December 2009

As 2009 nears its close, MMPC celebrates, not only this happy season, but almost a decade of pursuing our vision … preserving all of More Mesa … forever. And, as has been our custom, we would like to share some highlights of what has been happening on More Mesa, and our work during the past year.

  • Bio Study
    MMPC has learned that field work for the Bio Study has definitely been completed.  However the report has been put on hold and no release date is available.

  • More Mesa For Sale
    As we reported last year More Mesa is still for sale, with the asking price remaining at $85 Million.  However, with current economic conditions as they are, it would not be unreasonable to assume that the price has, or may, drop below that figure.  We will keep you informed of any developments in this area.

  • More Mesa Handbook
    At the end of last year we reported the publication of the More Mesa Handbook, a comprehensive document describing the resources, history and constraints on More Mesa.  In early 2009, the Handbook was formally “launched” during an extremely successful event; one attended by almost 80 people – see this page.

    Since then, the Handbook has been gathering raves and praise from all sectors, both public and private!  Indeed, it has received two prestigious awards for being an “Outstanding Education Resource” from the American Planning Association – California, as well as being cited in a Santa Barbara County Resolution.  Most recently, the Handbook was nominated for an award from the Association of Environmental Professionals.  During 2009, dozens of hard copies and disks have been distributed to public officials, County and City staffs, educational institutions, scientists, funding organizations and interested private citizens.  The Handbook may be downloaded  here.

  • Fence at End of Mockingbird Lane
    In order to minimize the possibility of fire, neighbors on the northeast corner of More Mesa have constructed a perimeter fence, to prohibit illegal motorized vehicles.  There are also ongoing efforts to investigate the possibility of a similar construction on the west side of More Mesa.

  • And      …
    • MMPC is cooperating with County Parks in a process to remove an extremely harmful invasive known as “Russian Knapweed” from County owned sections of More Mesa.
    • Our data base is nearing 1000 supporters.
    • We have a new e-mail address.

Finally, our winter visitors are out on More Mesa!  Especially look for up to four Northern Harriers that have already been reported.

As always … thank you all for your wonderful support and for loving this very special place.
Our warmest holiday wishes.
Valerie Olson

Large number of grebes seen daily off More Mesa bluffs.
While thousands of grebes can normally be seen off northern Santa Barbara
at this time of year, this is an unusually large number for southern
Santa Barbara County, and the grebes are more numerous off
More Mesa bluffs than other locations.
Photo by Yuji Kozaki

November 2009

More Mesa is a always fertile ground for our many area photographers … no matter the season. In addition to the treasure trove of photographs from our own Lynn Watson, (see September 2009 News) we often discover other More Mesa photographers.

This month we feature several shots from Yuji Kozaki of the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at UCSB. We are indebted to Yuji for allowing us to use his images. Thanks Yuji.

owl, hawk
Great Horned Owl and Red-Tailed Hawk on More Mesa, by Yuji Kozaki

wren, pali
Rock Wren and Phainopepla on More Mesa, by Yuji Kozaki

dragonfly, butterfly
Black Saddlebags and Painted Lady on More Mesa, by Yuji Kozaki

October 2009

Email Address Change
We have changed the MMPC e-mail address; the new address is associated with our web site, and will no longer be connected with any particular web service provider. Please could you change your records for the More Mesa Preservation Coalition per the Contact Page.  Thanks!

Winter Visitors Starting to Arrive
Many raptors spend the winter at More Mesa, and, we are happy to note that the first of these visitors has already been seen …  a Northern Harrier Hawk.

Weed Eradication
The More Mesa Preservation Coalition is pleased to report that we are cooperating with County Parks and the Santa Barbara Agricultural Commissioner, David Chang, in a process to remove an extremely harmful invasive known as “Russian Knapweed” from More Mesa.  Currently about ¼ acre of this weed can be found on County owned sections of the northwest part of More Mesa (see map below).  However, the weed is known to spread easily and rapidly, so eradication of this relatively small area is very important.  Complete eradication of the existing Russian Knapweed will take about three years, but will go a long way toward preventing the spread of this noxious non-native onto the upper portions of More Mesa.

Updated Biological Resources Study
MMPC has learned that field work for the Bio Study has definitely been completed.  However the report is on hold and no estimated release date is currently available.

knapweed map
Knapweed, and map of knapweed on More Mesa. Click on map for larger image.

September 2009

Highlighting a Special Friend of More Mesa
One of the delightful aspects of our Monthly News Reports are the wonderful photos of More Mesa that accompany each report. These photos, like almost all the photos on our More Mesa web site, have been created by Lynn Watson; our web manager and photographer extraordinaire. This month’s news features some of Lynn’s favorite photos of More Mesa. To learn more about Lynn, and some of her many contributions to MMPC, visit the Friends section of this web site.

Sign Up on Line
And speaking of Lynn’s work, a new feature has been added to our web site. Anyone interested in becoming More Mesa Preservation Coalition supporter can now sign up on line by clicking the button on the right hand side of the home page. It’s simple, easy and takes virtually no time at all. If you are already a supporter, encourage your friends who care about More Mesa to sign up as well.

Favorite landscape and bird images from More Mesa.

August 2009

Bio Study Report
We are still awaiting release of the draft report on the year long Updated Biological Resources Study of More Mesa.  Field work was completed in the early summer and the report is expected to be out within the next month or so.

Another Award for the More Mesa Handbook
MMPC is both pleased and honored to report that the More Mesa Handbook has received yet another award as an educational document.  This recognition, also from the American Planning Association was garnered in a competition for all of California! The award will be presented at a statewide event at Lake Tahoe in mid September.

The More Mesa Preservation Coalition is pleased to announce that Caroline Robillard has recently joined our Board of Directors. Welcome Caroline!   We are also happy to report that two interns from UCSB have joined our team as well. Jillian Roberts and Brecken Smith will be working with Board members on a wide variety of tasks: including building our supporter base, wildlife observations and research.  Look for profiles of these new team members in upcoming features in our “People” section.  We also welcome the more than 100 people who have joined our list of supporters during the past year.  The graphic below, showing our nearly 1000 supporters, clearly illustrates the strong constituency of this wonderful open space.


santa cruz islan
Channel from More Mesa in August, 2009.