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To provide Cal Poly students, faculty, staff and the public with a unique interdisciplinary environment in which to foster the Learn by Doing philosophy by providing educational experiences on a working ranch, supporting diversified agriculture and forest resources while maintaining the integrity of ranch operations.

  —Our Mission

Forest Health in a Post-Fire Redwood Ecosystem: Restoration and Regeneration at Swanton Pacific Ranch

August 15th, 2024, 11:00am - 1:30pm

This webinar is an opportunity to learn about how Swanton Pacific Ranch is approaching forest health treatments in a post-fire redwood ecosystem. Participants will learn about approaches to restoring forest health to, and reducing fuels in, a post-fire redwood ecosystem, with the goal of increasing fire resilience in the wildland-urban interface (WUI).  
Participants will learn from staff at Swanton Pacific Ranch and Hamey Woods about restoration approaches used in a post high-severity fire to enhance forest health, and ecological restoration sharing lessons learned from the CZU Lightening Complex Fire in 2020. 
Time Item


Webinar begins 

Grey Hayes: Swanton Pacific Mission and Approach to Forest Health


Kristy Swor-Peterson: Forest Health Grant Overview

12:25pm Break

Chuck Sweeney: Lessons Learned, Reforestation and SPR and Next Steps


Grey Hayes: Forest Managers of the Future

  Audience Q&A
1:30pm Webinar ends

Link to presentation abstracts


Dr. Grey Hayes, Education and Research Manager, Swanton Pacific Ranch 

Since 1986, Dr. Grey Hayes has worked in and around Cal Poly’s Swanton Pacific Ranch to train students, professionals, and community members about how working land management goals integrate with ecological conservation. Dr. Hayes’ research has resulted in publishing and co-publishing peer-reviewed papers in restoration ecology of prairie and redwood systems. His experience includes extensive teaching at both the University of California, Santa Cruz and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo on restoration and land management. In 2021, Dr. Hayes and Cal Poly were awarded funding for two ambitious projects: a state-wide fuels and vegetation management workforce development program and a 600-acre fuels management project at Swanton Pacific Ranch and the Soquel Demonstration State Forest. These projects, and Dr. Hayes’ other work, provide Cal Poly students and faculty opportunities for leadership and hands-on experiences in cutting edge practices to increase the State’s resilience to climate change triggered increases in wildfire frequency and intensity.

Chuck Sweeney, Forest Health Technician, Swanton Pacific Ranch

Chuck specializes in silviculture, forest health, and fire management after graduating from Oregon State University (’22) with his master’s (MF) in sustainable forest management. His master’s projects focused on estimating fuels treatment effectiveness for the 2021 Bootleg Fire using open-source remote sensing data. Growing up on the central coast of California in Santa Barbara, Chuck was inspired to work in forest management after being affected by several large wildfires and evacuations during his youth. He brings experience working as a wildland firefighter for the Oregon Department of Forestry as well as working in forest management for CalFire. Chuck is working towards his RPF license and hopes to continue designing and implementing fuels treatments for the California coast redwood communities and is an advocate for managing landscapes for fire resiliency.

Kristy Swor (formally Peterson), Registered Professional Forester (RPF #3183), Hamey Woods

Kristy Swor is a Registered Professional Forester with over 8 years of experience practicing land management/forestry in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Starting her academic journey at California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo as a biology major, Kristy changed her major to forestry with a mission to "save the trees." Her education reshaped her perspective on forestry, highlighting the importance of balancing ecological health with responsible resource use and equipping her with the knowledge to implement sustainable timber management practices. During her time at Cal Poly, Kristy gained invaluable land management experience as a Forestry Intern at Swanton Pacific Ranch (SPR). Upon graduation, she continued her work at SPR as a Forestry Apprentice. She now has the pleasure of working under local forestry consultant Nadia Hamey of Hamey Woods. One of Nadia’s clients is Swanton Pacific Ranch. This allows Kristy to remain closely connected to SPR, a place that holds significant sentimental value for her. She is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the stewardship and sustainable management of such a cherished landscape.

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