What We Do


Brown Bag lecture series
Forest Stewardship workshops
House meetings
Monthly meetings
Forest Conservation Conference


We host  Brown Bag lectures periodically, covering a range of forest issues. This lecture series helps promote communication between the county’s urban center and its forested periphery. Past topics have included the carbon cycle, carbon sequestration, and monetizing carbon credits; oak ecology and history in Sonoma County; Sonoma County fire history and ecology; climate change and its potential impacts to the county; biomass utilization; Forest Practice regulations; use of fire in Sonoma County; and new technology for forest management.
The audience for the seminars includes forest landowners, students, resource professionals, and agency representatives from local and regional government. Lectures are held during the noon hour at the Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District office conference room in Santa Rosa, creating an opportunity for people to ‘get to the woods’ while eating their lunch in town.

Videos of previous Brown Bag lectures can be viewed through this link –



Forest Stewardship workshops are all-day classes. Our standard agenda includes a morning session focusing on forest ecology, roads and fisheries, fire safety, Sudden Oak Death, and conservation easements as a tool for family succession. “Advanced” versions can address Forest Practice regulations, wood utilization, or other topics of interest.
In the afternoon is a field tour for participants to visit sites that highlight the practices discussed during the morning session. Because the Work Group represents a broad base of knowledge and resources, landowners get the chance to connect with the people or program they most need: cooperative extension, land trusts, foresters, federal and state grant coordinators, or even free chipping of dead and thinned brush and trees.
Forest Stewardship workshops have been presented in the Mark West Creek, Dutch Bill Creek, Mill Creek, and Austin Creek watersheds; as well as in the communities of Annapolis and Timber Cove.


House meetings are custom trainings presented on request. The agenda is developed based on input from the local hosts; most focus on fire safety and forest health issues such as Sudden Oak Death, but other topics can be added as desired.
House meetings are hosted by local residents and occur in private homes or other community gathering places. Past meetings have been presented in the Noel Heights, Foothill Ranch, Upper Salmon Creek, and Trinity/Cavedale Road neighborhoods, as well as at Shone Farm, Little Black Mountain, and in the Cazadero/Creighton Ridge area.


Business meetings are held monthly, generally on the fourth Thursday, from 10:00 – 12:00 am at the Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District’s conference room at 747 Mendocino Avenue in Santa Rosa. Meeting dates for 2013 follow. Please note that dates in November and December are adjusted for the holidays, and that Brown Bag sessions are preceded by shortened meetings held from 11:00 – 12:00 (–see dates with * below.)
Meeting Dates for 2014: (Fourth Thursday of the month – 10:00-noon)
January 23
February 27
March 27
April 24
May 22
June 26*
July 24
August 28
September 25*
October 23
November 20**
December 11 or 18** – Year-End Celebration

* – Bold = Brown Bag Session. On those dates the meetings will be held from 11:0am – 12:00pm.
** – Adjusted for Holidays


The Work Group and partners (notably the Sonoma Land Trust) hosted a three-day Forest Conservation Conference in June, 2012. The conference brought together landowners, foresters, resource management professionals, agency representatives, and students interested in protecting forests and forest resources. More than 150 people gathered at Santa Rosa Junior College’s beautiful Shone Farm property to discuss forest conservation topics and visit Jenner Headlands, the Pepperwood Preserve, Gualala River, Mill Creek, and the Berry family’s property and mill. Please follow the link below to learn more!

Protecting forests across landscapes and through generations…