December 2023



"We make a living by what we get.

But we make a life by what we give."

Winston Churchill

Photo by Yarrow Rubin

Looking Back

2023 In Review

This last year has been a busy one as MLT continues to conserve and restore habitat, scenic areas and working lands while also providing public access to beautiful places.


  • January - King Tides Hike

  • February - Beginner Mushroom Walk

  • March - Whale Watching at Pelican Bluffs, Environmental Partnership Potluck
  • April - Spring Break Family Birdwatching, Earth Day at Noyo Food Forest, Founders Day Reunion of MLT Board members at the Caspar Community Center

  • May - Nature Journaling at Ten Mile Estuary/Old Smith Ranch

  • July - Riverside Cleanup and Swim

  • September-Coastal Cleanup, Donor Appreciate BBQ

  • October - Sunset Soirée

  • Awarded State Coastal Conservancy funding to start the planning and permitting process for a new trail at Saunder’s Landing, located near Schooner’s Gulch State Park

  • Received $250,000 grant funding from the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program


  • Organized volunteer events to plant native nectar plants at Navarro Point for pollinator habitat restoration

  • Received planning funding from the Coastal Conservancy for the Arena Cove Trail
  • Received $1.5 million grant from the Wildlife Conservation Board to restore native pollinator habitat on the southern Mendocino Coast in a partnership with U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management, California State Parks, and the Sequoia Park Zoo

  • Maintained and stewarded our preserves and public access trails
  • Completed the Chamberlain Creek Coho Passage Design Project with grant funding from CA Department of Fish and Wildlife. This project resulted in an engineered design to replace a failing culvert that is a partial/temporal barrier to upstream migration for coho salmon, steelhead, and Pacific lamprey

  • Established partnership with the Redwood Coast Land Conservancy to assist in administering the Mill Bend Wildfire Resiliency Grant from the Coastal Conservancy. This grant funds fuel reduction. MLT also is assisting RCLC with a Fisheries Restoration Grant Program to restore the Gualala River estuary

Whew! What a year it has been.

Thank you all for stepping up and helping make 2023 amazing!

  • Hosted an intertidal bioblitz at Belinda Point with Reef Check and Latino Outdoors

  • Monitored our 26 conservation easements to ensure their conservation values are protected

  • Roundhouse Hills Conservation Easement closed

Featured Project:

Roundhouse Hills

More than 100 acres of beautiful redwood forest and meadow

near Elk protected forever!

by Emily Griffen

Conservation Project Manager

On November 15, 2023, Mendocino Land Trust received the donation of its newest conservation easement! This new conservation easement will protect 118.5 acres of stunning second-growth redwood forest and meadow outside Elk. The property remains privately owned and is not accessible to the public, but the conservation easement now held by MLT ensures that it is conserved and protected in perpetuity. The conservation easement requires MLT to monitor the property annually to ensure that the conservation values identified in the easement are preserved, including a prohibition on commercial timber harvesting and limitations on future development. The limits imposed by the conservation easement will ensure that almost 90% of the property is left undisturbed so that the forest can grow and heal from prior timber harvest activities. 

The landowners who generously donated the conservation easement to MLT – Miranda Edison, Matthew Drewno and Jaime Jensen – worked closely with MLT to make sure that their conservation-minded vision for their property would be in place forever, ensuring the land’s protection long after they are gone. As Jaime noted: “This conservation easement makes me wish that I could be here in a hundred years and more so that I can see this forest as it ages. Thank you MLT and Miranda and Matt.” MLT was honored to work with Miranda, Matt and Jaime to make their vision a reality, and looks forward to its obligation to monitor and enforce the conservation easement. Matt had this to add: “It’s an honor to work with MLT on this conservation easement. We all worked as a team to develop an easement that reflected our own personal values, which honors the land we inhabit and sees that it is cared for and protected in the future.”

Photo by Yarrow Rubin

Miranda, Matt and Jaime are MLT’s newest conservation easement landowners, and we welcome them to an extremely unique and precious group of local Mendocino County landowners who have spent their time and resources to protect their land from future development or environmental degradation. As Miranda so eloquently put it: “It’s humbling to look at MLT’s map and realize how many people are trying to save their ecosystems forever.”

If you are interested in donating your property, or a conservation easement on your property, to MLT, please email us at or call MLT at 707-962-0470.

In Memoriam

Art Morley

The Volunteer's Volunteer

We at the MLT are deeply saddened to report the loss of our dedicated friend and hard-working volunteer, Art Morley.

Art passed on November 18th, and as the photos on our tribute-page show, he was known to step up, time and again, to enthusiastically help with many MLT projects. He was particularly interested in fighting invasive plant species, a result, most likely, from his degree in biology, years of work as a park ranger for the State of California, and an abiding passion for protecting birds.

His obituary appears in the Fort Bragg Advocate-News of December 7th, 2023, and it is a compelling read. Highlights from his obituary inform this article.

Art was born in Fort Bragg, attended Fort Bragg High School, and distinguished himself with academic honors. He was a musician and active in student government as class president in his junior year. Art served more that 20 years in the Navy, including time in Asia. During his training in Washington, D.C., he met his future wife, Jean Hussey, at a square dance in the basement of a D.C. Unitarian church. 


Much of Art and Jean's courtship was spent outdoors. Jean taught Art how to canoe on the Potomac River, and introduced him to birdwatching. This became a life-long pursuit for Art, who was active in local birdwatching and the Audubon Society. He was chair of the Society's Field Trip Committee for many years and a co-leader of the Point Cabrillo breeding bird surveys, as well as a volunteer service surveyor with the Society's Save Our Shorebirds conservation project. Art also led a team of volunteers at Glass Beach as a part of a citizen science Black Oystercatcher project for Audubon California. In addition to his work with MLT, Art was a dedicated volunteer for the Mendocino Area Parks Association.

During his final three years with the Navy, Art was on shore duty in Michigan. There, he began his college studies at the University of Michigan. Upon his retirement from the Navy, Art and Jean moved to San Diego where he earned degrees in Psychology and Biology at the state university. These served him well in his second professional life.

Art worked four years at Palomar Mountain State Park and then 14 years at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. He was a Park Ranger during his State Park career, patrolling vast areas of California's desert wilderness, assisting visitors, protecting the natural resources, and sometimes pursuing lawbreakers.

Art retired in 1985 from the State Parks, and returned to Mendocino County in 1993 to care for his mother.

In 2017, Art was honored by the State Parks for being a Weed Warrior. Art said that he and his friends removed more that 3,000 pampas grass plants from state parks. Others put this number much higher.

The list of Art's involvement includes work with Women Voters of Mendocino County, volunteering with the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, the Pacific Textile Arts group, and an enthusiastic attendee of Mendocino Music Festival performances.

There is even more to Art's story, and we comment the Ukiah Daily Journal for their excellent article of February 18th, 2017.

This article details how, after Jean's passing in 2012, Art began to think about how to best support the organizations that the two of them cared about. He approached the Mendocino Community Foundation as to how to make arrangements to provide continuing financial support. As the Ukiah Journal Article says, Art and Jean had long saved out of prudence and a desire to be generous to worthy organizations. Years before his passing, Art made sure his generosity would survive him. In this, as with so much of what did, he has been superbly successful. 

You can read more about Art and Jean's life at this link.

Looking Ahead!

2024 Is Upon Us

Last month's newsletter detailed a number of exciting development projects that have all of us eager to roll up our sleeves. But, of course, we're still on task for caring for the legacy of the many years of work that has made MLT the solid organization it is and the special contributions made by those who have stepped up to adopt a specific trail.

We want to take a moment to recognize these special supporters. Hurrah for the MLT Trail Keepers!

Trail Keepers

These Steadfast Supporters Ensure Access!

Local businesses become Trail Keepers for many reasons, but it always comes down to wanting to help us protect this beautiful land. Take it from our friends at Visit Mendocino County, Trail Keeper for both Navarro Point and Old Smith Ranch:

"The number one reason visitors come to Mendocino County is because of the natural beauty. Maintaining our stunning landscape wouldn't be possible without the stewardship, conservation and leadership of Mendocino Land Trust. Not only do your efforts benefit the tourism sector, residents also enjoy the forests, beaches, and pristine pathways, thanks to MLT. Supporting Mendocino Land Trust is good for our county, our residents and our visitors, and that's why Visit Mendocino has been a longtime sponsor of Mendocino Land Trust."

These businesses and organizations show their commitment to conservation and public access in Mendocino County by supporting MLT as a Trail Keeper. Trail Keepers make an annual donation to the Mendocino Land Trust, and their names appear on signs at the entrances to MLT’s popular preserves and trails. If you'd like to know more about becoming a Trail Keeper, contact us or click on this link to see a sign-up form! If you have any questions please email. And check out MLT's preserves and beaches at this link or give our office a call at (707) 962-0470.

Click on an image below to learn more about how you can help support MLT.

Season of Giving

So many ways to help! Thank you for all your support in 2023. Your contributions made possible the many accomplishments we celebrate above!

As we look forward to 2024, here is a round-up of the many ways to be part of the MLT community in the year ahead. Click here to learn more.

Planned Giving – Our team can help you plan for future gifts and bequests.

Vehicle Donations! New in 2023 – We are now accepting donations of vehicles! Email Sanjeep at

Monthly Donations – Monthly gifts help with operations and staffing needs! Click here to contribute.

Volunteer! Join our stewardship team out on the trails – Check out our monthly volunteer opportunities for locals and visitors. We’d love to see you!

MLT Fog Dodger Coffee!  Thanksgiving Coffee created this fair-trade, organic blend just for us! Order here.

From all of us at the Mendocino Land trust, we wish you and yours a peaceful and joyful season, and all the best adventures in the New Year.

“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

Facebook  Instagram  YouTube