Getting management right:

Preparing the Rockville Trails Preserve
Management Plan

Getting a preserve ready to open to the public takes time and preparation. The Rockville Trails Preserve management plan provides guidelines for the first ten years of operation, a good start to Solano Land Trust’s forever stewardship of the property.

Our goal is to provide public access for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians. In the next five years we plan to build an entrance and parking lot, informational kiosk, upgrade or construct five miles of trails, and add picnic benches. The plan calls for adding more trails each year, with an eventual 12 miles of trails.

A group of fantastic volunteers and consultants helped develop the public access section of the plan. Other sections of the plan discuss grazing management, weed control, resource protection, and resource enhancements. Five plants with California rare plant rankings, seven sensitive natural communities, and an “exceptionally rich” species diversity including “eight species of oaks” are some of the wonderful things discovered by consultants who contributed to the Rockville Trails Preserve Management Plan.

What’s the timeline? Solano Land Trust will develop a document that evaluates impacts and follows California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) guidelines. The CEQA document will likely be ready for public comment by June 2014. We hope to begin construction, as funding allows, soon after the CEQA document is approved.

Meanwhile, you can get out on the Preserve with our specially trained docents. Find a date that works for you on our calendar!

Views of Rockville Trails Preserve.

Farewell Friend

It is with sadness we say farewell to long-time Solano Land Trust friend and supporter, Polly Gusa, who passed away January 12, 2014 after a five-year battle with cancer. Polly loved to hike Lynch Canyon and Rush Ranch and had a special place in her heart for barn owls. The Celebration of Life honoring Polly will be held on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 2:00 pm at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in the Community Room located at 1931 1st Ave, Walnut Creek, CA 94597.

 

 

Many heartfelt thanks to the individuals who donated photos featured in the calendar:

Tom Muehleisen, Bud Turner, John Cleckler, Karlyn H. Lewis, Patrick Burns, Nicole Byrd

 

Inset photos not credited in the calendar:

farm & field with hay bales - Ian Anderson, young sleuth with magnifying glass - Nicole Byrd, marsh view - Tom Muehleisen, Jepson Prairie wildflower tour - Natalie DuMont, Rush Ranch windmill - Tom Muehleisen, boy with kite - Dave Reider, Lynch Canyon Trail Run runners - Steven Chun, sheep scratching an itch - Anne DeLozier, boys at Rush Ranch - Nicole Byrd, pumpkins and hay - Yumi Wilson, orchard - Tracy Ellison, jack rabbit - Sue Wickham, sheep and dog - Ian Anderson, Western Meadowlark - Ron Ketter, Suisun strawberries - Tracy Ellison, girl with Rush Ranch display - Nicole Byrd

 

Lynch Canyon now open year round to show off its new faces and features

For the first time in many years, Lynch Canyon will be open year round on Saturday and Sunday thanks to a decision made in June by the Solano County Board of Supervisors. Lynch Canyon is one of the best places in our area to hike, bird, ride mountain bikes and horses, or just unwind. More and more, people have come to enjoy Lynch Canyon, and miss it when it is closed.

If you’re planning to participate in the 2014 Lynch Canyon Trail Run, you have even more opportunities to get out there and train on the trails you’ll be running on June 7.

Look for two improvements at the entrance, a new fence and a new gate. For his Eagle Scout project, Jonathan Sorunke and Troop 853 replaced 200-feet of old fence with new barbed wire, and wired old redwood fence posts on the t-posts to give it character. There is also a new gate that was constructed and welded by Robert Garcia, Solano Land Trust’s former field steward who recently left to return to welding.

That’s not all. Scientists and volunteers continue to improve restoration efforts at the Old Homestead site. The next time you hike up Middle Valley Trail, take a look at all the new native grasses filling in the natural wetland once covered by thickets of Himalayan blackberries. Citizen scientists have ramped up on phenology (the observation of plant life cycles) under the instruction of Paige Cauffield, a summer intern from Sacramento State University. The data they collect will go into a national phenology database to inform land managers and others about adaptations taking place in the plant world during climate shifts.

Remember, fall and winter are the seasons to see the incredible raptor show at Lynch Canyon. Join raptor enthusiast Larry Broderick and his team on Sunday, November 17 at Rush Ranch for a course on identifying raptors, and then apply your new skills at a birds-of-prey hike at Lynch Canyon on Sunday, December 8.