April 2015                                                                                        View this email in your browser  
Welcome to another edition of Habitat Happenings, a newsletter provided by San Diego Habitat Conservancy (SDHC). 

In February, we started working on a few new projects although we can't share the details just yet. What we can share is that restoration at both Encinas Creek Preserve in Carlsbad and Seacliff Preserve in Oceanside has been completed which means that SDHC will begin managing these sites in the next few months! Seacliff Preserve is our first preserve in Oceanside and is just steps from the ocean. Encinas Creek Preserve is adjacent to a preserve we have been managing since 2008, Emerald Pointe Preserve.

In March, Executive Director Don Scoles and Board Member Christina Schaefer traveled to Sacramento to take part in the California Council of Land Trust's 2015 Land Conservation Conference and the 2015 Mitigation Summit; Jim presented to the HOAs associated with the Eureka Springs Preserve and the Bridges & Santa Fe Creek Preserve; and Don hosted painting sessions with the Plein Air Painters Association of San Diego (
PAPASAN) at several of SDHC's preserves. Read more below in "Upcoming Events" to find out when you can view and purchase these original works of art!

At the beginning of April, we submitted our application for accreditation with the Land Trust Accreditation Commission! So far Sarah has worked over 200 hours on preparing SDHC for accreditation and completing all application requirements. The next step will consist of a call or site visit with the Commission in the next few months. We expect to receive a final decision in early 2016. 


Jim presenting at the Bridges at
Rancho Santa Fe HOA meeting.


Members of PAPASAN at one of SDHC's preserves.


Our vision is a healthy natural environment that engages the commitment of people and  communities, creates a legacy, and improves the quality of life for all living things.
New Mission Statement Unveiled
As part of the strategic planning process SDHC's Board and staff updated the mission statement to better reflect SDHC's focus and provide a more concise message!

To conserve and manage sensitive habitats and species while
inspiring land stewardship through education and outreach.

Sarah Gets a Promotion!
Unlike Woody on Cheers, Sarah recently got a new title and a promotion! Sarah has been instrumental in our recent application for accreditation with the Land Trust Alliance and is responsible for a variety of duties, including managing field activities, preparing costing for management, preparing contractual documents, supporting program development, and just about anything else that needs to be done around the Conservancy. Previously the Assistant Program Coordinator, she is now the Program Coordinator. Well done and congratulations Sarah!
SDHC Expanding Reach and Acreage
In the next couple of months SDHC will begin managing Seacliff Preserve marking the beginning of SDHC's presence in  the City of Oceanside. Seacliff Preserve consists of nearly 3 acres of Diegan coastal sage scrub along the south side of the San Luis Rey River, west of Interstate 5, and just steps from the Pacific Ocean. Merkel & Associates, Inc. recently completed 5 years of revegetation at the site which is within a regional California gnatcatcher corridor. 

Seacliff Preserve in Oceanside, CA.

Fenner Valley Desert Tortoise Conservation Bank in San Bernardino County.
San Bernardino County
SDHC will be the long-term manager for the largest land bank the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has ever approved for the protection of the desert tortoise at 7,400 acres! The desert tortoise is considered threatened under both federal and state law. San Diego Zoo Global will be developing conservation management strategies for the desert tortoise and other wildlife within the bank. This will not only be the largest preserve SDHC manages but is the first preserve SDHC will manage outside of San Diego County and in desert tortoise habitat.
Species Spotlight
Wolf Spiders
Family: Lycosidae
According to the San Diego Natural History Museum, of the 428 species of spiders known to occur in San Diego County, 11 are species of wolf spiders belonging to the family LycosidaeWolf spiders have excellent eyesight which is due to the unique configuration of 8 eyes arranged in 3 rows (medium-sized eyes in the top row, 2 large-sized eyes in the middle row, and 4 small-sized eyes in the bottom row). This specific configuration helps one more easily identify a wolf spider from other 8-eyed spiders such as nursery web spiders and American grass spiders. 

Wolf Spider along Escondido Creek blending in with its surroundings.
Notice the specific eye pattern (2 medium-sized eyes in top row, 2 larger-sized eyes in middle row, 4 small-sized eyes in bottom row).
These eyes also helped Jim and Sarah easily find these otherwise difficult to see arthropods during the dark hours of their recent survey at Bridges & Santa Fe Creek Preserve due to a process known as eyeshine in which light reflects off of the eyes of the wolf spider. Another interesting characteristic of wolf spiders is that they carry their eggs on their spinnerets (the silk spinning organ) and their spiderlings (young) on their backs. They primarily depend on their camouflaged coloring for protection and do not make a web. Instead, they "hunt" their prey (like a wolf!) either actively or by lying in wait and waiting until the prey comes to them. 
Upcoming Events
SDHC and PAPASAN ~ Painting Our Preserves
Friday Night Liberty
Friday, May 1, 2015, 5PM - 9PM

2770 Historic Decatur Road, Barracks 14
San Diego, CA  92106

SDHC recently invited the artists of the Plein Air Painters Association of San Diego (PAPASAN) to several of the preserves that SDHC manages. Come see the results and unique interpretations of the land that surrounds us by some of the best plein air painters in the region at  Friday Night Liberty on May 1, 2015. Wine and snacks will be provided and all paintings will be available for purchase!

Become a Member Today!
Our efforts to preserve native habitat and biodiversity in San Diego County and to expand our education program can only be accomplished with the support of donations. As a dedicated member, you are helping to preserve those spaces that are unique to San Diego and you are helping to ensure that future generations may enjoy the same beauty that never ceases to astound and inspire us. Please make your voice heard by becoming a member today!
Go to to join. Make a minimum $35 donation
                                              and receive a lightweight SDHC t-shirt.
Eric Mondero, President
Kenneth Little, Treasurer/CFO
Trish Jones Mondero, Secretary
Dave Claycomb, Past President
Omar Acosta
Joe Duffel
Robert Leiter

Dan Root
Christina Schaefer
Don Scoles, Executive Director
Jim Rocks, Habitat Manager
Sarah Krejca, Program Coordinator

Volunteer at SDHC!
Join us! SDHC has volunteer opportunities on the Board of Directors as well as in event planning for the 2015 Gala, fundraising, videography, and graphic design. 
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2770 Historic Decatur Rd., Suite 205, San Diego, CA  92106
Phone: (619) 365-4839 ~ Email:

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