safety measures for field work.

Quarterly water monitoring events will evaluate chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of the Gualala River and its estuary. FOGR is providing funding for The Stream Team’s preparation of the Monitoring Plan (MP) and Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP).

If you are interested in learning more about or participating in the project, Gualala River Stream Team will be taking part in Point Arena’s Almost Fringe Festival on Saturday, April 23, from 12 to 3 p.m., and RCLC’s Mill Bend Springtime, Partnering for the River at Upper Mill Bend on Sunday, April 24, from 1 to 4 p.m. For details about the Mill Bend event, visit rclc.org.

 

Help Us Continue to Preserve Our Beautiful Mendonoma Coast!

Mill Bend reflection. Photo by Carolyn Hand.

Join us this holiday season to continue to protect and preserve our beautiful Mendonoma coast!

Today the Mill Bend Preserve is protected forever because of the determination and commitment of our community. Work has already begun to protect the forest and wetlands, restore the estuary for salmon and other endangered species, and carefully repair the historic cemetery.

A network of trails is being developed at Mill Bend to provide public access and enjoyment of this amazing property. Conservation and more continues at Cooks Beach, Hearn Gulch Preserve, the Gualala Bluff Trail, and other public access sites under our protection.

Redwood Coast Land Conservancy is taking the lead on these undertakings, but our work is just beginning. Your continued support is needed to make sure that we can keep moving forward with the plans our community envisions for Mill Bend and the ongoing preservation of our protected properties.

Please consider making a generous, tax-deductible contribution today! Your support will help ensure the preservation of our natural coastal landscapes and wildlife habitats for generations to come.

Protecting salmon

It’s not often that a land trust gets to help an iconic species.  The Redwood Coast Land Conservancy (RCLC) is preparing for that special opportunity as it completes the purchase of Mill Bend.  The restoration of Coho salmon to the Gualala River is on the agenda.

Dan Wilson, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Fisheries Biologist, says salmon are a “keystone species” for this area, and bringing them back is a top priority. A keystone species is defined as one on which other species largely depend.  When a keystone species declines or disappears, as with the salmon in the Gualala River, everything from Orcas and sea lions to birds of prey suffer.

Dan’s interest was based on the fact that the Gualala River is a historically important salmonid coastal stream in northern California.  Read more >>

Preserving the Coast

Redwood Coast Land Conservancy (RCLC) covers the coastal region of southern Mendocino County and northern Sonoma County.  It’s a place of scenic beauty and unique wildlife.

Several rivers-the Navarro, Garcia, Gualala and Russian- flow through this landscape.  These riparian corridors, home to the endangered Coho salmon and Steelhead trout, provide the precious resource of fresh water.

Forests of pine, fir and redwood extend down to the Pacific Ocean. Wild rhododendrons, azaleas and iris show seasonal displays.  If you’re lucky, you might see a river otter, bald eagle or migrating gray whale.

This land contains some of the rarest and varied habitats found on earth. It’s part of the California Floristic Province, named by scientists as one of earth’s 25 conservation “hot spots.”  Read More >>

Mill Bend by Bill Oxford

John Muir, Conservationist, on seeing the Redwood coast in 1897

“The redwood is the glory of the Coast Range. It extends along the western slope… from beyond the Oregon boundary…to the south of Santa Cruz.  Its massive, sustained grandeur and closeness of growth surpasses all the other timber woods of the world.

Trees from ten to fifteen feet in diameter and three hundred feet high are not uncommon, and a few attain a height of …even four hundred feet… while the ground beneath them is a garden of fresh, exuberant ferns, lilies, gaultheria, and rhododendron.”

 

Redwood Coast Land Conservancy public-access properties

Visit our new properties map.  Click on map image for more information.

View our printable Public Access brochure here >>

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