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Fuels Treatments in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI): Sonoma Land Trust’s Laufenburg Ranch Preserve

Thursday, May 18th, 2023 10:30am-2:00pm

This was an opportunity to learn about vegetation management for fire fuel reduction and enhancing ecological health in the wildland-urban interface (WUI).  
Participants improved their knowledge of designing and implementing fuel treatments to increase fire resilience and ecological health on the wildland-urban interface (WUI) using examples at Sonoma Land Trust's Laufenburg Ranch Preserve.
Stewardship Director at Sonoma Land Trust, Bob Neale, and Stewardship Senior Project Manager, Melina Hammar, discussed sequencing forest/woodland treatments and explained the importance of implementing defensible space and home hardening as a tool for fire preparedness and infrastructure protection.   
Time Item
10:30am Workshop begins, presenter introductions
  Prescribed burn at knoll top: Bob Neale and Melina Hammar


12:30pm Douglas fir dominated forest: Bob Neale and Melina Hammar 
2:00pm Workshop ends


Bob Neale, Stewardship Director, Sonoma Land Trust  

Bob Neale is the Stewardship Director at Sonoma Land Trust. Bob has led the development and growth of Sonoma Land Trust’s stewardship program since 2004, a time during which the active management of our natural lands has become a primary focus of the conservation community. Since 2017, much of the land management work has focused on forest and woodland management, wildfire resiliency, and adapting to climate change. He is fortunate to have great colleagues to work with and learn from, and spectacular landscapes to wander across, now and throughout his career. A California native, he graduated with a BA in creative writing from San Francisco State University.  He began his career in conservation at Peninsula Open Space Trust and spent five-years at Sustainable Conservation in their Partners in Restoration program before moving north to Sonoma County. On a good spring day, he may be found among serpentine wildflowers contemplating what he is doing with his “one wild and precious life.”

Melina Hammar, Stewardship Senior Project Manager, Sonoma Land Trust

Melina has nearly a decade of experience in the field of resource management. As a senior project manager for Sonoma Land Trust, she oversees the stewardship of four nature preserves across the Russian River region, focusing on building resilience in a changing climate and implementing nature-based solutions. Before joining Sonoma Land Trust, Melina worked in the non-profit and public sectors helping landowners develop management plans for resource conservation on agricultural properties as well as assisting with conservation easement monitoring and compliance, field data collection, and GIS mapping. Melina graduated from Sonoma State University with B.A. in Environmental Studies and Planning, concentrating in conservation and restoration, with a minor in biology. Her deep love of Sonoma County, its open landscapes, and agricultural heritage inspire her and reinforce her commitment to protecting and stewarding the land for future generations.


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