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“Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets, but humbler folk may circumvent this restriction if they know how. To plant a pine, for example, one need be neither god nor poet; one need only own a shovel. By virtue of this curious loophole in the rules, any clodhopper may say: Let there be a tree - and there will be one.�

- Aldo Leopold

A Sand County Almanac



Mulholland and Collins: SRT leadership reviews the successes and challenges that were the year 2014.


Lynne Firpo’s Vision: A sight-impaired child’s quest for nature and love of conservation becomes clear early on.


Greg Collins’ Dots: SRT mitigation services revenues continue to offset an increasingly challenging environement for grant and other income sources. SRT Board Chair Greg Collins connects the dots for offering longterm SRT mitigation services solutions for Tulare County governments.

THE BLUE IN BLUE OAK: SRT’s Blue Oak Ranch Preserve (above) is a medley of nature’s varying blues and greens. Above, the preserve’s Harris Road entrance features a pond surrounded by a magnificent stand of Blue Oak under characteristically blue California skies.


Adam Livingston’s Take: The way cities are planned and urban growth affect the beautiful open spaces and working landscapes that SRT protects. That interconnection has inspired SRT to become among the region’s strongest “smart growth” advocates in cities throughout the San Joaquin Valley.


Ann Huber’s Inspiration: Gannett Corporation’s Make a Difference Day brings the community to Kaweah Oaks to launch a vision and clear the way for a new Children’s Trail for play-based early learning.


Cindy Myers’ Knack: A talent for fundraising brings new connections, resources, and advancement to SRT Development’s native plant nursery efforts.

29 Contributors | SRT 2014 financial results | Credits

SRT leaders celebrate year’s major advances

Welcome to our 2014 Sequoia Riverlands Trust Annual

TOP RIGHT: Soapy Mulholland, SRT Executive Director, and Greg Collins, SRT Board Chair.

OPPOSITE: The pond at Blue Oak Ranch Preserve near Springville, which is slated for opening to the public sometime in 2016, if all goes according to plan.

Report! We’ve got some great stories to tell from a year’s worth of memorable adventure and challenging endeavor. In the pages ahead you’ll see many of Central California’s beloved places, prominent names and familiar faces. Whether or not you appear, please know that you feature strongly on this publication’s every page. That is because -- whether by simply appreciating our mission from afar or via more direct engagement -- everything you do for SRT sustained us through another challenging and fruitful year. Everything from your volunteer time and talents, to your financial generosity and goodwill that opened doors for SRT in 2014 -- all reflect in every page of this report. We hope this document serves as a testament to our sound governance, commitment to transparency, and ample accomplishments as we head into some very challenging times for conservation in California. Ongoing exceptional drought, changing demographics, and shifting political and financial priorities around the conservation cause pose hurdles for land trusts like SRT. We face them with courage and conviction each week. This is the work we have chosen because it is urgent. And we thank you for staying the course as we fulfill our mission and the tagline adopted in 2014: Strengthening California’s Heartland. The good news is that a paradigm shift is underway. A growing national awareness of Central California’s importance to agribusiness means a heightened appreciation of farmland conservation and how working landscapes strengthen area economies and habitats. Regional infrastructure investment means


that SRT mitigation services are increasingly essential to offsetting the impacts of development. More locally, SRT has enhanced its capacity for effective education programming by forming key strategic partnerships with the Tulare County Office of Education, Sequoia National Park, and various school districts around the county. And new individual donors are stepping up to underwrite our efforts in response to increasingly scarce grant resources. Because SRT is the only major land trust and conservation nonprofit in the region, many government and business leaders both locally and nationally look to our organization as a leader in our field. Our accreditation by the Land Trust Alliance assures you that we are sound and sure in all our efforts. That justifies the substantial trust placed in us each day. And for that we are grateful. Thank you for being steadfast among SRT’s greatest strengths: Our people. Because you are there for us, we will be there to strengthen California’s heartland. Sincerely, Soapy Mulholland, Executive Director, SRT Greg Collins, Chair, SRT Board of Directors


FOR THE FUTURE: Porterville Unified School District’s Environmental Sciences Academy students (opposite) learn the art and science of habitat restoration. Here they are seen planting native plant species that will someday shade Sycamore Creek at SRT’s Blue Oak Ranch Preserve near Springville, CA.

“The hope of the future lies not in curbing the influence of human occupancy – it is already too late for that – but in creating a better understanding of the extent of that influence and a new ethic for its governance.”

- Aldo Leopold

Game Management


Lynne Firpo’s childhood vision becomes life’s work Born legally blind, an SRT conservationist brings passion for nature -- and unlikely powers of observation -- to vision for phenology.

As a baby, Lynne Firpo’s fate was never to see the stars,

A VISION FOR CONSERVATION: Lynne Firpo, SRT Phenologist (left, opposite), was born legally blind but learned to love nature well before she could actually see it, later becoming an interpretive ranger for Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks and a monitor for phenology projects at SRT.

never to witness the joy of budding trees each spring, nor to reflect on the shedding of fall leaves. “I was born with a love of nature, but had very low vision. So it was not really the visual beauty of nature that struck a chord in my soul. After all, as a child I could barely see beyond my fingertips,” Firpo said. “It was the sounds, the smells, the feeling I got when I was close to nature that gave me feelings of peace, comfort and security.” Born legally blind due to congenital cataracts, Firpo’s life course was altered thanks to scientific advances in surgical operations. Once she could see no color, no detail. The world was largely a blurry, opaque place until her first of a series of surgeries at age four. The last one was performed in her teen years. She recalls the moment when she could finally see clearly. She was in the backseat of a car and had just put on her new glasses, which she describes as “pink with bulbous lenses.” “I remember seeing my mom for the first time. I recall seeing the trees going by, discovering that trees were made of individual leaves,” Firpo recollects. “I remember my uncle was driving, and I could see him wiping away tears from his eyes.” She remembers reading the Ohio license plate numbers, and later that night going outside, looking up, and not being able to breathe as she witnessed the stars for the very first time. “There is no way to translate or comprehend what that looked like,” Firpo remembers,


stunned into silence by the magnificence of the spectacle. But now, even though sighted, Firpo remains reflective on the benefits of eyesight. “‘Having sight is not as important as having vision,’ a quote I once heard, spoke to a very deep place in my being,” Firpo said. “My life, my dreams and my goals have been more about ‘vision’ than the physical ability to see. In contemplating the connections between my story and SRT’s mission, I think of how both embody tremendous progress because of limitless vision,” Firpo said. Phases of life in nature in some ways parallel her own flowering as a phenologist (the study of recurring plant and animal life cycle changes). Her tough will and optimistic disposition, too, have enabled her to change from a teaching career to serving as an interpretive ranger for Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, as well as performing an SRT internship that requires her to observe the phases of plant growth cycles at SRT preserves. Now, what she sees speaks of both poetic beauty and the brutally harsh conditions that have staggered even California’s highly adapted drought-tolerant species. Withering exceptional drought, persistent beauty amid stress, habitat in transition and an uncertain future populate the phenology reports Firpo drafts in spare but elegant prose as she observes conditions on the ground: “At the Kaweah Oaks Preserve, the Valley Oaks are showing signs of stress in these hot summer months. Their canopies are sparse with small leaves that are thin and light green in color. Very few acorns developed larger than a few millimeters in diameter. The leaves on the Sycamore trees are losing their shiny green luster and turning yellow and brown. More than half of the leaves have fallen off of the trees. Three months ago the thick green canopies adorned the top of these tall trees, which now show mostly bare branches and withering leaves. The Elderberries have dropped most of their leaves and all of their fruit. To see the barren Elderberries in this state in midsummer and to imagine


FUTURE FOREST: Porterville Unified Environmental Sciences Academy students (above) engage in projectbased learning as they create future habitat in the Sycamore Creek restoration area at SRT’s Blue Oak Ranch Preserve near Springville, CA.

HABITAT ENHANCEMENT: SRT Conservation Director Hilary Dustin monitors and documents the late spring habitat enhancement burn at Kaweah Oaks Preserve near Exeter.

TRAINING DAY: CalFire Chief Paul Marquez collaborates with SRT to achieve different but compatible goals: Training for CalFire personnel, and habitat enhancement for SRT preserves.

next spring’s growth of a full leafy canopy is a testimony to the strength and tolerance that nature has to survive.” Even with the inclement conditions, Firpo is grateful for the gifts of sight and career. “Never could I have imagined that in my life I would be able to see well enough to have a job that allows me the opportunity to record data on the changing seasons of a tree, even at the very top of a tall tree,” Firpo said. “I am contributing to the conservation and preservation of nature’s beauty by working for the National Park Service and SRT.” Low vision never limited the future phenologist from achieving her goals. “At times I had to be more patient and creative than a fully-sighted person, but my desire to visualize the outcome of my goals kept me moving forward,” she said. While legally blind, she was an exchange student in high school to Costa Rica, and was an accomplished gymnast and aspiring artist. “In thinking about the story of SRT and the vision that Soapy and the Board had when this organization began at the grassroots level, I wonder if perhaps the accomplishments of landholding, preservation, outreach and education as a result of SRT efforts are far beyond her initial expectations. Does the organization as it has unfolded match their initial vision? Has SRT and its mission reached beyond what they thought possible?” Firpo wonders, the thinking of a visionary person who ponders stages of development each day. The answers are perhaps to be found in Lynne’s story of opportunity at SRT, and among the many additional features that detail SRT successes and advances that fill this report.


FALL RESTORATION: PUSD Environmental Sciences Academy students (above right) replant habitat along Sycamore Creek at SRT’s Blue Oak Ranch Preserve.

VERNAL REJUVENATION: COS Biology students (below right) participate in a restoration at SRT’s Herbert Wetlands Preserve where vernal pools and surrounding native plantings are being re-established.


SRT mitigation services arm grows into quiet force

It’s easy to understand the need for developing ways

MITIGATION MAN: SRT Director of Land Transactions Chris Moi (above) attends a staff meeting at Kaweah Oaks Preserve.

MORE THAN BLUE: Lichens, mosses, grasses and a variety of other native plant life (opposite left) bring a rainbow of spring color to SRT’s Blue Oak Ranch Preserve.

to conserve habitat for endangered species like the kit fox or burrowing owl. But mitigation, while one of those ways, is a term that is bit arcane where public top-of-mind consciousness is concerned. If SRT were an iceberg, its substantial mitigation services sector would lie mostly below the surface, large but unseen by a public generally unsure of mitigation’s definition and purpose. Much more familiar is the land trust’s preserve management and conservation education activities. But while largely out of view, mitigation has grown to become among SRT’s major activities, and is now the single largest revenue category. In the most recent fiscal year, SRT mitigation income successfully offset increasingly scarce conservation grant and other contributed monies. “Our mitigation services segment is growing rapidly within SRT due to an increase in public large-scale development and infrastructure projects, said Chris Moi, SRT Director of Land Transactions. “In just a few short years, SRT mitigation site acreage under management has increased from a few hundred acres to more than 8,600. SRT is now the primary provider of mitigation services in the south San Joaquin Valley,” Moi added. Among the high-profile clients relying on SRT mitigation expertise are Warren Buffett’s BH Renewables (a division of Berkshire-Hathaway), PG&E, and Sun Power, among many others. Geographic reach includes the counties of Merced, Fresno, Madera, Tulare, Kings, Kern and Santa Barbara. California’s distinctive Carrizo Plains are among the sensitive habitats where the endangered


kit fox lives, among many other protected species. Other signs of revenue growth can be seen in creative approaches to regional government response to ongoing mitigation needs via the use of SRT preserves as mitigation banks. By selecting one source managed by conservation professionals, public administrators need not reinvent the wheel for each new public works project whose environmental impact report stipulates mitigation solutions for protected species that must inevitably be removed from a project site, such as road widening or bridge construction. Tulare County Association of Governments, in California’s San Joaquin Valley, is one such client that has chosen SRT preserves as a suitable venue for mitigation banking needs. SRT Board Chair Collins, being wellnetworked in area government as a current Visalia City Council Member and a former Visalia mayor, was wellsituated to serve as a conduit for the deal. However, he says, “Most of the credit goes to County Supervisor Phil Cox who facilitated this opportunity. SRT learned about it, but Phil really carried the ball,” said Collins. Collins said the value of SRT’s agreement with Tulare County Association of Governments (TCAG) -- which uses Measure R funds to underwrite transportation projects -- is that it addresses the mitigation requirement of taken agricultural or native lands caused by construction projects, and seamlessly addresses the loss of unique lands by contracting with SRT in advance to use the preserves without having to undergo a lengthy identification, purchase, and management process custom to each project. SRT offers turnkey solutions. The relationship between SRT and TCAG is an example of local partners working together to ensure successful compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). “The process for countywide transportation projects works effectively and efficiently as they pertain to the environmental mitigation process concerning the loss of ag lands or native habitat,” Collins said.


BANK ON IT: A Porterville Environmental Sciences student helps with a restoration project at one of SRT’s six preserves, which serve as mitigation banks for offsetting habitat loss due to development whenever area governing bodies undertake public works projects.

SOLID ROCK: One of the many interesting rock formations (opposite, right) found throughout the 1100+-acre Blue Oak Ranch Preserve near Springville, which SRT is currently preparing to open to the public.

SRT is now the sole local qualified provider of mitigation services for the county. Moi said the agreement addresses the county’s mitigation and planning needs for the next 20 years, whether for CalTrans, County of Tulare or area municipalities. While California’s persistent, extraordinary drought and resulting uncertainties around ag industry productivity leave the region’s future up for debate, SRT is poised nonetheless to champion solid conservation practices, whether vis-à-vis its farmland preservation efforts to maintain a sustainable urban/rural interface, or in regard to our increasingly important mitigation services which are vital to development or other outcomes from ongoing shift in land use priorities.


SRT advances conservation through land use policy

The conservation work of land trusts most often brings

POLICY WORKS: Adam Livingston, SRT Director of Policy and Planning (above), oversees SRT advocacy efforts on land use from his office in the Bay Area.

SYCAMORE STAND: In addition to its numerous eponymous Blue Oak tress, Blue Oak Ranch Preserve also features many magnificent sycamore specimens, some which are many stories tall, like this spectacular example (opposite page).

to mind preservation of grand vistas and important open spaces. But rarely does the general public witness the land use policy work that SRT engages in behind-thescenes with government agencies and nonprofit partners. SRT staff attend countless public meetings and planning sessions in order to secure a livable future for California, including advocacy on interests from greenhouse gas reductions, to transit planning and air and water issues. Why do we do this? In short, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Our region’s rural areas—which include some of the most productive farmland on the planet, habitat corridors essential to maintaining California’s biodiversity as our climate changes, and open space that contributes immeasurably to our quality of life—face enormous pressure from urban development. SRT works with willing landowners to protect many of these areas directly, but some policy decisions can affect farmland, habitat and open space throughout the region. If we can alleviate pressure on these places by championing patterns of growth that allow for conservation while helping existing communities thrive, we believe that rural and urban areas alike can benefit. For this reason, we coordinate with farmers, ranchers and other stakeholders to be sure that when key policy decisions are made, there’s a moderate, sensible voice for conservation at the table. Here are some of the things we’re working on: Farmland mitigation policy: One role that SRT plays in land use policy discussions is helping inform decisionmakers about the economic benefits of conservation,


including the billions of dollars a year that farmland and rangeland contribute to our local economy. In 2013, for example, crop receipts alone amounted to more than $7.3 billion in Tulare County, nearly $6.8 billion in Kern County and over $6.4 billion in Fresno County. Thanks to our input and other stakeholders’, the Cities of Visalia, Tulare, and Fresno have all recently adopted farmland mitigation policies as part of their General Plans. These policies, which call on projects that consume highly productive farmland to contribute to the conservation of similarly situated farmland elsewhere, provide resources for conservation and encourage developers to invest in existing communities. Along with other policies, such as Tulare County’s longstanding Rural Valley Lands Plan, they help ensure that future generations can benefit from the most productive farmland in the world, and enjoy the rural quality of life that brings so many to our region. Sustainable Communities Strategies (SCSs) are a new part of the Regional Transportation Plans prepared for Fresno, Tulare and Kern Counties, along with fifteen other regions around the state. Because transportation investments (and the assumptions about land use upon which they’re based) can have a significant effect on farmland, habitat and open space, SRT was at the table for the development of the San Joaquin Valley’s first SCSs in 2014. As part of a broad coalition of stakeholders who supported conservation, better air quality and revitalization of our region’s towns and cities, we helped lay the foundation for a sensible, conservation-oriented approach to transportation planning, and more effective mitigation for transportation projects that impact agricultural land. We hope to build on this work when SCSs are updated in 2018. Drought adaptation: SRT is actively working with farmers, ranchers and others to develop sensible solutions for our region’s water crisis. Through the California Economic Summit’s Working Landscapes Group, we’re also bringing our region’s concerns to the attention of state-level government and business leaders.


WISE COUNCIL: The California Council of Land Trusts provides member organizations like SRT a wide array of resources, from policy and advocacy to industry wisdom and research. CCLT also creates networking opportunities with fellow land trust administrators, such as this mixer SRT attended along with CCLT Executive Director Darla Guenzler, seen here chatting with noted San Joaquin Valley philanthropist Coke Hallowell.

San Joaquin Valley Greenprint: Beyond providing input on specific land use policy questions, we’re involved in a voluntary, stakeholder-driven resource mapping project called the San Joaquin Valley Greenprint. Key SRT staff have participated on the Greenprint Steering Committee and Advisory Committee. Thanks in part to their work, the State of the Valley Report recognizes highly productive farmland, key habitat and groundwater recharge areas as resources essential to the region’s future. So on any given day, you might see us out on the preserves mapping and cutting trails, witness our staff scientists restoring important habitat, or find our community outreach teams leading visitors on hikes. Or you might run into us in the halls of government buildings from Sacramento to Bakersfield. It’s all an essential part of conserving California’s heartland for the enjoyment and prosperity of future generations.

COHORT: SRT’s many advocacy partners include the American Lung Association, whose policy advocate, Heather Dumais (above), joined SRT at a public hearing in Kern County.

OUT OF AVALON: Like mythical Avalon, waters appear only briefly each year in the many channels passing through SRT’s Kaweah Oaks Preserve, destined for irrigation of downriver farms.

A CLEAR PATH: While SRT volunteers clear the new Children’s Trail, Lily Glazier and friend (oposite, above) enjoy the newly marked entrance to a new feature for showing kids the joys of nature and playbased learning.

DIFFERENCE MADE: SRT volunteer Lorenzo Cipani stains picnic tables for the new KOP Children’s Trail during SRT’s Make a Difference Day event at Kaweah Oaks.


Make a Difference Day clears way for children’s trail

Barn-raisings might be mostly a thing of the past, but

A MOTHER’S INSTINCTS: Being a mom meant that SRT Stewardship Director Ann Huber (above) keenly sensed a need for Early Childhood Learning opportunities at SRT preserves.

their spirit lives on at Kaweah Oaks Preserve, considering how the community turned out to build the new KOP Children’s Trail. With support from Gannett’s annual Make a Difference Day, more than a hundred volunteers showed up for some heavy lifting, brush clearing and trail charting. Among those helping included Central Valley Christian’s football team; Alcoa-Kawneer employees, and nearly one hundred community members. Artist-created interpretive play stations will educate early childhood learners about conservation subjects – all while they play. Why this project? “It comes down to how we first learn to love nature, and later conservation,” said Ann Huber, SRT Stewardship Director. “Many of us who value the natural world as adults can trace our commitment back to playing outside at a young age -- and it’s spaces like this trail that we hope will attract young kids to grow up and value nature as adults.” That idea inspired SRT to provide tot-sized picnic tables, benches, and areas to climb and hide. The Children’s Trail provides an open, safe place for young children to play and explore on their own, with good visibility for parents nearby. More features are planned. “It was inspiring to see such a unique and diverse group of volunteers join together on common ground to learn about and help to support our Make a Difference Day efforts at the Kaweah Oaks Preserve,” said Bud Darwin, SRT Director of Education and Volunteers. “The SRT volunteer program continues to grow and provide ongoing opportunities throughout the year for community members from all walks of life to get involved and contribute in a variety of ways.”


BRUTE FORCE: The Central Valley Christian High football team joined the SRT volunteer community, including Alcoa/ Kawneer employees, at SRT’s Make a Difference Day Children’s Trail project at Kaweah Oaks Preserve, part of Gannett’s annual event dedicated to volunteerism.

BRUCE FORCE: SRT Education partner Nancy Bruce, of Circle J Ranch, trains Porterville Unified Environmental Sciences Academy high schoolers on the finer points interpretive tour guidance.


SRT contributors make 2014 a year of stability

Organizations like SRT rely on donations to stabilize

everyday activities and operations. We must cultivate philanthropic support each year to reach new goals. Fortunately, SRT has a great relationship with donors and works hard to ensure they know why their help is needed and how thier generous contributions are put to good use. As the U.S. economy bounces back, our patrons continue giving. That creates a legacy, and we thank those visionaries who are leaving a lasting one. ANNUAL STATEMENT of CONTRIBUTION 01/01/2014 to 12/31/2014

$1-$35 Mary Burbery Jeremy Cherson Barbara & Mike Chrisman Marian Fortunati Kristin Forwalter Joanne Beverly Hoyt Ann Huber Jerry Jonnum John Kamansky Cecilia Matthews Mary McClanahan Joan & Stephen Natoli Boyd & Helen Nies Melvin J Palmer Pat & Roger Pitts Quercus Landscape Design

$36-$100 Jenifer & Mark Ahlstrand Jeanne & Tom Anderson Rita & Richard Barron Nancy Bruce Walt Bentley Susan Bonesteel

Mikael Brown Gloria & Edward Buckles Lucy Clark Dena & Dick Cochran Gwen & Jeff Cole Aaron Collins Phyllis A. Coring Susan & James Crawford Ellen & Brian Cypher Roger & Ruth Dilbeck James & Dorothy Downing Peggy & Jim Entz Gregg Fauth Alexander & Judit Florence Keren Friedman Patricia Fuller Bryan Garden Ellen & Walter Gorelick Mary & Thomas Gray Joan & Roger Hall Laurie & Robert Hart Richard & Marianne Hatfield Diane Hayes Janet Herben David Hobbs Olin Hughes


Richard Johnson Norma Logan Barbara Mansfield Joy & Robert Marshall Carol & Dan Meinert Will & Maureen Montgomery Karen Moore Mary Moy Peg & John Mueller National Weather Association Kern Chapter Salvatore Natoli Deborah Nelson Kraft Carol & Eugene Nickel Eleanor Norris Stephen & Mary Ny Phyllis Ogden Gail & Mike Olmos Amy & Keith Pack Peggy Perry George Pilling Monica Pizura Charles Raison Maya Ricci Shaun & Cory Ricks Laura Riggs Neal Roberts Edwin B. Royce Mary & Rudy Savala Richard Schafer Thomas Scharffenberger Cole Schieferle Gerald Schneider Margaret Schultz Sarah Shena Alex Sherriffs Lori & Michael Shuman Todd Slinde Brandon Smith Loretta & Ronald Snedegar Jonnie & Don Stone


Richard Svihla DVM Christy & George Tomi Frances & Bill Tweed Robert Urtecho

$101-$250 Craig & Ronell Ainley Margaret & William Allen Julianne Arbor Gordon Bergthold Lois Brannan Mary Ann & Newell Bringhurst Marguerite & Robert Brown Robin Brown Sean Buchanan John Buford David Castro Bill Christian John R. & Patricia Crain Judy & Larry Crouch Christine Crown Johanna De Jonge Carol Frate Jo Ann & Alan George Jonathan & Susan Graves David & Christine Hartesveldt Bob & Kay Hutmacher Patricia & Richard Jacobsen Barbara & Terry James Anthony Janelli Taylor Johnson Rachel & Steven Katz Dennis R. Keller Elly Kelly Robert Krase Carol & Phil Laird Margaret Land Chris Larson Barbara Mansfield William Miller Marjorie & Warren Minner Jim Rothman Bradley Schleder Betty Schnaar

Jeannette & Edgar Sense Heather Shirley Stan & Wendy Simpson Nathan Stephenson Laura Tavarez Kathleen Tweed

$251-$499 Kay Mulholland Laurie & Greg Schwaller Scott Spear

$500-$999 Bill DeLain Jody & Steve Fuller Green Leaf Farms Inc. Carole & John Greening Daniel Jensen Bobby Kamansky Dale Lincoln Thom Mulholland Judy & Brian Newton Jean & Robert Osher Carolyn Pendery Donald Peter Laurie Pettigrew Robert Quinn

$1,000- $5,000 Julie Allen Anonymous Cal Clark Farms Mary Elisabeth Cattani John Colbert Greg & Dorothy Collins Peter Cowper Marian Goldeen Mignon Gregg Robert Hansen Ernie Hernandez

Pat & Jim Holly Patrick Inkster Karen & Jim Johnson Sharon & Donald Kaplan Barbara & Donnie Kidd Eugenia & Kenneth Patricia Lange Candace Leone Carole & Robert Ludekens Carol & Terry Manning Mirizzi Farms Inc. Sopac McCarthy Mulholland Cindy Myers Jane & Ronald Olson Kathleen Perkinson

Pamela Pescosolido Jack Sahl Gay & Jim Ver Steeg $5,000 and over

Elizabeth & Willard Clark Eric Shannon, CRS Farming LLC Fred Lagomarsino, Lagomarsino Group Jody Nicholson

Corporate/Foundation Giving 11th Hour Foundation: $25,000 Alcoa via Kawneer Employee Fund: $6,000 Alcoa Foundation: $25,000 Ann B. Reimers Charitable Education Foundation: $12,000 Bank of the Sierra: $1,000 Chevron Humankind Employee Engagement Fund: $1,000 Dwelle Family Foundation: $2,500 Four Seasons Handy Market: $250 Key West Plaza of Visalia LLC: $1,000 Rotary Club of Visalia: $1,000 Save Mart Supermarkets: $1,053 Sole to Soul: $500 Southern California Edison: $75,000 Valley Business Bank: $250

GRAND TOTAL: $246,715

SOCIAL SEASON: “An Evening Under the Oaks� was a successful new event in 2014, taking its place on the San Joaquin Valley social calendar and bringing out dignitiaries, socialites and conservationists, among others.

RITA B. WAS HERE: The Visalia Rotary Foundation funded the Kaweah Oaks Preserve entrance kiosk, which they named in honor of the late Visalia

SRT would like to express its genuine gratitude for the support from these major corporate partners in conservation:

community activist Rita B. Hill.


Cindy Myers brought fundraising skill to SRT nursery

“I believe that people give to things that resonate with

BRIGHT, AND EARLY: Cindy Myers (above left), longtime SRT Board member and Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley attends a sunrise meeting at Kaweah Oaks, typical early hours for stockbrokers. Myers was instrumental in attracting a major grant for infrastructure improvements at SRT’s Dry Creek Nursery near Woodlake.

NATIVE SOURCE: SRT Dry Creek Nursery Director Todd Slinde (below left) coordinates a native plant sale. New water policy and growing awareness of the region’s extraordinary drought have driven many San Joaquin Valley residents to adopt drought-tolerant native plants.

them. It has to be a win-win situation,” said longtime SRT Board Member Cindy Myers, veteran fundraiser who learned a thing or two about successfully attracting essential resources. “Knowing of a situation and finding the matching solution is the most fun in fundraising. It’s like finding the missing piece to a puzzle.” Myers, a veteran financial advisor with Morgan Stanley, found just that puzzle piece when in 2014 she matched SRT’s Dry Creek Nursery with the Tulare Countybased Ann B. Reimers Charitable Education Foundation. Through her time on the SRT board, Myers came to admire staff dedication and love of their work. Later, she had the opportunity to serve on the Reimer’s Foundation board. “I learned about Ann Reimers’ passions for gardening and family history, her love of others and her grassroots efforts in helping,” Myers said. So -- when she presented the story of the SRT nursery project to Reimer’s board, such as improving infrastructure like electrical and other necessities -- they all found the connection between Ann’s efforts and SRT’s, welcoming the proposal. “They have since visited the SRT nursery site twice. They have a relationship with their gift and I think that works for them,” Myers said of the new SRT funding source. “I think it was the skill that led Soapy to ask me to be on the SRT board. And it was really through my relationship with her that I got to know about the Foundation and their efforts. I felt at my best when I could successfully accomplish what I thought I could bring to the table. Those efforts, and getting to know the other board members while being on retreats, out in the environment we were working together for, was one of the bonuses I received.” 25


“I believe that the personal stories of the people involved in SRT are some of the most compelling to its fundraising efforts. They live their beliefs, and they are the inspiration for us all,” Myers said. When asked about the future upon completion of her Board Service in 2014, Myers said, “I think that SRT is on the right path. Becoming an accredited land trust was a huge accomplishment.” “My hope is that the organization continues to refine its fundraising efforts and someday become self-sustaining by receiving compensation for all the services they provide to the community – as well as for having a vision of being good stewards of the land and protecting the future greening of our community.” Those who wish to support the important mission of Sequoia Riverlands Trust with their time, talent and/or financial resources can visit SRT on the web at www.sequoiariverlands.org.

Communications Intern Jose Sandoval (below) uses GPS technology to geolocate trees suitable for naming rights opportunities at Kaweah Oaks.

PASSED INSPECTION: (above right) SRT Conservation Director Hilary Dustin (l.) tours the 22-acre Kaweah Oaks Preserve expansion with state Natural Resources officials, whose California River Parkways grant partially funded the land purchase.

MIXER: (below right) SRT Staff mingle with Executive Director Soapy Mulholland (in red) following a staff meeting at Kaweah Oaks.


SRT year-end financial results (as of December, 2014*)

2014 2013 ASSETS Cash & Operating Reserves 274,014 Accounts Receivable 896,967 699,959 Endowments 1,841,054 1,267,346 Fixed Assets 20,429,396 20,009,047 Total Assets 23,441,431 21,976,352 LIABILITIES & EQUITY Current Liabilities 361,144 235,329 Notes Payable 1,107,511 1,111,002 Equity 21,972,776 20,630,021 Total Liabilities & Equity 23,441,431 21,976,352 SUPPORT & REVENUE Grants & Program Fees 788,772 696,348 Donations 120,934 208,100 Investment Revenue 43,975 107,323 Other Revenue 1,780,437 215,501 Total Revenue 2,734,118 1,227,272 EXPENDITURES Programs 1,136,363 897,493 Management & General 197,000 198,036 Fundraising 58,000 60,415 Total Expenditures 1,391,363 1,155,944 Change in Net Assets





“The battle we have fought, and are still fighting for the forests is a part of the eternal conflict between right and wrong, and we cannot expect to see the end of it. ... So we must count on watching and striving for these trees, and should always be glad to find anything so surely good and noble to strive for.” - John Muir

from “The National Parks and Forest Reservations”

WATER RELIEF: The Kaweah River watershed (above) originates high in the Sierra Nevada, but its waters are diminishing amid California’s extraordinary five-year drought (note high water mark in better years). Consequently, conservation is a higher priority than ever on the minds of millions of affected Californians.

SRT BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Greg Collins, Chair; Julie Allen; Peter Cowper; Bill DeLain; Ernie Hernandez; Don Kaplan; Barbara Kidd; Kathy Perkinson; Jack Sahl, PhD.; Jim Versteeg. SRT ADVISORY BOARD: Mike Chrisman; Russell F. Hurley; Dennis R. Keller; Phil Laird; Mike Olmos; Jean Osher; Amy Pack; Sally Pace; Elizabeth Palmer; Ron Paragien; Kenneth Richardson; Wiliam Tweed. REPORT CREDITS: All photos copyright 2015 by Aaron Collins (except cover photo and pg. 15 images, copyright John Greening). Art Direction, graphic design and essays by Aaron Collins.

SEQUOIA RIVERLANDS TRUST | 427 South Garden St., Visalia, CA 93277 | www.sequoiariverlands.org | 559 738 0211

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SRT Annual Report 2014  

SRT Annual Report 2014  

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