December 2010

As this relatively quiet year draws to a close, and has been our custom, we offer some highlights of 2010.

  • Bio Study
    It is nearly a year and a half since the field work for the Updated Biological Resources Study was completed, and the final report has still not available. We have requested estimated release dates several times and have been assured that the report will be available some time in the future … but that has not happened as yet.

  • More Mesa For Sale
    As we reported for the last 2 years, More Mesa remains for sale, with the asking price dropping from $110 Million to $85 Million, and now to $40 Million. As far as we know, it has not been sold. As always, we will keep you informed of any developments in this area.

  • More Mesa Handbook
    . In March 2010, the More Mesa Handbook garnered yet another, and its most prestigious, award to date. This time as winner of the Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP) “2010 Outstanding Public Involvement/Education Program” for the entire state of California!  The award was conferred jointly to AMEC – Earth and Environmental, and the More Mesa Preservation Coalition website. See the April, 2010 News for more details.

  • Tenth Anniversary
    In July of this year the More Mesa Preservation Coalition celebrated its 10th anniversary! In that very eventful decade, we have grown from a tiny cadre of less than 10 concerned neighbors, to a supporter base of well over 1000 community members. To commemorate this landmark, we created a timeline that features the major milestones MMPC has achieved, as well as important events concerning More Mesa.  This timeline can be found in the “Events” Section of this web site at Timeline. We are very proud of our accomplishments, and trust that this 10-year body of work will lay the foundation for the preservation of all of More Mesa—forever.

  • And finally …
    • A Bobcat family has been observed several times on and around More Mesa
    • There appears to be a Monarch butterfly roost on the eastern edge near Hope Ranch.
    • There may be a communal Kite roost near the historic eastern nest site.

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

more mesa
Aerial view of More Mesa along the Santa Barbara coastline.

April 2010

ANOTHER AWARD:  The More Mesa Handbook is once again in the limelight!  This time as the winner of the Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP) “2010 Outstanding Public Involvement/Education Program” for the entire state of California!

The award was conferred jointly to AMEC – Earth and Environmental, and the More Mesa Preservation Coalition website.

The AEP is a non-profit organization of interdisciplinary professionals working in all environmental fields, with special emphasis on environmental science, resource management and environmental planning.  Its mission is “to improve the technical skills of its members, and the organization is dedicated to the enhancement, maintenance and protection of the natural and human environment.”

Formed 30 years ago, the AEP was the first organization of its kind in the US, and its influence and model have spawned numerous other regional organizations throughout the US.  The California chapter, in particular, has focused on educating the public about the value of California’s laws protecting the environment, protecting natural resources and promoting responsible land use and urban growth.

Just part of the AEP citation for the award reads …”The More Mesa Handbook has dramatically raised the public awareness of the valuable resources within More Mesa.  The handbook is now widely used by universities, environmental scientists, planning commissioners, planning departments, non-profits, and the Coastal Commission, in the evaluation of More Mesa.  Although the printed copies are beautifully illustrated and thus costly to reproduce, the authors and the More Mesa Preservation Coalition smartly arranged for anyone to easily access the Handbook with the click of the mouse, through the project website, making it highly accessible to all.  Great job!”

And finally, MMPC would like to recognize all those organizations and individuals who are responsible for winning this award … AMEC – who created the Handbook, the Goleta Valley Land Trust and the UCSB Coastal Fund – our funding organizations and Lynn Watson – who manages our great web site.  MANY, MANY THANKS!


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

April 2009

We have two exciting pieces of news to report this month!

First, our very own MMPC Board member and Treasurer, Dave Peri, has be named “Man of the Year” by the Santa Barbara Foundation … an organization established in 1928 to enrich the lives of the people of Santa Barbara County through philanthropy.  The Foundation awards more than $20M in grants every year to help the less fortunate, offer education and cultural opportunities, and enhance our environment.  The award was presented at a luncheon on March 26th at the Coral Casino.  Dave certainly deserves this award for all the wonderful work he does in several major areas of our community, and especially for the More Mesa Preservation Coalition.

Dave Peri
Congratulations Dave!

Second, we are pleased and most gratified to report that the More Mesa Handbook has received an award for Excellence in Education from the American Planning Association –  California, Central Coast Section.  The award, presented at a dinner in Avila Beach on April 4th, named both Amec Earth and Environmental and the More Mesa Preservation Coalition as recipients. Lisa Burnes accepted for Amec, as Dan Gira, the Amec Program Manager, and the Handbook’s principal author, was unable to attend. Valerie Olson, representing MMPC had the opportunity to speak briefly about the significant impact of the Handbook on the Santa Barbara community and its importance for the future preservation of More Mesa.

Dan Gira
Congratulations to Dan Gira, AMEC 


January 2009

Peregrine Falcon
In past Monthly News updates, we have encouraged bird enthusiasts who visit More Mesa to submit reports on what they see, via this web site. (Click on the button at the bottom of the home page or go to Contact > Sightings Report.)

In the past few years, several of our supporters have used the web site to document regular bird sightings.  As a result, we are most happy to report that we recently received a marvelous sighting of a Peregrine Falcon near the coastal path of More Mesa … in the process of consuming a prey item!  This bird has been definitely identified as a juvenile Falco peregrinus anatum; a race that breeds in sub-arctic Alaska and Canada and throughout the western US.  This is very exciting news, since the last reported sighting of this species on More Mesa was in 2004.  We are indebted to Van Laurn, who is a frequent contributor to our sightings data base, for this report and the More Mesa photo below.  Initially there was also some concern about the nature of the prey item, until Van subsequently tracked down the carcass and positively identified the prey as a pigeon.

More Mesa Handbook
We will be launching the More Mesa Handbook at a morning get-together next month, and on this web site next month as well.  Watch for announcement of the time and place of the get-together; via e-mail and in the February News.

Thanks for caring about More Mesa, and a Happy New Year from all of us at the More Mesa Preservation Coalition!

Juvenile Peregrine Falcon seen on More Mesa, January 7, 2009.

Possibly same Peregrine Falcon seen at nearby Goleta Slough mouth, Dec 26, 2008.