Our Projects


 June 7,2023: The CA Coastal Commission gave unanimous approval to the hazardous fuel and ecological restoration project we are sponsoring on the Hearst Ranch in San Simeon (See attached map). Our project team includes the Hearst Ranch, CAL FIRE, and Upper Salinas-Las Tablas Resource Conservation District (US-LT RCD). The project's environmental analysis was prepared for us by Auten Resource Consulting and followed the protocols of the Cal VTP and US-LT RCD' s Coastal Zone Public Works Plan put in place for the Covell project. Spencer G. US-LT RCD will shepherded this through the RCD and Coastal Commission. This was a great team effort involving US-LT RCD staff; CAL FIRE; Xerces Society; Fire Safe Council staff; and Auten Resource Consulting and their excellent analysis and project design and preparation!

We received very complimentary comments from Coastal Commissioners. There was no hesitation on their part to approve the plan. There were both negative and some supporting public comments.

This project provides protection from wildfire to historic structures at Old San Simeon Village and improves forest health and reduces catastrophic fire risk on the Pico Creek stand of Monterey pine next to New San Simeon (San Simeon Acres) while protecting Monarch butterfly habitat and other sensitive sites.

Additionally, the CA Coastal Commission approved 2 other projects in Monterey pine in Cambria at the CA Fish and Wildlife Cambria Ecological Reserve and Rancho Marino Reserve. These 2 projects were joint efforts by US-LT RCD, UC Santa Barbara (Rancho Marino) and CA Fish and Wildlife (Cambria Ecological Reserve); the Project Specific Analysis was prepared by Ascent Consulting. (see attached Reserves map)


This project affects about 665 acres of rare native Monterey pine forest on the Covell Ranch just northeast of the community of Cambria. The Covell Ranch is on the western coastal terraces of the Santa Lucia range. The property is a roughly 1460 acres, and contains nearly 900 acres of Monterey pine forest. The Nature Conservancy has a conservation easement on the property since 2000

Probably the most striking feature in several areas in the Monterey pine forest of the Covell Ranch is the large amount of dead and downed pine trees that occur throughout the forest

Bridge Street Project

Our project tactics are to control of the French broom infestations should be a priority. - Hand clearing - Mechanical clearing - Chipping, which is a combination of hand and mechanical - Pile burning - Prescribed fire or controlled burns - Grazing - Chemical treatment Any and all of these methods could be used on the Covell Ranch where understory conditions are too crowded,

Forest management priorities for fire control treatments and implementation are listed in order below and are entirely dependent on reestablishing fencing and gates to control trespass and permit grazing to maintain areas after initial treatment:
1. Establish a primary shaded fuel break from the southern property line up the hogback ridge to the S turn on Bridge Street and thence along the west side of Bridge Street to the Cemetery as shown on the attached Fuel Break Map. 2. Establish defensible space fuel reduction zones adjacent to residences along the western boundary from Sunbury south toward downtown and to residences on either side of the Cemetery in Cambria Pines as shown on the attached Fuel Break Map. 3. Investigate the feasibility of establishing gated emergency access for authorized personnel over the ranch road from the top of Bridge Street to Cambria Pines. 4. Improve internal fire road access for prevention and suppression activities on the ranch east of Bridge Street. 5. Install an emergency water supply tank for fire control purposes on the ranch near the Cemetery. 6. Establish a defensible space fuel reduction zone adjacent to the Cemetery itself as shown on the attached Fuel Break Map. These recommended treatments are expected be completed by a combination of hand crews and masticating equipment, using the complementary strengths of each to achieve both ecologically and cost effective results. To accomplish that, no live trees larger than 8 inches at human chest height can be removed unless they are deemed hazardous to nearby homes or other structures. Larger trees can only be targeted for removal if they have died or a Forester has confirmed they are dying.