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Fuels Reduction Projects: Lessons Learned at Jenner Headlands Preserve 

Thursday, February 15th, 2024, 1:00 – 4:30pm 

This webinar was an opportunity to learn about fuel management at the Jenner Headlands Preserve from representatives at Jenner Headlands Preserve, Sonoma County Regional Parks, Point Blue Conservation Science, Coast Ridge Forest Council, Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, CAL FIRE, and the CA State Coastal Conservancy. Participants increased their understanding of fuel management in the forest conservation context, including community and economic opportunities and constraints through lessons learned at the Jenner Headlands Preserve.  

Ryan Berger, Preserve Manager at Jenner Headlands Preserve, introduced various natural resources management practices at the Jenner Headlands Preserve. Morgan Wright and Lilly Allen, Project Managers at the CA State Coastal Conservancy, discussed wildfire resiliency at the regional level, funding wildfire resiliency projects, an outline of the State Coastal Conservancy's (SCC) grant program, and a broad permitting strategy. Fred Euphrat, Ph.D and Registered Professional Forester, spoke to the history of the holding, particularly from the mid-1990’s, which created the Preserve and the opportunities it now presents. Brook Edwards, Park Program Supervisor, Natural Resources Division, Sonoma County Regional Parks, outlined some of the initial steps towards restoration of the Jenner Headlands coastal forest. Ryan DiGaudio, Senior Ecologist at Point Blue Conservation Science, presented preliminary results from the two-year study, started in 2023, evaluating how bird communities respond to forest fuels management practices. Marshall Turbeville, Battalion Chief at CAL FIRE, provided an overview of recent wildfire behavior and discussed how vegetation management utilizing the CalVTP can serve as a surrogate for natural wildfire and allow for more areas to be treated using prescribed fire that mimics natural wildfire. Judy Rosales, Executive Director at Coast Ridge Forest Council, provided lessons learned from successful collaborations. Kim Batchelder, Vegetation Management Coordinator at Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, gave a summary of actions and perspective of how Sonoma County has approached this challenge of reducing the risk of future wildfires in our communities and how Jenner Headlands exemplifies the balance of careful management of natural resources with wildfire mitigation.

Webinar Agenda
Time Item
1:00pm Webinar begins
  Ryan Berger: Overview of Managing The Wildlands Conservancy’s Sonoma Coast Preserve with Special Attention on Fuels Reduction and Fire Resiliency Practices at the Jenner Headlands Preserve
  Morgan Wright and Lilly Allen: Funding for Resiliency— A Programmatic and Permitting Strategy for Coastal California
  Fred Euphrat: Historical, ecological and management setting for the creation of Jenner Headlands Preserve
  Brook Edwards: From new growth to old growth: bringing back the big trees.
  Ryan DiGaudio: Monitoring Avian Community Response to Forest Fuels Management
2:35pm Break
  Marshall Turbeville: Restoring Natural Wildfire
  Judy Rosales: Lessons Learned From Successful Collaborations
  Kim Batchelder: Wildfire Resilience Planning & Implementation in Sonoma County


  Ryan Berger: Current Operations and Biggest Challenges
  Q&A Discussion
4:30pm Webinar ends


Ryan Berger, Preserve Manager, Jenner Headlands Preserve  

Ryan has dedicated the past 10+ years to non-profit conservation work in the northern California region. He is currently the Sonoma Coast Preserves Manager (Jenner Headlands and Estero Americano Coast) for The Wildlands Conservancy (TWC). Ryan works collaboratively with staff, partners, and community members to provide a unique public access experience as well as steward the preserves’ bountiful natural resources focusing on forest, coastal prairie and watershed management practices. Prior to coming on board at TWC in 2022, Ryan was a Marine Ecologist with the Farallon Program for Point Blue Conservation Science leading long term data collection and stewardship of the island’s natural resources (2010-2017). From 2018-2022 he was the Associated Director of Field Operations and Response for The Marine Mammal Center focusing efforts on systems and processes to safely rescue sick, injured or deceased marine mammals. Ryan resides on the preserve in Jenner with his blue heeler Rio and when not working can be found exploring the preserve and everything the Russian River and coast have to offer.

Fred Euphrat, Ph.D, Registered Professional Forester 

Fred Euphrat, Ph.D, has been a licensed forester since 1989, presently consulting with non-profits including Pepperwood and Jenner Headlands. He has taught at Berkeley, Humboldt, SF State and for the US BLM, is an adjunct professor at Santa Rosa Jr. College and will begin working at Sonoma State for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. The upcoming class is Forest Management in Sonoma County.

Fred has over 20 publications on forests and erosion, and was a contributor to Reed Noss’ The Redwood Forest. His essays on nature are collected in ‘Sonoma Mandala’, and were presented on a local NPR affiliate; he has also been a contributor to KQED’s Perspectives. Fred recently received anaward from the Chalk Hill Artist Residency to connect art and science at an historic bend of the Russian River.

Fred’s family has roots in Petaluma, Healdsburg,  and San Francisco. With his family, they have managed a producing redwood forest on Mill Creek since 1960, which burned in the Walbridge Fire. As a forester, he manages properties for timber, aesthetics, a cell tower, roads, owls and restoration of late seral conditions.

Brook Edwards, Park Program Supervisor, Sonoma County Regional Parks

Brook Edwards managed the Jenner Headlands Preserve for 13 years.  During his time as Regional Director he oversaw the development of property-wide stewardship programs that include restoration forestry, wildfire fuel reduction, prescribed fire, conservation grazing, riparian restoration, and public recreation.  He has over 27 years of experience in the environmental field working in California and overseas.  He received his bachelors at San Jose State University and his masters at Humboldt State. He now works for Sonoma County Regional Parks supervising forest management projects and teaches watershed restoration at the Santa Rosa Junior College.

Ryan DiGaudio, Senior Ecologist, Point Blue Conservation Science

Ryan DiGaudio is a senior ecologist with Point Blue Conservation Science, where he’s currently the science director for Point Blue’s Working Lands Group. Most of Ryan’s 25+ year career in ecology has focused on bird ecology and conservation within California, in which much of his work has revolved around understanding how bird communities respond to various stewardship, management, and restoration practices, especially on privately owned working lands, i.e., farms and ranches. Through partnerships with agricultural producers and land management agencies, Ryan and his team work to develop, implement, and evaluate conservation practices that benefit wildlife and their ecosystems on lands with multiple management objectives. In partnership with the Sonoma Land Trust and the Wildlands Conservancy, Ryan is currently leading the study on how bird communities respond to fuels reduction practices.

Judy Rosales, Executive Director, Coast Ridge Forest Council

Judy Rosales is the executive director and founding member of the Coast Ridge Forest Council. She has worked as a marketing consultant for Native American tribes and tribally owned businesses, including providing support services for tribal sustainability and renewable energy projects. Upon completing the Natural Resources Management Program at Santa Rosa Junior College, Judy worked as a project coordinator and grant writer for the Gualala River Watershed Council and as an educator in hatchery practices for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Judy is a long-time resident of the Gualala Ranch in Cazadero near Fort Ross where she lost her first home to the 1978 Creighton Ridge Fire.

Kim Batchelder, Vegetation Management Coordinator at Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District  

Kim began his career managing Wilderness Areas in Colorado, then reforestation projects in rural Costa Rica, followed by forest management certification from Mexico to Chile, before working in sustainable forest management for The Nature Conservancy – Mexico. He finally landed in Sonoma County in 2005 to help protect and manage fee lands and create trails like the North Sonoma Mountain and Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserves for Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District. Now, Kim is the Vegetation Management Coordinator to assist Sonoma County to develop tools and treatments to improve the health and resiliency of the county’s landscapes while protecting communities from large-scale wildfire events. He manages the Vegetation Management Grant Program and collaborating with County agencies, local non-profits and fire services agencies to determine the best way to use $25 Million dedicated to vegetation management from a PG&E Settlement with the County after the 2017 wildfires. Kim received his Bachelors degree in Biology and Environmental Conservation from University of Colorado at Boulder and a Masters in Forestry from Duke University.

Marshall Turbeville, Battalion Chief, CAL FIRE 

Marshall Turbeville is a CAL FIRE Battalion Chief in the Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit, overseeing three CAL FIRE stations in Sonoma County.  He began working for the CAL FIRE in 1995 as a seasonal fire fighter while attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  Marshall graduated from Cal Poly in 1998 and 2000 with Bachelor of Science degrees in Civil Engineering and Forestry and Natural Resources.  Marshall accepted a full time position in 2000.  He worked in Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit's Pre-Fire Division from 2004 to 2009 where he combined his forestry education and firefighting experience, learned GIS, and gained experience completing environmental reviews for prescribed burning.  He also maintained the Unit's Fire Plan, helped Firesafe Councils, and served as a fire investigator.  Marshall promoted to his current position in 2009.  He is a fire behavior analyst and has implemented prescribing burning in varying vegetation, topography, and weather conditions.  Marshall has responded to wildfire incidents throughout the State and was a member of CAL FIRE's Incident Management Teams for 10 years.  He instructs at the Santa Rosa Junior College in the Natural Resources Management and Fire Technology departments and participates on several CAL FIRE instructional cadres. 

Morgan Wright, Project Manager, CA State Coastal Conservancy 

Morgan Wright is a project manager at the State Coastal Conservancy. She collaborates with grant recipients on a broad range of projects, including wildfire resilience implementation projects in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties. Morgan is a graduate from Sacramento State University and previously worked for California State Parks.

Lilly Allen, Project Manager, CA State Coastal Conservancy

Lilly Allen is a project manager at the State Coastal Conservancy, focusing on wildfire resilience up and down coastal California. In that role, she has helped distribute millions of dollars in grants, develop environmental documentation streamlining, and coordinate projects statewide.

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