2017 North Coast Forest Conservation Conference

Early-bird registration is now open for the North Coast Forest Conservation Conference: Growing Resilience in our Forests and Woodlands, June 7-9, 2017 at the Santa Rosa Junior College.

This inspirational forum will bring together scientists, foresters, landowners, students and the public to:

  • Learn about the state of our forests
  • Explore trends and possible futures
  • Share diverse perspectives and innovations, and
  • Discover opportunities for action and collaboration.

Join us in delving into three diverse tracks with those at the forefront of Ecology, Economy and Community as they relate to our forests and the most pertinent issues and solutions available.

A series of plenary sessions, panels, and concurrent sessions will convene on the first two days of the conference (June 7 and 8), followed by field tours to the Jenner Headlands, Mill Creek Watershed, Coast Ridge Community Forest, and Pepperwood Preserve on Friday, June 9th.

Join us for a special dinner on Thursday, June 8th at Shone Farm with presentation by Kat Anderson, author of Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and Management of California’s Natural Resources. 

Prices as follows:

  • $135 two-day registration
  • $35 field trip
  • $50 dinner

Students can register for 50% off the registration, field trip, and dinner, and two-day registration and a field trip are free for speakers. To access student and speaker discounts, use the codes:  For students: SEEDLING

For speakers: REDWOOD


Where to stay? Hotel discount arranged at the Fountaingrove Inn! Call to make your reservation at 707-578-6101 and let them know that you are attending the North Coast Forest Conservation Conference for 20% off your stay. Reserve early to get the best deal.

A draft agenda and summary of field trip options appears below.

Wednesday June 7, 2017

8-9am: Registration and light breakfast

9am-12pm: Plenary sessions, including:

  • “Managing for forest resilience in the face of climate change” with Keith Gilless, Chair of the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection and Dean of the College of Natural Resources at UC Berkeley
  • “North Coast Forests: Then and Now” with Mark Tukman, Tukman Geospatial, and Arthur Dawson, Baseline Consulting
  • “Recent research trends and discoveries” with Save the Redwoods League
  • And more!

12-1:30pm: Lunch

1:30-4:30pm: Panel discussions in three tracks: Ecology, Economy, and Community

Asking and answering questions like:

  • Where can landowners go to fund forest management and conservation efforts?
  • What are effective forest management strategies for protecting and enhancing instream habitat?
  • How can neighbors effectively collaborate to manage forests across their properties?
  • What are the biggest challenges facing our forests today, and what concrete steps can we take to deal with those challenges?

4:30-6pm: Happy hour reception at the Junior College

Thursday June 8, 2017

8-9am: Registration and light breakfast

9am-12pm: Plenary sessions including:

  • A panel discussion with 4 different types of landowners: Tribal, Family, Nonprofit, and Industrial – asking what their greatest challenges and opportunities are in managing for resilience
  • Bob Ewing, UC Berkeley, on community engagement for forest conservation

12-1:30pm: Lunch

1:30-4:30pm: Concurrent presentations in three tracks: Ecology, Economy, and Community


  • Brook Edwards, The Wildlands Conservancy
  • Caerleon Safford, Fire Safe Sonoma
  • Cassie Pinnell, Mattole Restoration Council
  • Dan Winterson, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
  • Ellie Cohen, Point Blue Conservation Science
  • Erin Kelly, Assistant Professor of Forest Policy, Economics, and Administration at Humboldt State University
  • Galen Doherty, Sanctuary Forest
  • John Nickerson, Climate Action Reserve
  • Karen Gaffney, Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District
  • Lisa Micheli, Pepperwood Preserve
  • Mark Tukman, Tukman Geospatial
  • Michelle Passero, The Nature Conservancy
  • Misti Arias, Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District
  • Russ Henly, Assistant Secretary of Forest Resources Management at California Natural Resources Agency


6pm: Dinner at Shone Farm with Kat Anderson, Author of Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and Management of California’s Natural Resources. (Tickets sold separately)


Friday June 9, 2017

9am-4pm: Meet at Santa Rosa Junior College to depart on field trips! Lunch is provided; bring a water bottle, sun protection, and sturdy shoes.

Trip options:

Coast Ridge Community Forest

Join the Coast Ridge Community Forest to learn about collaborative forest management. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, three ranches were subdivided in the hills above Cazadero, resulting in dozens of 40-acre parcels. Decades later, in response to pressing forest management needs, landowners in this area joined together to form the Coast Ridge Community Forest (CRCF). Members of the CRCF have since worked together as a group on community-scale land management issues. Join CRCF members on this field trip to see forest restoration projects and hear about their experience working collaboratively towards management goals.


Jenner Headlands

Come out and enjoy an in-depth look at what The Wildlands Conservancy and the Sonoma Land Trust have implemented to restore coastal forests, improve aquatic conditions, and make our forests more resilient to climate change and wildfires. During the day, we will visit a 55-acre shaded fuel break on the East Ridge initiated back in 2013 (with funding from the Moore Foundation, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the California Conservation Corps) and talk about the different methods we used to implement the project, associated costs, and our partnership with Cal Fire to help maintain the fuel break with the use of prescribed fire. We will look in detail at established road upgrades (rolling dips, outsloping, armored fills, etc.) and road decommissioning work conducted in the Sheephouse Creek Watershed with the Sonoma Resource Conservation District as part of a California Department of Fish and Wildlife Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP) and cost-share funding provided by the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, in which we decommissioned 1.8 miles of roads and saved approximately 8,500 cubic yards of sediment from entering this coho and steelhead-bearing creek.  Along the western ridge we will walk through a redwood stand marked for forest restoration “thin and release” activities slated to occur in 2017.  At all stops along the way we will discuss costs, challenges, and achievements in implementing a multifaceted forest restoration model on this stunning 5,630-acre preserve located along the Sonoma Coast.


Mill Creek Watershed and Bear Flat Forest

Join the Sonoma Resource Conservation District and Fred Euphrat, landowner and forester, for a Mill Creek Watershed Showcase and a tour of Bear Flat Forest! We’ll visit the Mill Creek watershed to learn about small-landowner logging, reforestation, road improvements, in-stream habitat restoration, and hear about rainwater catchment projects. Bear Flat will be the first stop highlighting forest health practices, alternative harvest patterns for alternative goals, and small landowners’ need for loggers and sawmills. We’ll travel through the watershed to the deep forests that surround Felta Creek,a tributary to Mill Creek, to showcase: large wood structures implemented by the Sonoma RCD this past year, watershed management planning, and the on-the-ground efforts of the Russian River Coho Partnership Program to increase habitat complexity to support coho salmon populations, restore natural steamflow and reliability for water users. See decades of active forest management and efforts to support wildlife habitat in some of our most sensitive watersheds.

Pepperwood Preserve

Pepperwood is a 3200 acre living laboratory dedicated to developing, scientifically testing and promoting land management practices that improve landscape health, wildlife resiliency and effective partnerships with our diverse community. On this field trip we will walk among oak woodlands and mixed hardwood forests that have been thinned and prepped for prescribed fire, visit forest monitoring plots established to document vegetation response to fire, and hear about our in depth work with our Native Advisory Council, Cal Fire, private forest contractors and the California Conservation Corps. We will visit one of 50 woody vegetation monitoring plots set up by the UC Berkeley Ackerly lab to document plant response to climate change. You will learn about tools developed by the Terrestrial Biodiversity and Climate Change Collaborative to better understand how the changing climate may be affecting your forests as well as learn about Pepperwood’s Sentinel Site program that utilizes cutting edge technology to measure, record and analyze biological and abiotic data to understand how our landscapes are impacted by climate and management actions.

Protecting forests across landscapes and through generations…