Support Swanton Pacific Ranch

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

Webinar: Post-Fire Fuels Treatments in a Coastal Demonstration Forest: the Recent, Past, and Future of Cal Poly's Swanton Pacific Ranch

Thursday, July 20th, 2023 10:00am - 12:00pm

This was an opportunity to learn about post-wildfire fuels reduction projects at Swanton Pacific Ranch. Participants increased their knowledge of implementing Forest Health Treatments in a recently burned mixed Redwood and Douglas fir forest. 
Cal Poly's Swanton Pacific Ranch has long served to train students and the greater community about how to steward a working mixed Douglas fir and redwood forests in California's central coast. In 2020, the CZU Lightning Complex Fire raged through that forest, with moderate to severe impacts. How do we best restore a scorched forest to guarantee sustainable redwood harvest and healthy watersheds for future generations?
Dr. Grey Hayes, Program Director of Cal Poly's Fuels and Vegetation Education program, Research and Education Manager at Swanton Pacific Ranch, and restoration ecologist outlined the ecological and fire history at Swanton Pacific Ranch (SPR), described the treatments conducted post-wildfire, and provided lessons learned throughout the process. Together, we discussed opportunities for future treatments at SPR and how they pertain to demonstration about, and instruction on, adaptive management of similar ecosystems across the region. 
Time Item


Webinar begins
  Kelly Meyer: Introductions and program overview

Dr. Grey Hayes: Ecological and fire history of Swanton Pacific Ranch

  Dr. Grey Hayes: Swanton Pacific Ranch as Cal Poly's school forest and stewardship demonstration site


  Dr. Grey Hayes: Treatment design
  Dr. Grey Hayes: Treatment implementation
  Dr. Grey Hayes: Lessons learned
11:15am Break
  Q&A Discussion 
  Kelly Meyer: Closing
12:00pm Webinar ends


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.

Related Content

Support SPR

Al Smithsupport the ranch

How You Can Help

Swanton Research Resources on Digital Commons

For a link to the many resources held by Cal Poly's library on Digital Commons, click here.