Solano Land Trust Partners with Suisun and Montezuma Hills Fire Districts

If you drove down Grizzly Island Road from June 1 to June 5, you may have seen the controlled burn at Rush Ranch. Solano Land Trust Field Steward Ken Poerner is excited about the burn because it will kill off a nasty weed, called medusahead, which is outcompeting native grasses and reducing the food available for the cattle that graze at Rush Ranch. Chief Ron Glantz of the Suisun Fire District led the burn efforts.

“It’s a rare opportunity,” says Poerner, “to greatly improve our grassland at Rush Ranch while also providing the fire districts with an opportunity to improve their fire-fighting skills.”

In addition to the fire districts, an East Bay Parks District helicopter was present during the burn. The parks district was using the burn as an exercise in practicing water drops to support fire control. Bernhard Warzecha, the land trust’s new Stewardship Coordinator had the lucky job of taking pictures from the helicopter. As a new land trust staff person, he was also able to get an aerial view of Rush Ranch and the marsh and see how it all fits together.

Mike Vasey, Interim Director of the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and his team of scientists supported the effort by monitoring plots in the area before the burn. They will work with Bernhard to continue monitoring this area to understand how burns like this can complement grassland management goals.

I hope we can continue this arrangement with the fire district to burn a small pasture each year,” said Poerner, “to get the medusahead and other weeds under control and also return a natural process to Rush Ranch”.


Lynch Canyon construction is done ahead of schedule!

Thank you for your patience while the creek at Lynch Canyon Open Space Park underwent restoration. You will now be able to enjoy all the trails you did before. Beginning July 7th the park will be open on Mondays again. With the dedicated help of staff members Sue Wickham, Ken Poerner, Jordan Knippenberg and the entire construction crew – who worked 10 and 12 hour days – the project progressed ahead of schedule.

If you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity at Lynch Canyon, there will be a lot of planting and monitoring in the creek area as part of the overall restoration project. Once this begins, Sue Wickham will be organizing work days, so stay tuned for more information on these opportunities. For now, head on out to Lynch Canyon Open Space Park where breezes are plentiful and the views spectacular!

Lynch Canyon Trail Run 2014 Results

Thank you for making 2014 another great event at Lynch Canyon!

Half Marathon Overall

Half Marathon - Age Group

10K Overall

10K - Age Group

5K Overall


Solano Land Trust Hires New Staff

Over the past few months, Solano Land Trust has added to its team of stewardship and land management experts. These experts will help us further our mission to permanently protect natural areas, working farms, and ranchlands in Solano County and connect the community to these lands.

Jordan Knippenberg joined Solano Land Trust as Field Steward in February 2014 to help maintain our land and facilities. Jordan helps with the maintenance of trails, roads and fencing, and the control of weeds on Solano Land Trust properties. Originally from upstate New York, Jordan received his B.A. in Art with a concentration in Art Therapy from the University of New York in Potsdam. He worked with at-risk teens in the wilderness of the Adirondack Park, and cleared trails, packed horses, and moderated trail use in the Santa Fe National Forest. From Montana to Louisiana to Arizona, Jordan has spent time professionally and personally being captivated by the experience of being surrounded by nature. Jordan’s vast experience working on the land and interacting with the public will be a great asset to the Land Trust.

Bernhard Warzecha joined Solano Land Trust as the Stewardship Coordinator in May 2014. He earned his undergraduate degree in Biology from Freie Universitaet in Berlin, Germany, and holds a M.S. in Biology/Ecology from San Francisco State University. Besides working for Solano Land Trust on its Rush Ranch and Jepson Prairie properties, Bernhard will also be supporting the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve with its activities at Rush Ranch, including biological monitoring and the monitoring of sea level rise. The Stewardship Coordinator takes a lead role in management plan implementation, restoration, and invasive species management. Bernhard got interested in land stewardship after working for several organizations involved in sustainable land management, monitoring and restoration, including the Don Edward’s National Refuge Complex managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

Steve Kohlmann also joined our leadership team in May 2014. The Stewardship Director is a new position established to manage the Land Trust’s almost 12,000 acres of natural areas and working ranchlands. These lands support local agriculture, serve as protected wildlife habitat and outdoor classrooms, and provide hiking, biking and equestrian trails to the region. Steve will work in collaboration with our many partners, including the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, University of California Reserve System, local Resource Conservation Districts, and volunteer groups who support the Land Trust’s efforts. Steve is a Certified Wildlife Biologist with over 20 years of experience in academia, state government and ecological consulting. He holds a Master’s Degree in Forest Sciences and a Ph.D. in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences. We are very excited to have these new stewardship and land experts on our team!