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The four-year grant received from CAL FIRE will launch a workforce development program, the Fire Forward Intensive, which will train five new full-time prescribed burn leaders each year. “We are thrilled to be able to offer additional pathways to professional fire and forest stewardship careers in communities threatened by the impacts of climate change and century-long lack of stewardship,” said program director Sasha Berleman.
Within hours, the mountain lion was collared and entered into the tracking system as P37: a young, 18- to 24-month-old lion. En route he was recorded as having spent 137 hours eating a deer he had caught in a vineyard. He continued walking north until the Russian River, where he paced the river area for several days.
Since 2001, ACR has collaborated with the Invasive Spartina Project (ISP) to monitor and remove the non-native, invasive cordgrass, Spartina densiflora, from Tomales Bay. A lesser-known invasive Spartina that impacts San Francisco Bay and the nearby coast, S. densiflora, grows in expanding clumps that threaten wetlands by eliminating open areas used for foraging, particularly by birds.
When asked why they opt to choose nature each day, both Hasenick and Fessenden offer reasons that resonate with the ethos at Audubon Canyon Ranch. The two also share a love of the outdoors and the calming effect of being in nature.
In early 2021, Living with Lions principal investigator Dr. Quinton Martins collared four male mountain lions in Sonoma County after each was implicated in the killing of a sheep or goat. In each case, the landowner invited Martins to conduct the capture to aid in a better understanding of mountain lion behavior and ecology.
Farmer. Facilitator. Leader. Earth Steward. Thea is also part of an intergenerational intentional community called Monan’s Rill, which resides on Wappo land in Eastern Sonoma County. Back in the summer of 2019, the Fire Forward team partnered with residents and other volunteers on a six-acre prescribed burn of understory vegetation in mixed Douglas fir and tan oak woodland.

—Connecting nature, people and science in a rapidly changing world—

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