December 2013

It was a busy and productive year for More Mesa. As is our custom, below are the highlights for the year 2013.

More Mesa Sold
More Mesa was sold to a Saudi investor in mid-December of last year.  Obviously MMPC is disappointed that the seller offered the property to the community for $35 million, but subsequently sold to the new owner for $25 million. However, it is important to remember that, even though we do not know the buyer’s plans, the legal instruments that govern More Mesa have not changed. Whoever owns the property must comply with the policies, standards and regulations of the County’s Goleta Community Plan and the California Coastal Act.  This means that development will be restricted, public access will be maintained, and the habitat areas covering most of the property must be protected.

Citizen Scientists Busy At Work

  • iNaturalist: Early this year we introduced a new educational resource to our website, “More Mesa Natural Resources” on iNaturalist. With this new feature, supporters who report sightings become part of a well organized Citizen Scientist movement.

  • Sightings Reports: Unusual sightings were a real highlight of 2013. For example, a fox reported in July and a rare weasel in September. In addition, there were various sightings of our signature bird, the White-tailed kite. A total of three young were fledged on More Mesa. While this is a small fraction of the 8-12 chicks we observe in years with ample rainfall, our three chicks represent a third of all kites fledged in the entire Goleta Valley. Moreover, teams of kite observers noted that 2/3 of all the kite nests in the Goleta Valley were abandoned by late May. These data show, once again, how important More Mesa is to the survival of kites in our area.

Monthly e-mail Update Well Received
May of this year saw the inauguration of our Monthly e-mail Update. This report is sent to all our supporters who have supplied us with an e-mail address and contains the following information: potential development, answers to frequently asked questions, what’s happening on More Mesa, the past and ways that our supporters can help.

Plans for the 2014

  • Symposium: Update to Symposium of 2003 – March
  • Potential Forum: Views about More Mesa from Candidates for Second District Supervisor – Spring
  • Dialogue with the new owner: We look forward to working with the new owner in a manner that not only protects the biological, aesthetic and recreational resources of More Mesa, but also addresses his interests, as well as those of other More Mesa stakeholders.

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

May 2013

Monthly Supporter Update
The More Mesa Preservation Coalition (MMPC) is now more than 1100 supporters strong. However, we realize that, in this busy era, most people do not have the time to check our monthly news on the web site. And, because there is not an urgent threat apparent on the horizon, More Mesa is often not a top priority for the community. So, in the interest of informing and educating, we are initiating a monthly e-mail update to all our supporters, This single, simple, page will be sent to all those who have expressed an interest in being informed about current happenings, or would like additional information on, or about, More Mesa.

Topics on the update will include, but not be limited to:

  • News about potential development on More Mesa
  • Answers to frequently asked questions: Although we already have several questions that will be answered over the next few months, we encourage all who are interested in More Mesa to submit any questions you might have as well. Questions should be e-mailed to the address provided on the Contact page.
  • This month on More Mesa: Issues of particular interest for the month. These may be about legal questions, plants, animals, birds … or any other pertinent subject.
  • The Past: Some brief and interesting facets of More Mesa’s past.
  • How You Can Help: All of us are often frustrated because things do not move quickly with regard to More Mesa. This section will offer suggestions on how supporters can help us achieve our mission, and how to build against potential development threats in the future.

The first issue of this short e-update will appear in the middle of this month and continue in months following. You must have supplied MMPC with an e-mail address in order to receive it. We hope you find this update useful, and welcome any suggestions or feedback on its contents, format etc.