A major thrust of our chapter is habitat preservation and restoration. Guided by Santa Barbara Audubon’s mission, the Conservation Committee plans, organizes and acts upon identified local issues.

The Conservation and Science Committees meet jointly on the first Wednesday of each month at 6:30 PM in the MacVeagh House at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

Help the Birds! Be the Wind Under Their Wings!

Update: 29 July 2019

Below are links to the comment letters (pdf format) that Santa Barbara Audubon Society (SBAS), La Purisima Audubon Society (LPAS) and the Law Office of Marc Chytilo have submitted to the Santa Barbara County Planning Department in response to the Strauss Wind Energy Project Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (DSEIR).

At this point, the County is reviewing public comments on the DSEIR.  The County will take public comments into consideration as they prepare the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR), which will probably be released in the fall of 2019.  If you’d like to help on Audubon’s effort on Strauss, please contact Steve Ferry at ”For or one of our Conservation Committee Co-Chairs, Lori Gaskin or Jessie Altstatt.  And please consider writing a letter and/or testifying on the FEIR.  We will keep SBAS membership informed on Strauss with postings on this website and email notifications.

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Strauss Wind Farm Files

For those of you having problems with accessing the talking points or sample letter… here are some simple text files to download. Do not expect that the text files will look like the nicely formatted letter that Steve ferry submitted. You will have to do some formatting on your own.

Sample Letter

Talking Points

Summary of Conservation Committee Projects

This post describes just a few of the projects that the Conservation Committee is involved in pursuing. They have a fantastic team of volunteers willing to work to further the mission of SBAS directly in our community. If, after reviewing this post, you feel you would like to support the Conservation Committee’s efforts contact them at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

The Conservation and Science Committees meet jointly on the first Wednesday of each month at 6:30 PM in the MacVeagh House at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

The Conservation Committee is one of Santa Barbara Audubon Society’s most active standing committees. The Conservation Committee provides the focus for SBAS’s commitment to protecting birds and bird habitat through projects, strategies, and advocacy which advance the conservation and restoration of ecosystems in support biological diversity.

The Conservation Committee deals with a myriad of issues. A sampling of the projects in which the Committee has been involved over the past several months include the following:

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Conservation Committee Update – Spring 2018

The SBAS Conservation Committee…In Context

By Aaron Kreisberg and Ken Pearlman


“Men and nature must work hand in hand. The throwing out of balance of the resources of nature throws out of balance also the lives of men.”
(Franklin D. Roosevelt; inscription on FDR Memorial at the National Mall, Washington, DC)


The earliest residents of our region, from the indigenous Chumash to the later-arriving Europeans, implicitly recognized the simple truth embodied centuries later in FDR’s words. As described nearly a quarter of a millennium later in the newly incorporated City of Goleta’s General Plan, it was “the rich soils, verdant vegetation, and harmonious climate of the narrow coastal plain between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean” that had inspired the area’s description as “The Good Land” by the 1769 Portola expedition diarist. This “special environmental setting” was further institutionalized in the General Plan’s vision of Goleta as a community:

  • that treasures open spaces and ecological resources;
  • where the amount and character of growth respects the carrying capacity of the natural environment;
  • that maintains scenic vistas by protecting open spaces and ensuring that its built environment is designed to be sensitive to its setting; and
  • that promotes a sense of place based on a heritage of respect for the natural environment, small town values, and neighborhood cohesiveness.

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Nature Conservancy Buys the legendary Bixby Ranch

News is out today that the Nature Conservancy has purchased the old Bixby Ranch at Point Conception. I can attest to this location’s beauty as I was able to spend a little time there with my brother when he was a guard for the ranch back sometime around 1970.

You can read the particulars about this acquisition at the following links:

https://www.independent.com/news/2017/dec/22/165-million-private-donation-nature-conservancy-pu/

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-conservancy-purchase-20171221-story.html

and a little history:

http://articles.latimes.com/2007/may/13/magazine/tm-bixby19

Coronado Seep – Part 3 – City of Goleta’s hearing – Tuesday, July 18

Attend the City of Goleta’s hearing
Tuesday, July 18, at 6PM
in the Goleta City Council Chambers!

At this meeting, the Planning Commission will recommend that the City of Goleta approve Alternative 2b of the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the Rancho Estates Mobile Home Park Fire Improvements Project, and reject the project as proposed. Your presence at the hearing will show support for the Planning Commission’s recommendation, in which no road will be built next to Devereux Creek.

If you can’t testify in person, please send your comment letter to the City Clerk’s office so it is received before noon on July 17. Comments may be sent via email to email hidden; JavaScript is required or by mail to the attention of the City Council and City Clerk at 130 Cremona Drive, Suite B, Goleta, CA 93117.

Many thanks to those of you who attended the FEIR hearing and/or provided oral or written comments. Your support for birds and their habitat has been heard, loud and clear.

Goleta City Council Chambers are at 130 Cremona Dr., Suite B, Goleta. Enter on the east side of the building. You don’t need to be a resident of the City of Goleta in order to speak, but to do so please pick up a speaker slip near the entrance, fill it out, and give it to a City official inside the Council Chambers.

If you have questions or would like to help the Conservation Committee with this, please send an email to email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Coronado Seep – Speak For The Birds – Monday June 26

The City of Goleta has released the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the Rancho Estates Mobile Home Park Fire Improvements Project. Though the car wash has been removed, the continuing concern in this project is the building of a gravel emergency access road on top of the bank of Devereux Creek, near the Coronado seep, one of the premiere birding hotspots on the South Coast. Devereux Creek in the Ellwood area of Goleta is an important corridor for migratory and breeding birds and is adjacent to the Coronado Butterfly Preserve. The road would remove trees and violate creekside buffer zones mandated by Goleta’s General Plan.

How can you help?

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Save the Coronado Seep! Follow up

coronadodrip-car-washMany thanks to the numerous birders who turned out at a City of Goleta hearing on November 9. They advocated for changes to the Rancho Estates Mobile Home Park Fire Improvements Project in order to save the Coronado Seep. SBAS representatives urged the City to select the more environmentally-friendly Alternative 2, as well as address its other impacts (click here to view this, and other points).

Now you can help by sending a written message to the City.

An easy Tedmplate letter is here.

 

Letters must be sent to Joe Pearson, City Planner, at email hidden; JavaScript is required
no later than 5:00 PM Monday, November 21st.

If you have questions or would like to help the Conservation Committee on this project,
please email email hidden; JavaScript is required or call (805) 964-1468.

Send in your words for the birds!

Save the Coronado Seep!

Testify on Wednesday, November 9th,
5:30PM in Goleta City Council Chambers!

 

coronadodrip-2

The City of Goleta has released a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Rancho Estates Mobile Home Park Fire Improvements Project. The proposed fire road would be built on top of the bank of Devereux Creek, near the Coronado seep, one of the premiere birding hotspots on the South Coast. Devereux Creek in the Ellwood area of Goleta is an important corridor for migratory and breeding birds and is adjacent to the Coronado Butterfly Preserve. The proposed project would remove trees and violate the creekside buffer zones that are mandated by Goleta’s General Plan. … Continue Reading

Shelby Development Temporarily Suspended

by Steve Ferry

Santa Barbara Audubon recently announced that SBAS had joined a coalition of Santa Barbara County community and environmental organizations called the Shelby Foothills Coalition (SFC). SFC advocates for the preservation of land zoned for agriculture on the South Coast to maintain open space and bird habitat.  SFC was formed from community concerns about the recent, rapid, massive development that has occurred in the Goleta Valley. These huge developments are threatening the quality of life in the Good Land with traffic congestion, crowding, environmental degradation, and loss of open space. … Continue Reading

SHELBY FOOTHILLS COALITION

THE SHELBY FOOTHILLS COALITION FORMS
TO OPPOSE THE SHELBY DEVELOPMENT PLAN
Press Release 2016-04-20

Today a coalition of Santa Barbara County organizations is announcing the formation of the Shelby Foothills Coalition (SFC). SFC is the product of a series of meetings to discuss community challenges engendered by the proposal to build 60 high-end houses on the Shelby property north of Cathedral Oaks Road near Glen Annie Golf Course. Development on this parcel, which is zoned for agriculture, is contrary to Goleta’s General Plan. … Continue Reading

Our Busy Conservation Committee

by Cherie Topper

Have you ever wondered what our Conservation Committee is up to? You may be surprised to discover both the volume and the variety of our activities in the community on SBAS’s behalf. We are fortunate to have experts on this committee who are familiar with all aspects of conservation – botany and native plants, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Planning, Engineering, and, of course, Ornithology! In fact, you may be motivated to join this dynamic group of smart and dedicated volunteers who are making an impact on our community. … Continue Reading

SHELBY PROJECT THREATENS GOLETA VALLEY

Submitted by Steve Ferry

Residents of the Goleta Valley are alarmed by the recent, rapid, massive development that has occurred in their community. These huge developments are threatening the quality of life in the Good Land with traffic congestion, crowding, environmental degradation, and the loss of open space and bird habitat. Now, yet another developer wants to re-zone agricultural land, in direct violation of the City of Goleta’s General Plan, and force more houses into a parcel zoned for agriculture. Audubon members interested in preserving the integrity, health, and character of the Valley should express their opposition to the Shelby Project by contacting the Goleta City Council. … Continue Reading