Act Locally, Think Regionally, Lead Nationally

Action Packet


Open Space Conference – May 19, 2016 – Craneway Pavilion, Richmond, CA


Conference Logo_people_overlay

Quick links:

  • Take action with the ACTION PACKET
  • Check out what people shared using #2016OSC on social media


We are all busy. At times we can feel overwhelmed by the challenges facing our planet and humanity itself. The work we do – to preserve and steward land, and to connect people to that land – is hard work. And it’s vital that we do this work and do it well. It’s not an understatement to say that our planet and humanity depend on it.

The 2016 Open Space Conference helped build our individual capacity to address regional, if not global, problems. We will gathered as a community – a growing and increasingly diverse community – to create the future we want to create, and left with the next steps necessary to achieve that goal. We celebrated major milestones – 100 years of the National Park Service and 40 years of the California Coastal Conservancy – that impact all of our work either directly or indirectly.

We connected with peers in our county and around the Bay Area doing similar work. We met young people who want to contribute their time and talents to conservation. We were inspired to tackle challenges in new ways. Learned how our daily work is part of a larger vision. And we left with clear next steps, a fresh perspective, and the connections needed to excel at our work.


"The conference gave me a renewed sense of making a positive impact, and more than anything I will dive back into my work with improved vigor and dedication."



All attendees received an “Action Packet” that provides tactical next steps and ways to learn more for each speaker.

8:00am – Doors opened

Registration starts, exhibitors are open, and coffee, tea, and pastries are served


9:00am – Welcome and Opening Remarks

Deb Callahan, Executive Director

Bay Area Open Space Council


9:15am – Celebration of the National Park Service Centennial


Betty Reid Soskin

National Park Service Ranger


National Parks in the Bay Area
  • Kevin Hendricks, Superintendent, SF Maritime National Historical Park
  • Tom Leatherman, General Superintendent, East Bay parks and sites, NPS
  • Chris Lehnertz, Superintendent, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, NPS
  • Cicely Muldoon, Superintendent, Point Reyes National Seashore, NPS
  • Naomi Torres, Superintendent, Anza Historic Trail, NPS



9:45am – Connecting people to the land


Stacy Bare on the connection between nature and health

Director of Sierra Club Outdoors, Northface Ambassador, Iraq War veteran

View Stacy Bare’s presentation:


Kristi Davis on the ways to walk the walk of diversity, equity and inclusion

Director of Advancement, West Coast for the Student Conservation Association

View Kristi Davis’s presentation:


10:30am – Discussion at tables


11:05am – Strategic and multi-purpose conservation


Rob Cuthrell on stewarding natural resources with indigenous knowledge

Director of Archaeological Resource Management, Amah Mutsun Land Trust

View Rob Cuthrell’s presentation:


Peter Byck on carbon farming

Senior Sustainability Scientist and Professor, Arizona State University, Director of documentaries Soil Carbon Cowboys & Carbon Nation

SOIL CARBON COWBOYS from Peter Byck on Vimeo.


12:00pm – Lunch and Activities

  • Take a walk on the Bay Trail with Bay Trail staff
  • Relax in the REI lounge
  • Visit the Rosie the Riveter Visitor Center next door
  • Play in the Create with Nature zone
  • Buy books from Heyday Press
  • Visit the Roving Ranger
  • Leadership Development Program meetings
  • Meet with people in affinity groups
  • Visit the exhibitors


1:30pm – Welcome back and Celebrating 40th anniversary of California Coastal Conservancy

1:45pm – Doug Bosco, Chair of the Board of Directors, California Coastal Conservancy


2:00pm – Securing resources for conservation

Panel discussion on state-wide funding for conservation
  • Deb Callahan, Executive Director, Bay Area Open Space Council
  • Mary Creasman, California Director of Government Affairs, Trust for Public Land
  • William Craven, Chief Consultant for the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee
  • Robert Doyle, General Manager, East Bay Regional Park District


3:00pm – Break

Panel discussion on local and regional funding, and how the measures can succeed
  • David Lewis, Executive Director, Save the Bay
  • Annie Burke, Deputy Director, Bay Area Open Space Council
  • John McCaull, Land Acquisitions Program Manager, Sonoma Land Trust



4:25pm – Keynote speaker

Sedrick Mitchell, Deputy Director, External Affairs, California State Parks

4:45pm – Closing remarks

Deb Callahan, Executive Director

Bay Area Open Space Council


5:00-6:00pm – Wine, cheese and chocolate reception


6:00pm – Homeward bound



We invited dynamic people to inspire you at the 2016 Open Space Conference.



Douglas BoscoDouglas Bosco

Douglas H. Bosco was appointed to the State Coastal Conservancy by Governor Gray Davis in November 2003, and has served as its Chairman since November 2004. Mr. Bosco served as a Member of the United States House of Representatives (1982-1990), representing California’s First District, which stretches from Sonoma County to the Oregon border. A lifelong advocate of fishery and natural resource conservation, Mr. Bosco authored the California Wilderness Act, the Smith River National Recreation Area Act, the Klamath-Trinity River Restoration Act, the Hoopa-Yurok Settlement Act and the Laguna de Santa Rosa National Wildlife Preserve Act. As a Member of the California Legislature (1978-82), Mr. Bosco authored a number of environmental measures, including the California Renewable Resources Investment Act. He is a past member of the California Industrial Welfare Commission, and sits on a number of charitable boards. He earned his B.A. and J.D. degrees from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. He practices law with the San Francisco firm, Hanson Bridgett.


sedrick mitchell


Sedrick Mitchell

Sedrick Mitchell is the Deputy Director of External Affairs, for California State Parks. Appointed by Governors Gray Davis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Edmund G. Brown Jr., Mitchell is responsible for overseeing the general operations of the Division of Grants and Local Services, the Office of Human Rights, the Office of Community Involvement, and the Office of Statewide Recruitment. Under Mr. Mitchell’s guidance, California State Parks has become the recognized leader in the development, implementation and management of innovative park grant programs in excess of $2 billion. Prior to joining California State Parks, Mr. Mitchell worked for 15 years with the California Legislature where he served as the District Chief of Staff to State Senator Patrick Johnston and as a Senior Consultant to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Mr. Mitchell is a graduate of California State University, Stanislaus and the California Leadership Institute.


Mary CreasmanMary Creasman

As California Director of Government Affairs for The Trust for Public Land, Mary Creasman oversees the organization’s statewide policy and advocacy, local Climate-Smart Cities partnerships, public grants program, and local and statewide ballot measures. Mary has a long and successful track record of leading campaigns and initiatives at regional, statewide and national levels as the Chief Strategy Officer of Green For All, the Associate Director of the Partnership for Children & Youth, and the Political and Organizing Director of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council. Mary is a Bay Area native and has supported nonprofits across the region as an organizational development and effectiveness consultant.


William Craven

William Craven is currently the chief consultant for the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. The committee is chaired by Senator Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills. The Natural Resources and Water Committee has jurisdiction over legislation pertaining to water, state parks, public conservancies and other public lands, forestry, wildlife, coastal protection, mining, harbors, and other resource areas. Craven is an active designee of Senator Pavley at meetings of the Ocean Protection Council and the California State Parks and Recreation Commission.



Soskin_Betty_Credit_Justin_Sullivan_GettyBetty Reid Soskin

Betty Soskin grew up in a Cajun/Creole African-American family that settled in the East Bay after the historic floods that devastated the City of New Orleans in 1927. Ms. Soskin is currently employed as a park ranger for the Rosie the Riveter World War II/Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California, assigned to civic engagement and community outreach. Betty worked in a segregated Union hall, Boilermaker’s A-36, during World War II as a file clerk. In 1945 she and her young husband, Mel Reid, founded a still-existing small Berkeley music store — Reid’s Records. Betty has since held positions as staff to a Berkeley city council member and as a field representative serving West Contra Costa County for two members of the California State Assembly; former Assemblywoman Dion Aroner and Senator Loni Hancock. In 1995 she was named a “Woman of the Year” by the California State Legislature. In 2005 she was named one of the nation’s ten outstanding women, “Builders of communities and dreams” by the National Women’s History Project. It has been announced that on June 10, 2016 Ms. Soskin will receive the Silver Medallion Award at the World War II Museum in New Orleans in a special ceremony.


Photo Credit: Justin Allison

Peter Byck

Peter Byck is the director, producer and writer of carbon nation and is faculty at Arizona State University, in both the School of Sustainability and the Cronkite School of Journalism. Byck is now focusing on soil health – in both a new film, Soil Carbon Cowboys, and in helping to form a large whole systems science project comparing regenerative grazing to conventional – measuring a whole suite of data from water retention to soil carbon to animal well-being and much more. Byck has appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher and NPR’s Science Friday. He has presented carbon nation at the House of Commons, U.S. Embassies in London, Berlin and Vienna; Boeing, Nike, Google, Microsoft, Shell, and at many universities and community screenings worldwide. Awards: “Garbage”, director, Best Doc at SXSW; “Carbon Nation” Best Doc, IVCA, London


Square_Kristi DavisKristi Davis

Kristi is a native Californian with an extensive background in non-profit advocacy and fundraising. She has spearheaded campaigns to provide clean drinking water and enhanced clean air standards to Californians and has worked in the field of youth development on public policy campaigns to provide employment skills, outdoor opportunities and outdoor education to urban youth. Kristi is an experienced leader, fundraiser, educator, and advocate. She has a proven ability to build diverse constituencies as well as grassroots support, demonstrated in her leadership work as Executive Director of the California Wilderness Coalition, Grants Director at the Sierra Club Foundation, and Regional Director of Women in Community Service. She has served as the Development Chair on the board of The Bay Area Ridge Trail as well as Vice President on the Board of Nia House Montessori School in Berkeley. She is currently the Director of Advancement for the Student Conservation Association and Co-Board Chair of the Center for Diversity and the Environment. Kristi holds a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College. Kristi enjoys traveling, camping, cooking and cheering for the Oakland A’s and Golden State Warriors. She currently lives in Oakland.


This is Stacy Bare
Stacy Bare

Stacy Bare is a climber and skier, the Director of Sierra Club Outdoors (SCO), a veteran of the war in Iraq, and a brand ambassador for The North Face, Keen Shoes, and Combat Flip Flops. SCO facilitates 250,000+ people getting outside each year. Under his direction, SCO launched the Great Outdoors Lab with the University of California-Berkeley in 2014 to put scientifically defensible data behind the power of the outdoors to support improved mental, physical, and public health. He is also a 2014 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and the 2015 SHIFT Adventure Athlete of the Year. He holds degrees from the Universities of Mississippi and Pennsylvania and is at home in Salt Lake City with his wife, Dr. Makenzie Selland and their daughter Wilder.


David Lewis

As CEO of Save The Bay since 1998, David Lewis is San Francisco Bay’s top advocate. He has led the Bay’s largest regional organization to win legal protections for the Bay, secure thousands of acres for wetland restoration, and stop massive Bay fill projects. A Bay Area native, he previously worked in the U.S. Senate and on international nuclear arms control issues in Washington, DC.





 Rob Cuthrell

Rob Cuthrell is a postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeley who uses environmental, archaeological, and historical ecological approaches to explore relationships between Native people and the natural world on the Central California Coast. As a Research Associate of the Amah Mutsun Land Trust, Rob works with tribe members to use the results of research to inform contemporary landscape management and to re-implement traditional management practices on public lands and open spaces. In his research at UC Berkeley, Rob works with a multidisciplinary team to explore how Native Californians managed landscape resources through fire. The project, focusing on the area between Point Reyes and Santa Cruz, integrates data sets from archaeology, historical texts, fire ecology, paleoecology, dendroecology, isotopic analysis, and geomorphological analysis to examine Native landscape management practices during the Late Holocene.


McCaull_John photo

John McCaull

John joined the Sonoma Land Trust in 2013. His primary focus is protecting and enhancing the invaluable lands and waters of the Sonoma Valley. John has been practicing law in California since 1990, and has complemented legal, real estate and land use planning services with 25 years of lobbying and advocacy in Sacramento for different clients and organizations. John served as the California Legislative Director for the National Audubon Society in the 1990s, gaining a decade-long immersion in many of California’s key wildlife, habitat and ecosystem protection campaigns. For the last twelve years, John has worked in private practice to provide clients with comprehensive support to resolve environmental and land use challenges. John has been proud to call Sonoma County home since 2005, and joining the Trust gives him a chance to apply the lessons learned from numerous conservation success stories from all over California and the West, and bring them home to benefit Sonoma Valley and the rest of the county.

Action Packet

What if everyone at the 2016 Open Space Conference shared the same article about diversity with their Boards and staff? What if everyone sent the same letter of support for a bill in the State Assembly? Or shared the same video with their colleagues? What if we created a new future together, around the Bay Area, as a region?

We want to make it easy to take action based on the Conference speaker’s big ideas and different ways of thinking. For speaker contact information, please email Annie Burke at [email protected].

This is not a comprehensive list. A comprehensive list of all the actions you could take would be the size of a 1985 World Book Encyclopedia. What you see here is just to get you started. If you have more resources and actions related to the 2016 Open Space Conference that you would like to share, tweet them with #2016OSC and we will share them.


Leadership Development Program

We care about the next generation of conservation leaders. And we are doing something about it.

An overwhelming and impressive group of young and diverse people ages 18-25 to applied to our 2016 Leadership Development Program. The participants:

  • Attended the conference at a discount ($10-40, no one will be turned down for financial reasons)
  • Met with at least one Advisor for 20 minutes at the conference to learn about their work and identify a way to meet post-conference
  • Received a written guide on “how to do” the conference
  • Met with other program participants online before and in person at the conference
  • Received a complimentary ticket to the Open Space Council’s Gatherings in September and November 2016

Individuals from the following organizations  participated as Advisors:

  • Bay Area Ridge Trail
  • California State Parks
  • GreenInfo Network
  • Institute at the Golden Gate
  • Marin Agricultural Land Trust
  • Marin County Parks
  • Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District
  • National Interscholastic Cycling Association
  • Reliable Narrator, fundraising consultant
  • Santa Clara County Parks
  • Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority
  • Save Mount Diablo
  • Sempervirens Fund
  • Solano Land Trust
  • Sonoma Land Trust
  • Sustainable Agriculture Education (SAGE)
  • Trust for Public Land

Thanks for supporting this program goes to:

PAINTER_Horiz_02 (1)

Field Trip

The History and Future of Richmond’s Open Spaces

Co-hosted by the East Bay Regional Park District and National Park Service, the field trip took place on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 from 9am-12:30pm and departed from the Craneway Pavilion.

At the 2015 Open Space Conference we only scratched the surface of what’s happening in Richmond to create new parks, connect more people to nature, and achieve more through partnerships. The field trip on May 18, 2016 dug a little deeper to see what’s happening on the ground to create a new future of open space in Richmond.

The National Park Service and East Bay Regional Park District co-hosted a bus tour of Richmond that included:

  • A gentle climb to the Interpretive Overlook that highlights historic Kaiser Shipyard 3. Here, Richmond’s WWII Home Front efforts not only changed the shoreline but helped shape the nation’s history. Today, local open space advocates continue their important work for shoreline access, including recent additions to the Bay Trail.
  • A stroll to scenic Ferry Point at Miller Knox Regional Shoreline for inspiring bay views and a stunning example of shoreline reclamation and public advocacy for open space. Once the terminus of the transcontinental railroad that helped put Richmond on the map, today, it is a park in progress, with SF Bay Water Trail and other improvements on the way.
  • A short walk on the Richmond Greenway which is an abandoned railway that is being transformed into a community greenspace with significant community involvement and a large group of partners



We will create an engaging experience at the Open Space Conference. Our Exhibitor Hall is where a lot of that engagement happens.

Exhibitors are companies, nonprofits, and groups who provide services and products to the conservation community. They want to make a name for themselves, and connect with the right people to work together. Our 2016 exhibitors were:



Thank you to our sponsors!

The Open Space Conference would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors.

Lead Level



Ecosystem Level

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Watershed Level

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Park Level

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Institutional Sponsors





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