Sierra Foothill Conservancy (SFC) partnered with Tesoro Viejo in 2017 to help bring the open space and conservation elements of the Tesoro Viejo Community to life. As a partnering organization, we worked to establish the 188 acres of riparian and grassland corridors that wind through the community. These beautiful Preserves protect habitat for wildlife and water resources and serve as a valuable scenic resource for the community. We are delighted to be your neighborhood land trust and for the opportunity to connect with all of you as a guest blogger. In this and future segments we will introduce ourselves, share about the ways we will tend the conservation resources at Tesoro Viejo, and highlight the special qualities of these protected lands. We will also share about opportunities for residents and community members to engage with SFC and the Preserve at Tesoro Viejo.
Sierra Foothill Conservancy is a Land Trust, meaning that we work to save special places. Over the course of our 24 years of service as a 501 (c)(3) Nonprofit, we have protected over 41,000 acres of natural lands in Fresno, Madera, Mariposa and Merced counties. By acquiring properties for nature preserves, partnering with landowners to help them protect their lands through conservation easements, and working with public agencies, many conservation dreams have come true. We operate nine preserves totaling over 7,000 acres and have protected over 33,000 acres of rangelands and forests in the form of conservation easements. SFC’s Mission: The grasslands, foothills, and forests between Yosemite and Kings Canyon National Parks provide land for farms and ranches, a home for native plants and wildlife, and a source of clean water. Sierra Foothill Conservancy honors our natural and cultural heritage by protecting these resources and ensuring that present and future generations will continue to experience and enjoy the land in this region.
We believe in connecting people to conserved lands through outdoor education and recreation programming. Last year over 5,000 people experienced SFC’s lands through hikes and outdoor education programming on our preserves. We also had the opportunity to serve 2400 students in our Youth Education Programs. Because all of SFC’s conserved lands are protected forever, we want to infuse the next generation with a strong stewardship ethic to help care for our region’s precious open space and natural resources in the future.
One of SFC’s key partnership roles at Tesoro Viejo is to engage residents on a deeper level with the powerful example of conservation work and abundant natural beauty that is right outside your door. Each household in the community automatically becomes a member of SFC. This means that Tesoro Viejo residents are also helping to protect natural lands forever! Members receive special benefits including a monthly eNewsletter with fascinating updates on our regional conservation work, access to SFC’s STEM-based virtual outdoor learning opportunities for K-12 students, SFC virtual preserve tours, and guided nature walks on Tesoro Viejo’s beautiful trails once it is safe to do so. Themed nature walks will include opportunities like birding, identifying native plants, and learning about local wildlife. In-person programming is subject to safe health regulations as the safety of the community is our top priority. We will also be contributing to the Tesoro Viejo Community blog with articles by local experts that explore natural features of the community like the Old Oak Grove and the geology of Little Table.
We look forward to many great experiences together as we explore local conservation in the days ahead. Please visit our website www.sierrafoothill.org for more in-depth information on SFC’s work and ways that you can deepen your connection and support of the organization.
-Bridget Fithian, Executive Director