Conservancy Times - Spring 2019

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ConservancyTimes CATALINA ISLAND

AIRPORT IN THE SKY Runway Repair Project Page 4

MESSAGE from our president

Conservancy Times is a bi-annual publication of the Catalina Island Conservancy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1972 to protect and restore Catalina Island for present and future generations to experience and enjoy. One of California's oldest land trusts, the Conservancy protects the magnificent natural and cultural heritage of Santa Catalina Island, stewarding over 42,000 acres of land and 62 miles of rugged shoreline. Just over 20 miles from the mainland, Catalina Island is home to more than 60 plant and animal species found nowhere else in the world. The Conservancy operates the Airport in the Sky, the Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden and two nature centers. It provides 50 miles of biking trails and 165 miles of recreational roads and trails. For more information, please visit TM


partnerships, including NatureWorks, our educational program with Avalon Schools. Also featured is the Conservancy's 2018 Catalina Island Symposium which was made possible by partnerships with prominent researchers who provide essential information needed to protect and restore land under our stewardship.

Through an extraordinary partnership with the Department of Defense, U.S. Marines and Navy, Catalina Island Conservancy is repairing the aging runway at the Airport in the Sky. This innovative project is saving us more than $1 million in costs for staff, housing and equipment. Partnerships like this have been essential to the Conservancy’s ability to fulfill its mission of being a responsible steward of its lands through a balance of conservation, education and recreation. This issue of Conservancy Times highlights several of these important

BENEFACTOR MEMBERS Alison Wrigley Rusack, Chair Maria Pellegrini, Ph.D. Tony Michaels, Ph.D. Trevor Fetter BOARD OF DIRECTORS Kellie Johnson, Chair Patrick McAlister, Vice Chair Steve Chazen, Ph.D., Past Chair Bob Breech Roger Chrisman John Cotton Victoria Seaver Dean Terry Grill Blanny Avalon Hagenah

Will Hagenah Hank Hilty Roger Lang Calen Offield Geoff Rusack D. Scott Stuart Mike Sullivan Shaun Tucker

We also celebrate our generous donors, whose gifts made it possible for us to open the Trailhead, the Conservancy’s new visitor center. We are forever grateful for all who have helped us build this beautiful new building. As we like to say, Adventure Starts Here! So please visit the Trailhead to start your Island adventures. As always, our deepest thanks to you, our partners, for your help in creating a stronger and better future for the Conservancy and for Catalina’s wildlands.

Tony Budrovich President & CEO

Larry Lloyd Chief Finance & Business Development Officer Suzy Gardner Chief Development Officer Bill Giuliano Director of Conservation


Leah Melber Director of Education

Tony Budrovich President & CEO

Michelle Badders Manager of Human Resources

Cynthia Fogg Assistant to the President / Board & Government Liaison

EDITOR Laura Mecoy

Tim Kielpinski Chief Operating Officer


CONTACT US P.O. Box 2739 Avalon, CA 90704 310.510.2595 320 Golden Shore, Suite 220 Long Beach, CA 90802 562.437.8555


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Runway Repair Project Trans-Catalina Transformations Catalina Island Symposium Welcome to the Trailhead Los Caballeros Ride

Experience Catalina with a Conservancy Membership Not a member of the Catalina Island Conservancy? Don't miss out on special opportunities and adventures.

JOIN TODAY! | (562) 437-8555 x.1224

Catalina Island Conservancy's



IN THE SKY Runway Repair Project

New ACE Clearwater Airfield Coming Soon!

his January, CH-53E military Thelicopters arrived on Catalina

Island in a flurry of dust and wind, bringing more than one hundred Marines and Sailors (Seabees) to Catalina Island Conservancy’s Airport in the Sky. The troops came to the Island to start work on repairing the aging main runway at Catalina’s only airport. The Conservancy was able to secure the troops’ help by entering into an agreement to conduct repair of the runway as a military training project under the authority of 10 US Code 2012, the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense's (OSD) Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) Program. For many years, the Conservancy had been patching the runway’s asphalt surface at a cost of about $250,000 annually, but the repairs were not enough. The California Department of Transportation’s (Caltrans’) Aeronautics Division

told the Conservancy that it needed a long-term repair plan in place by September 2018 to continue to operate the airport as a public facility. Keeping it open was critical to the local community. The Airport in the Sky is a historic and vital

“The Airport in the Sky is one of the lifelines for our community. We are indebted to the Marines and Sailors for their work and to the Conservancy for ensuring we will have this important lifeline for many years to come.” asset that provides access by air to Catalina Island for first responders, travelers, residents and businesses. It is the Island’s delivery hub for U.S. Mail, UPS and other carriers. An estimated 3.5 million pounds of freight, including medical and emergency

supplies, are also shipped through the airport annually. “The Airport in the Sky is one of the lifelines for our community,” said Avalon Mayor Anni Marshall. “We are indebted to the Marines and Sailors for their work and to the Conservancy for ensuring we will have this important lifeline for many years to come.” Securing the military’s help took more than 18 months and the aid of countless individuals. Cynthia Fogg, Conservancy's Assistant to the President/Board and Government Liaison, who was responsible for coordinating with the military says the Conservancy is thrilled to be partnering with the Department of Defense through the IRT program. We appreciate the incredible professionalism of the Marines and Navy personnel involved in planning the project. Additionally, Gary Cathey, former chief of Caltrans Aeronautics Division and Patrick Miles, Caltrans aviation safety officer, offered important advice. U.S. Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach


INNOVATIVE READINESS TRAINING PROGRAM Mission: To produce mission-ready forces

through military training opportunities that provide key services for American communities.

Vision: A secure and prosperous America supported by strong civil-military relations.


1. Provide hands on, real-world training to improve readiness and survivability in contingency environments. 2. Strengthen and build new partnerships with culturally conplex populations, including in remote areas. 3. Leverage military contributions and community resources to multiply value and cost savings for participants.

USMC IRT Program Manager Major Lisbeth Andriessen: "The project supports the IRT Program goals by providing valuable military training to combat engineers assigned to the I MEF while helping to meet an important infrastructure need of the Avalon community and the Conservancy."


and his staff also helped the Conservancy navigate the application process, resulting in an approved IRT project. Once the project was accepted, I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) at Camp Pendleton assigned 3rd MAW from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar to support the project. The 3rd MAW identified Marine Wing Support Squadron 373 (MWSS-373) under Mission Commander Captain Nicole Stockham to serve as the lead for the successful repair of the runway. Naval Construction Group One (NCG1), First Naval Construction Regiment (1NCR) and Navy Mobility Construction Battalion (NCMB-25) personnel also participated in the project by incorporating the Seabees expertise in the training, as well as providing quality control and medical support. However, before the troops even arrived

much work had to be done. Conservancy staff performed biological assessments and worked with the military to submit a thorough environmental analysis. The effort determined that the project qualified for a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) exclusion and that there would be no impact on the Island's ecosystem. The removal of the runway's existing asphalt surface was also required. Lenny Altherr, Conservancy Director of Construction Management, engaged a contractor to pulverize the asphalt, leaving it in small pieces that combined with the dirt below it to form the base for the new concrete surface. In December, the Marines transported 500 tons of equipment and tools by barge to Catalina Harbor and used existing roads to move it to the airport. The remaining 100 troops arrived in January and the work began in earnest.

Having planned for every contingency in order to operate in a remote location with limited access to supplies, the Marines transported everything they would need for the entirety of the project. They set up a full camp including tents, a working kitchen, showers and even a small medical operation. Over the three month period they are installing 18 miles of rebar to strengthen the concrete surface and pouring concrete along the 3,000-foot length of the main runway. The Marines and Sailors have been working six days a week, weather permitting, to complete the runway repairs which will give the Airport in the Sky a new life. Lt. Colonel Duncan Buchanan of I MEF said the project offers “an incredible training opportunity to the Marines” giving them valuable experience in repairing damaged runways and increasing their capabilities and readiness to tackle a range of military operations across the globe.

The Conservancy’s Benefactor Members, Board of Directors, and other donors recognized the project’s importance and have been generous in their support for it. In just six months, more than $3.5 million has been donated to help pay for the $5 million project. The Conservancy estimates the military’s contributions will save about $1 million and an estimated $4 million is required to pay for the materials, transportation and other expenses. Conservancy Board Chair, Kellie Johnson, called the runway repair project a “game-changer" for Catalina, saying "I am so proud of the Conservancy for making this happen, as well as the military personnel who are helping to make this a reality. This project is a great example of a real-world public/private partnership with a lasting and positive impact on our community.” Kellie, her husband Gary and father Tim Dodson believe so strongly in the project that they were compelled to

"I am so proud of the Conservancy for making this happen, as well as the military personnel who are helping to make this a reality. This project is a great example of a real-world public/private partnership with a lasting and positive impact on our community.”


A Historical Island Asset The Airport in the Sky and Catalina Island have a long history with the military. William J. Wrigley started building the airport in 1941 to provide general and commercial aviation to Catalina. To create a stretch of flat landscape on Catalina’s hilly terrain, construction workers leveled two mountain tops and filled in the remaining canyon to create the airport’s runway. During World War II, the US government leased Catalina Island as a front-line in the defense of the nation’s West Coast. The Office of Strategic Services, a forerunner for today’s CIA, used Catalina Island as a secret training base for intelligence agents, and the airport’s runway was covered with debris so that enemy aircraft would not be able to use it as a base. The US Army and Air Force also used the airport as a replacement training center and an alternate for March Air Force Base. After the war, the airport was opened for public access in 1946. The Conservancy took ownership of the airport in 1972. The return of the military to the airfield in 2019 marked another milestone in the history of the Airport in the Sky. 8

make a significant financial contribution towards the $5 million cost—a hefty price tag for the non-profit organization. The donation was made through their company, ACE Clearwater Enterprises, a Torrance-based aerospace and power generation manufacturing company. They were thrilled to contribute the $1.5 million naming gift and for the opportunity to add the name ACE Clearwater Airfield to the Conservancy's Airport in the Sky. Upon completion in mid-April, Ace Clearwater Airfield is expected to last 50-75 years. The Conservancy plans to host a re-opening celebration and a special “fly in” for members of the Aero Club, a support group of recreational pilots. “We are so excited to be able to reopen the newly resurfaced runway

as the ACE Clearwater Airfield,” said Tony Budrovich, Conservancy president and CEO. “Because of the runway’s rough surface, the airport was at risk of closure. The new concrete surface will make landings much smoother and will attract even more visitors to Catalina.” The Catalina Island Conservancy’s Airport in the Sky Runway Repair Project is an example of an innovative and mutually beneficial partnership. For the Marines and Navy, the project provides a unique training opportunity to prepare troops for deploying to islands and other remote destinations to build or repair damaged airfields and other infrastructure. For the Conservancy, the project has helped to offset the cost of much-needed repairs, ensuring the airport it owns and operates remains open to the public for many years to come.


The Wild Side ART SHOW & SALE

Catalina Island Conservancy's eighth annual Catalina: The Wild Side Art Show & Sale took place on Sunday, October 22 at Newport Harbor Yacht Club. Catalina Island's wildlands were beautifully interpreted by the 11 plein air artists: Cindy Baron, Brian Blood, John Cosby, Don Demers, Kathleen Dunphy, Andy Evansen, Debra Huse, Laurie Kersey, Michael Obermeyer, Colin Page and Joe Paquet.

Catalina: The Wild Side began in 2011 as an art show that would bring attention not only to the much loved town of Avalon, but also to the thousands of acres of land stewarded by the Conservancy that lay beyond—

Save the Date

Catalina's wild side. “This year's show was one of the highest grossing, raising over $190,000 to benefit the Conservancy's conservation and education programs," said Tony Budrovich, Conservancy President and CEO. “The Catalina: The Wild Side Art Show is unique because it allows us to connect with those who love Catalina Island through nationally recognized artists' views of the landscape, which represent the conservation side of the Conservancy's work," said Victoria Seaver Dean, Conservancy board member and event chair.

Attendees admire the art at the eighth annual Catalina: The Wild Side Art Show and Sale The Conservancy thanks this year’s Corporate Partners: Capital Group, Bluewater Grill and Newport Harbor Yacht Club. It also thanks Patron Sponsors: Jim and Diane Connelly, Lee and Theresa Hennis and Pat and Mari McAlister.

for the next Catalina: The Wild Side Art Show and Sale on October 20, 2019

Catalina’s Future YOUR LEGACY


Help us keep Catalina Island wild and accessible for future generations. For information about joining the Legacy Society, please contact:

Geoff Coster Development Manager, Major Gifts 562.437.8555 x1225

Suzy Gardner Chief Development Officer 562.437.8555 x1228


TRANSFORMATIONS The Trans-Catalina Trail stretches 38.5 miles across Catalina Island’s rugged interior and along its pristine coastlines, providing spectacular views of the 42,000 acres of wildlands under the Conservancy’s stewardship. For many hikers, tackling this challenging, multi-day hike becomes a transformational journey. Here are two of their stories.


Life-changing Trek for Couple Celebrating 26th Wedding Anniversary For Joey and Ana Nava, hiking the Trans-Catalina Trail was a life-changing and life-affirming journey. The couple decided to traverse the Island with family to celebrate their 26th wedding anniversary. But as the date for departure neared, Joey’s sister, Claudia Torales, was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery. She could no longer join them for the hike. Joey’s cousins, Oscar and Clara Perez, joined the couple for the anniversary hike, and together they decided their trek would also be in honor of those battling and surviving breast cancer.

On a ridgeline between Two Harbors and Little Harbor, they planted a flag with the pink breast cancer ribbon emblazoned on it. They shared the photo and videos of the flag on social media.

“We hadn’t trained for the hike,” Joey said. “so it was challenging. But as challenging as our hike was, we knew it was not as hard as what these people are going through. We hiked in October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so we thought we would try to generate some awareness by bringing a breast cancer awareness flag with us.”

“It was just amazing how the hike took us to a whole different realm and through the highlights of our marriage,” Joey said. “We came back with a sense that if we can do this, we can do anything. That is the attitude we have been relaying to our kids and to Claudia. We have told her that if we can do this, we know you can beat cancer.”

Hiking Away Stress and Trauma

“After these two hikes on the Trans-Catalina Trail, I realized that once I'd started addressing my mental health and healing my old trauma, my body started to take care of itself,” Williams said.

Hiking the Trans-Catalina Trail helped Sydney Williams establish the mind-body connection she needed to process what she said was a “lifetime’s worth of emotional and physical trauma.”

The trek seemed to be a metaphor for the Nava's marriage, with challenging uphill climbs, plateaus and peaks.

Williams describes her first time hiking the Trail as the hardest physical challenge she had ever tackled. But it taught her to love her body because it carried her through the hike. Williams embarked on a second Trans-Catalina Trail hike in 2018 after a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. For her, this second trek was an emotional one as she examined and gave up expectations from others and those she had placed on herself. On the Trans-Catalina Trail, she discovered she was using hiking to process and alleviate her stress.

Since hiking the Trail, Williams has left her job and she has created what she hopes will be a “movement” called “Hiking My Feelings.” This movement is a series of talks she’s been delivering to various groups, some in partnership with the outdoor retailer, REI. She’s also writing a book and leading retreats by inviting others to join her on local hikes where they too can hike their feelings.

Through “Hiking My Feelings,” Williams hopes that her transformation on the Trans-Catalina Trail will help other survivors overcome their own stresses and trauma, so they too can lead stronger and healthier lives. 11


Catalina Island Symposium C

atalina Island rattlesnakes are smaller than their mainland counterparts. They also have different patterns on their skin and are more defensive and likely to strike.


Pacific Rattlesnake inhabits much of Southern California and Baja California Norte. It can also be found on South Coronado Island.

found on the Island but their historical presence may be what leads Catalina rattlesnakes to be more defensive and likely to strike.

These differences were enough to lead researchers to suspect the Catalina Island rattlesnake may be a distinct subspecies of the Southern Pacific rattlesnake. But more study is needed to determine whether this is the case, according to William K. Hayes, Ph.D., professor of herpetology at Loma Linda University.

Hayes said the Catalina rattlesnake is an isolated population of the Southern Pacific rattlesnake and that may have caused it to evolve into a distinct subspecies on the Island, as other species sometimes do on islands. Most notably, organisms can evolve to be different sizes due to the differences in resources and predation; this is known as island dwarfism and gigantism.

Hayes told the audience at the Conservancy’s 2018 Catalina Island Symposium that the genetic studies thus far show the Catalina rattlesnake population is embedded within the Southern Pacific Rattlesnake clade, meaning they share common ancestors. The Southern

According to Hayes, animals that live on islands are usually tamer because they face fewer predators. However, the Catalina rattlesnakes have faced threats from invasive mammals introduced on the Island in the past, such as sheep and goats. These mammals are no longer

Even so, Hayes said rattlesnake bites are rare and his studies have found that wearing jeans can be an effective deterrent against most rattlesnake strikes. Interestingly, he said studies have found that 80% of rattlesnake bites involve male victims. In 45% of cases, they were engaging with the snake – rather than steering clear of it. And in 20% of snake bites, the victims had alcohol in their system. “Staying clear of rattlesnakes and dressing appropriately – in long pants and hiking boots – will help protect against snake bites on Catalina and the mainland,” Hayes said.

In November 2018, the Catalina Island Conservancy invited researchers from throughout Southern California to share with the audience the findings of the studThe Catalina Island Conservancy hosted the 2018 Catalina Island Symposium in Long Beach in November, drawing researchers ies they have conducted on the Island. Partnerships with these researchers increase from throughout Southern California to share with the audience the findings of the studies they have conducted on the Island. The thewith understanding of Catalina’s guide Conservancy they Conservancy’s partnerships these researchers increase theecosystems understandingtoofhelp Catalina’s ecosystems to helpstaff guideasthe conservation work to protect and restore the Island’s unique environment. team as it focuses on protecting and restoring the Island’s unique environment.


atureWorks is an innovative educational partnership between the Conservancy and Avalon School that aims to increase students' connection to natural history and science learning. Symposium speaker Gino Galvez, Ph.D. of California State University, Long Beach performed an evaluation which focused on the NatureWorks inclassroom component. The Keck Foundation, which provided early funding for the program, asked that it include an evaluation to ensure NatureWorks was meeting its goals. Galvez surveyed students and teachers about this hands-on approach to scientific education and reported both gave the program favorable reviews. According to the results, students felt they could easily understand difficult scientific concepts and a majority of

students said they learned more in NatureWorks than in any other class they had. “The students said NatureWorks made them think about their environment, their Island home and what they want to be when they grow up,” said Galvez. “As for the teachers, the feedback was all positive. They look forward to the NatureWorks instructor coming to class and said the hands-on learning makes it easier to get students motivated to participate in science-based learning.” The Catalina Island Conservancy launched NatureWorks in 2014 to expand the Conservancy’s then kindergarten through middle school educational programs into an integrated program that extends through 12th grade. NatureWorks connects best

practices in science learning and cultural awareness to field experiences. The program serves as a model for how school systems and conservation organizations can collaborate to expand environmental stewardship training and Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) education, with a particular focus on underserved youth. “Catalina is very special place with its vast expanses of open space, but the lessons learned here can be used in parks and other outdoor spaces for students living on the mainland,” he said. “Hands-on learning like this makes science much more relevant to students, and that is especially important with underrepresented groups who may question why they’re even learning science. They can see that science is all around them – that it’s part of their daily lives.”


...the Trailhead will give the Conservancy a stronger presence on the Island and greater opportunity to advance its mission to be a responsible steward of its lands through a balance of conservation, education and recreation.

Welcome to the

c. 1888 No structure exists yet on the site. Avalon is mosly barren.

c. 1891 A few small tent-like structures appear.


c. 1898 The original structure is built: a hotel called "Sunset House."

c. 1910s The hotel becomes a boarding house known as "Sunset Apartments."

With the Trailhead visitor center

opening soon, the Catalina Island Conservancy is more accessible than ever. The Trailhead is prominently located near the Cabrillo Mole boat landing in Avalon and is hard to miss when arriving to the Island through town. With over one million visitors to Catalina annually, the Trailhead will give the Conservancy a stronger presence on the Island and greater opportunity to advance its mission to be a responsible steward of its lands through a balance of conservation, education and recreation. Born from the IMAGINE CATALINA strategic vision and master plan, the completion and opening of the Trailhead is a milestone for the Conservancy. Created in 2010, IMAGINE CATALINA is a blueprint to guide the Conservancy for 20+ years with the following four goals: • Protect and restore Catalina Island by modeling science-based conservation in a lived landscape

• Train today’s and tomorrow’s stewards of the natural world through life-long learning experiences • Connect people to the land and sea through nature-based recreation • Model sustainability in facilities, operations and finances The Trailhead is the flagship project of phase one of IMAGINE CATALINA and was designed with these goals in mind. The Trailhead provides enriching, life-long learning opportunities

Interpretive exhibits and naturalisttrained staff answer visitors’ questions about all that the wildlands have to offer, the Island’s history, its unique ecology and the 60+ endemic species found nowhere else in the world. The Trailhead is also a site for lectures, exhibitions and educational programs for visitors and provides a place for visiting researchers to stay. Through education, the Conservancy is preparing students of all ages to

The Trailhead is the gateway to exploring and understanding Catalina’s wildlands

The Trailhead encourages visitors and residents to connect with nature and explore the Island’s vast interior. Visitors can start their adventure of a lifetime by booking popular Conservancy Eco Tours which depart from the Trailhead. Led by certified interpretive guides, these open-air vehicle tours offer the most informative, farthest-reaching and interactive excursions into Catalina’s wildlands. Riders are sure to take in magnificent views, spot wildlife and learn about Catalina’s natural and cultural history. For those looking to make their way to the Airport in the Sky or remote campgrounds, the Wildlands Express also departs from the Trailhead.

2011 Catherine Hotel is put up for sale and is purchased by the Catalina Island Conservancy.

c. 1950s Building becomes "Jade Pagoda," a hotel, bar and restaurant.

1967 Under new ownership, the property becomes the Catherine Hotel.

be future stewards of Catalina Island and indeed, the world.

2013 Original stucture is unsalvageable, demolition begins.


The Trailhead is vital to help visitors understand how to best use the Island’s 42,000+ acres of protected land and offers treasured moments of science learning, research opportunities and enriched engagement with the natural world... Visitors can also get maps, permits and the information they need to explore the Island’s 42,000+ acres of wildlands and 165 miles of recreational roads and trails for hiking, biking and camping. The Trailhead is a model for sustainability

The Trailhead is a model for sustainability as Avalon’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building, featuring a rooftop

garden with native plants, a rainwater collection system, a photovoltaic system on roof surfaces and saltwater flush toilets. LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. The Trailhead even reused materials from the previous building, the Catherine Hotel.

The Trailhead honors healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green building and is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. The Trailhead marks a new chapter for the Conservancy

“The Trailhead marks a new chapter for the Conservancy,” says Catalina Island Conservancy CEO and President, Tony Budrovich. “The Trailhead increases awareness of the Conservancy’s work which will help build strong relationships with the community and inspire visitors to also be stewards of Catalina. The Trailhead is vital to

2015 Construction of the Conservancy's new Trailhead visitor center begins.

2015-2018 Construction continues.


help visitors understand how to best use the Island’s 42,000+ acres of protected land and offers treasured moments of science learning, research opportunities and enriched engagement with the natural world that all circle back to the IMAGINE CATALINA strategic vision.” Whether you visit the Trailhead to book an Eco Tour, learn about the Island’s natural history, marvel at conservation efforts displayed through the Conservancy’s plein air art exhibit, shop the missionrelated retail or enjoy one of the many beers on tap at the Toyon Grill by Bluewater, your visit will be well worth it. The 9,000+ square-foot facility and all its amenities is where adventure on Catalina starts. The Trailhead is the gateway for residents and visitors to explore and understand California’s best back yard: Catalina Island.

2019 Conservancy's Trailhead building opens to the public.


Campaign Donors (Gifts $1,000+ Listed Alphabetically as of 2/15/19) James H. Ackerman Family and Evalyn M. Bauer Foundation David and Linda Adams Ahmanson Foundation Trent and Linda Anderson Annenberg Foundation Anonymous Balboa Yacht Club Brad and Karen Baker Stephen and Barbara Barnard The Phil Belling Family Don Beaumont, Theodore Griffith and Thomas Neilsen Board of Supervisors, County of Los Angeles Bombard Family Bob and Mai Breech Steven Briggs James and Mary Buckingham Tony and Noelle Budrovich Claire Burrill Mr. and Mrs. Scott Calder Tobin and Greta Campbell In Memory of Charmaine Smith Capital Group Catalina Cowboy Heritage Foundation Catalina Island Company Steve and Pat Chazen Bruce and Kathe Choate Robert and Sharon Coors John P. and Cindy Cotton Crevier Family Foundation The Croul Family Foundation Andi Culbertson The Curci Family Victoria and Dorn Dean Roger and Sandy DeYoung Andrew and Corinne Dossett Edison International Rick and Candace Emsiek Trevor and Melissa Fetter Louis and Gladyce Foster

Family Foundation Cece and Mack Fowler Lisa and Burce Gelker Gardner Grout Foundation Mr. and Mrs. Gordon T. Frost, Jr. Blanny Avalon Hagenah John and Dana Hagenah Tricia and Will Hagenah Susan and Phil Hagenah In Memory of Helen and Phil Wrigley The Hancock and Julia Banning Family Steve and Stephanie Hathaway Shelli A. Herman, In Honor of Ann Muscat, Ph.D. Jack and Shirley Herron Howard Higholt Gary and Sandi Hill Mark and Susan Hillgren Hank and Diane Hilty Ann and Steve Hinchliffe William T. and Susana D. Huston Family Foundation, (Bob and Beth Huston) James W. and Anne D. Johnson Family Foundation Gary and Kellie Johnson Dick and Alison Johnston Caroline Jones ​Nelson and Mimi Jones Richard and Vicki Jones Mr. and Mrs. Roy H. Jones Susan Jones-Oldham Thaddeus C. Jones Family Geraldine Knatz and John Mulvey Lamb Family Foundation Roger Lang Drew and Jane Lanza Las Caballeras Lillian Olander Trust Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District Marathon

Bob and Lisa Margolis Linda Massey The Harold McAlister Charitable Foundation Patrick and Mari McAlister Mary Menninger Tony and Claire Michaels Misdee Wrigley and James Mather Miller Mervin Moore and Dana Stuart-Moore, In Memory of Claire A. Stuart Ann Muscat and Jack Baldelli Newport Harbor Yacht Club Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation Calen and Amber Offield J. Barney and Lisa Page Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Maria Pellegrini Stephen and Kathy Prough David Pyle Philip and Maureen Ramer Scott and Sue Redsun Renton Family Helen Atwater Rich The Ronnenberg Family, CR&R Environmental Services Mary Rooney The Rose Hills Foundation Alison Wrigley Rusack and Geoffrey Claflin Rusack Jim Schmidt Steve and Becky Smith Elizabeth Steele Claire A. Stuart Charitable Trust Scott and Tamara Stuart Mike and Gloria Sullivan Rudy and Suzi Svrcek David and Elise Swain Frank and Kathy of Avalon S. Mark Taper Foundation Shaun and Katy Tucker Ross and Kristi Turner Catalina Island Marine Institute Todd and Jean Walker Jim and Vicki Warmington Douglas M. West and Irene E. Ziebarth Bob and Marilyn White Tod and Linda White Justin and Julie Wilson Richard Woodward

Thank you all for your investment in this vital Conservancy project!





om Crone began traveling to Catalina Island when he was a child. But he said his first trip to Catalina with Los Caballeros was the most fun he ever had on the Island – or anywhere else.

Los Caballeros is the male branch of the Catalina Caballeros, a Catalina Island Conservancy equestrian membership support group that also has a female group of riders, the Las Caballeras. Both groups travel to the Island every year to explore Catalina’s interior on horseback. For the men, 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of their annual trip to the Island. “For me personally, I’m halfway to heaven when I’m on a horse,” said Crone, a business consultant from Corona del Mar, who had spent little time on horseback before he joined the group. “There’s something about riding a horse that is just magical. There is a special bond that God put into place between a man and a horse. It’s just amazing.” Founded in 1942, Los Caballeros made its first visit to the Island in September 1949 and adopted a mission of preserving the Western heritage on Catalina Island by promoting horsemanship, respect, the spirit of cowboy camaraderie and love for the outdoors. About 100 of the organization’s approximately 200 members travel to the Island each year for their campout. Not all ride. But they all camp at Little Harbor and spend up to five days enjoying games, fishing, rodeo

competitions, trail class events, western performances and tall tales. Tom Sparks, who joined the group in 1992, said its members support the Conservancy because the “Conservancy is the reason why this open space is here, still undeveloped, where we can ride.” Retired now from his CPA firm, the Newport Beach resident previously served as Los Caballeros’ president. Crone is the president now and, among other tasks, he’s focused on fundraising. The group holds a raffle each year, with the proceeds going to the Catalina Island Conservancy, and provides a ticket to the annual ride as a silent auction item at the Catalina Island Conservancy Annual Ball. In addition, Los Caballeros has formed a separate charitable organization, the Catalina Cowboy Heritage Foundation, to preserve and promote Catalina’s cowboy heritage. He said the foundation has raised nearly $70,000, with at least 10% of the proceeds going to the Conservancy. Last year, the foundation contributed to the Trailhead visitor center project and also raised $22,500 to buy a tractor for the Catalina Island Saddle Club to begin composting, an initiative sought by the Conservancy to protect the Island. “We just love the Island,” said Sparks, “and the Conservancy has done such a great job of keeping it special for all of us.”


Conservancy News Roger Chrisman

NEW CONSERVANCY BOARD MEMBER Roger Chrisman spent much of his youth in the outdoors which left him with a profound belief in the importance of young people experiencing nature, as they do on Catalina Island, and a commitment to support the Catalina Island Conservancy as a member of its Board of Directors.

and enjoy the fresh air – that is just wonderful. You just can’t do that in many other places now.” Chrisman is an active member of the Santa Barbara Yacht Club, where

“I believe in the Conservancy’s mission to be a responsible steward of its lands through a balance of conservation, education and recreation,” he said. “Recreation is the part I want to be sure is preserved for generations to come. I am just so proud, so pleased and so happy that the Conservancy provides an opportunity for kids to get into the interior, to camp, hike

he served as Commodore in 2010, and he also belongs to the Catalina Island Yacht Club. He and his wife, Sarah, live in Montecito and have been traveling to Catalina for more than 25 years. The Conservancy is one of many nonprofit organizations to which they have devoted their time and resources since they retired in 1988 from the company they founded in 1983, Network Equipment Technologies. “We are very fortunate that we can support the organizations we are interested in – including performing arts, education and conservation,” Chrisman said. “Serving on the Conservancy board gives me another good excuse to visit Catalina.”

Terry Grill

NEW CONSERVANCY BOARD MEMBER Terry Grill has met so many Southern Californians who have never been to Catalina – or if they have traveled there, they never ventured past Avalon – that she’s committed to getting as many children and their families to the Island as possible. She said she joined the Catalina Island Conservancy’s Board of Directors because of her commitment to conservation and to sharing nature with future generations.

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“I am a real believer that in order to have sustained support for the wilderness and conservation, in particular, that children need to be

introduced to the wonders of being in nature,” Grill said. Sustainability is her vocation, and it carries over into her philanthropy and volunteer life. Grill is the director of sustainability for Sealed Air Corporation and the president/ CEO for Industrial Insulations Incorporated. As a volunteer, she is president of the Claremont Wildlands Conservancy and a founding member of Sustainable Claremont. Throughout her life, Catalina has played an important role. She first visited as a child with her parents, and then spent her honeymoon sailing around Catalina. She and

her husband, Larry, celebrated their first anniversary by hiking on the Island and have continued to visit regularly since they moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Claremont in 2007.

Leah Melber, Ph.D.

NEW DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION Leah M. Melber, Ph.D., said she was eager to join the Catalina Island Conservancy as its Director of Education because of the organization’s commitment to its mission: to be a responsible steward of its lands through a balance of conservation, education and recreation.

to sharing the natural world and conservation with students of all ages,” said Tony Budrovich, Conservancy president and CEO. Melber started her professional career as a science education specialist at the Natural History

As director of education, Melber oversees all aspects of the Conservancy’s education programs, including adult outreach, schoolbased programs and interpretation through Conservation facilities like the Nature Center, with the goals of improving ecological literacy and cultural behavior.

Museum of Los Angeles County. Her career expanded to include numerous roles across the country in the field of science education and even work overseas, where she worked on the development of a new museum project. For the past two decades, Melber has also served as an independent consultant to museums and other informal education and non-profit organizations. In addition, she has published numerous papers in peerreviewed journals. “My passion is the natural world and science learning,” Melber said. “So it’s very exciting to be on Catalina Island, leading the Conservancy’s education programs.”

“We are very fortunate to have a director of education with such extensive experience and dedication

Bill Giuliano, Ph.D.

NEW DIRECTOR OF CONSERVATION Having grown up on Plum Island, Massachusetts and along the Great Marsh of New England, Bill Giuliano, Ph.D., developed an early interest in islands, coastal systems, wildlife and conservation. He spent the past 20 years as a biologist, extension specialist and professor, directing and coordinating wildlife and natural resources education, outreach, research and management programs in many parts of the U.S. and Central America. In January, Giuliano joined the Catalina Island Conservancy as Director of Conservation and said he’s “come full circle” by returning to the island and coastal systems that

first piqued his interest in wildlife and conservation. “I am honored to have joined a great team at the Conservancy and to be part of this unique and vital part of the world,” he said. “Helping to protect and restore such a special place is a privilege and a challenge.”

of New Hampshire, an M.S. degree from the Eastern Kentucky University and a Ph.D. from Texas Tech University. He is living on Catalina at Middle Ranch.

Giuliano is an avid outdoors person who enjoys hiking, camping and kayaking. He also brings a strong educational background to the job. He has completed a Natural Resources Leadership Institute training program and attained a Wildlife Biologist certification. He holds a B.S. degree from the University 21

Honor Roll of Donors

Listing includes annual support from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018, exclusive of auction items donated to or purchased at the Conservancy Ball and Catalina: The Wild Side Art Show. Excludes gifts made to the IMAGINE CATALINA campaign. Gifts listed in descending order of amount.

$100,000 and Above Geoffrey Claflin and Alison Wrigley Rusack Steve and Pat Chazen Lillian Olander Trust Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. Blanny Avalon Hagenah Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation James H. Ackerman Family and Evalyn M. Bauer Foundation Offield Family Foundation $50,000 - $99,999 Victoria and Dorn Dean Marathon Roger and Sarah Chrisman $25,000 - $49,999 Maria Pellegrini Scott and Sue Redsun Dorrance Family Foundation John and Cindy Cotton Gary and Kellie Johnson The Boone Foundation Mike and Gloria Sullivan A.G. Cox Charity Trust Melissa and Trevor Fetter Tricia and Will Hagenah U.S. Bank $10,000 - $24,999 Donald Slavik Family Foundation Catalina Island Company Southern California Edison


Natural Resources Conservation Service Frank and Joann Randall Shaun and Katy Tucker Capital Group John Hagenah Family Fund Western Los Angeles Council, Boy Scouts of America Bob and Mai Breech Earl B. Gilmore Foundation Elliott Family Foundation Fund Coastal Quest C.M. and Edna P. Cotton Foundation James and Diane Connelly D. Scott and Tammie Stuart Charles and Ellen Steinmetz Richard Johnston Douglas and Judy Levi Erickson Family Charitable Foundation Gardner Grout Foundation Guided Discoveries Howard Higholt REI The Seaver Institute $5,000 - $9,999 Friends of the Island Fox, Inc. The Hexberg Family Foundation MATT Construction Phil and Susan Hagenah Nelson and Mimi Jones Lisa and Bruce Gelker Jeremy and Brandi Dicker Capital Group Foundation

Ron and Cheryl Nichols Diane Wilkinson Los Angles County Fourth District Supervisor Janice Hahn Timothy and Sheila Collins Patrick and Mari McAlister Laurence and Terry Grills Janice Rutherford Hinds Michael and Kimberly Mason US Bank Anonymous Joe and Annette Oltmans, II Steve and Katie High The Catalina Cowboy Heritage Foundation Laura and Carlton Seaver Catalina Classic Cruises Connolly-Pacific Co. Avalon Environmental Services Anonymous Donald L. Schoellerman Geraldine Knatz and John Mulvey James W. and Anne D. Johnson Family Foundation Johnny Carson Foundation Richard and Marie Knowles Marvin Wheat Nichols Foundation West Patty Hathaway Philip and Maureen Ramer Anne and Stephen Hinchliffe $2,500 - $4,999 Jason and Erin Kennedy

Howard and Jeanne Tuttle Paul and Jackie Neil Julia Banning Ben Widhelm G.T. and Shannon Frost Scott and Cyntha Barnard Crevier Family Fund Greater Los Angeles 1 Council, Boy Scouts of America Offield Family Foundation County of Los Angeles Fire Department John and Diane Bertram James and Susan Birmingham Roger Lang and Lisa Lenard Catalina Island Yacht Club Foundation Steven and Stephanie Hathaway Merl and Luz Seastrom Andrew and Gaye Saxon J. and Sarah Barnes Christian Spenker Michael and Elizabeth Rabbitt Frederic and Lucille Ripley Thornton S. Glide, Jr. and Katrina D. Glide Foundation Nancy Katayama Ryan Family Charitable Foundation William and Vicki Bloomberg Lee and Theresa Hennis Ann Muscat and Jack Baldelli Roger and Sandy DeYoung John and Julie Dixon

Steve and Amanda Calhoun Alex and Janet Boggs Balboa Yacht Club Richard Woodward Laura and Charlie Tomlinson Rick Ingold and Dean Kiser Brian Bissell Tom and Gerda Sparks Ron and Cheryl Roberts Mutual of America Aon Risk Solutions California Swimrun Colony Capital c/o Rising Realty Partners LP David and Jeanne Albus Lamb Family Foundation Bluewater Grill Richard and Elizabeth Steele Fund Graham Tingler Jack and Shirley Herron Jessica Hibbs John and Barbara Anglin Lynne Brickner and Gerald Gallard Catalina Express, Inc. Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp, LLP Richard and Becca Waycott Robert D. Voit The Confidence Foundation The Louis and Gladyce Foster Family Foundation Todd and Tatiana James $1,000 - $2,499 Scott Kennedy Gregory and Cindy Dillion

Bank of the West Lisa Skelly Michael and Cheryl Mooradian Joseph and Lisa Banning James and Carol Schmidt Robert's Home Audio & Video, Inc. Gillian and Gerald Groves Gina Long Kleiner Cohen Foundation Georges and Patricia McCormick Robert and Carolyn Duncan Sam Piffero Robert and Julie Woolley Todd and Jean Walker Blake and Terri Quinn Cinde M. MacGugan-Cassidy and Mike Cassidy Gary Stewart and Margot Kutner Las Caballeras Ben and Denise Carter Fine Line Construction Paris and Lisa Rebl Marcus and Cynthia Crahan C. David and Andi Culbertson Lions Club of Avalon Neal Trudeau San Diego Yacht Club Sang Lee Steven and Linda Glanville Trent and Linda Anderson William and Linda Scilacci Thomas and Sheryle Fipp Michael Baker International

Moffatt and Nichol Scott and Sharon Gorelczenko William and Krista Partridge Edgar and Audrey Jessup Sadie Parsons Doug and Jeanie Shelton Willis and Judith Longyear Walter and Judith Larkin Port of Long Beach Peter Wells Forrest Worthy McCartney Otis Healey Roxanne M. Wilson Long Beach Community Foundation Steven Rocha Rhon Linn Williams Dennis and Peggy Moran Joseph and Peggy Stemler Terry Causey Jeff Bertuleit Graham and Kerry Fleming Bill Young Lee Harrison Allison and Robert Price Family Foundation Margaret A. Frank Fund at The Chicago Community Foundation Curtis and Michelle Drever David and Karen Lindquist David and Kathleen Renton John and Diana James Drew and Jane Lanza Emily and Daniel Vogler Gary and Sandi Hill Harold McAlister Charitable Foundation

Hudson and Michele Saffell James and Michele Dewey Ladeen Miller Michael and Alice Flynn Michael and Antonia Massie The Dubois Family Charitable Fund Orangewood Foundation Peter R. LaDow Richard and Geraldine Peckham Richard Williams Terry Maddox Tom and Dana Jacobs William and Kathleen Mudd




Conservation. Education. Recreation. P.O. Box 2739 Avalon, CA 90704

Photo Credits: Cover photo: Jack Baldelli; Pg. 2: Steve Tabor; Pg. 3: (top to bottom, left to right) Steve Tabor, Sydney Williams, Amy Fernandez, Brian Addison, Courtesy of Tom Crone; Pg. 4: Amy Fernandez; Pg. 6: Steve Tabor (both); Pg. 7: (top to bottom) Steve Tabor, Glen Gustafson (Environmental Image Group, Inc.), Glen Gustafson; Pg. 8: (left to right) Catalina Island Conservancy, Steve Tabor, Corporal Samuel Ruiz; Pg. 9: Robb Rosenfeld, Jack Baldelli; Pg. 10: Catalina Island Conservancy; Pg. 10: Courtesy of Joey and Ana Nava, courtesy of Sydney Williams; Pg. 12:; Pg. 13: Artwork by Amy Fernandez; Pgs. 14-16: Brian Addison, TIMELINE (chronologically): LA Country Library Image Archive, Calisphere Digital Archive, Virtual Tourist: Santa Catalina Island, Constance Burgess, unknown via Pinterest, Unknown, Silver Smith via Flickr, Jim and Mary McCampbell, Ernie Rodriguez, Ernie Rodriguez, Brian Addison; Pg. 18: Courtesy of Tom Crone; Pg. 20-21: Steve Tabor (all)

CONSERVANCY CALENDAR MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR ADVENTURE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF THESE EVENTS, GO TO CATALINACONSERVANCY.ORG OR CALL 562-437-8555 Catalina Island Marathon March 9, 2019 Enjoy spectacular views while you run through the wildlands of Catalina Island! Conservancy Members receive a discount on registration. For more information please visit BZ Jones Hike March 23, 2019 The BZ Jones hike honors the legacy of one of the Conservancy's most dedicated supporters and volunteers, the late Graham "BZ" Jones. The BZ Jones hike is an annual one-day trek that covers about 9 miles across the width of Catalina Island.

Join us in our mission!

24th Annual Catalina Island Conservancy Ball April 6, 2019 Join us for one of the biggest events of the year on Catalina Island. The 24th Annual Conservancy Ball promises to be another exciting and elegant evening of dining, dancing and fun benefitting the Conservancy. For more information, visit or call 562.437.8555 x1239. Las Caballeras Catalina Ride May 13-18, 2019 Members of Las Caballeras, a Conservancy support group, will host their annual, weeklong ride on the Island with camping and cowgirl fun. For more information, please

visit Member Bird Watch September 28, 2019 Explore the trails surrounding Middle Ranch Reservoir while learning about the Island's unique bird species from Education Specialist Hillary Holt.

unique paintings support the Conservancy's conservation, education and recreation programs.

9th Annual Catalina: The Wild Side Art Show October 20, 2019 This year's show at Newport Harbor Yacht Club features 11 nationally acclaimed plein air artists who will display their interpretations of Catalina's rugged wildlands and scenic beauty. Proceeds from the sale of these



CATALINA'S FUTURE, YOUR LEGACY Please let us know if you've included Catalina Island Conservancy in your will so that we may recognize your support and say "thank you." Your legacy gift ensures continued protection of Catalina's wildlands and natural treasures. To learn more about the Conservancy's Legacy Society, contact Suzy Gardner at or call 562.437.8555 x1228.