The Open Space Council Blog


Liveblogging from the Harvest Gathering!

November 15, 2012


What a great Gathering!

It was a very full room with a lot of good energy. For some it was the first time they’ve attended an Open Space Council event and for others they have lost track of exactly how many of these things they’ve been to. People came from Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties. There were Executive Directors, GIS Specialists, consultants, Conservation Directors, Stewardship Managers, and many more. The Open Space Council members represented ranged from some people who have been there from the beginning and a brand new member. We want to thank everyone who attended the Gathering and all who contributed to the conversation.

We want to especially thank:

Our next Gathering will be on January 17, 2013 from 10am-1pm at the Brower Center in Berkeley. Stay tuned to this blog, our e-newsletter and Twitter for the topic and how you can register.

Lech Naumovich


12:05pm: LUNCH!

12:00pm: At the start of the day Jenn asked everyone to submit their ideas about what the Open Space Council can do in the next year to advance land stewardship in the Bay Area. She’s sharing the responses she received and asking people to vote with their feet for their favorite. Over 105 people are getting up and moving around the room – it’s not quiet and it’s not still in here!


11:55am: Sasha is thanking the speakers and handing the mic over to Jenn Fox…

11:35am: We are breaking now to take questions from the audience. Questions included how does the connection between land managers and scientists work on small preserves and for small organizations… how can scientists get involved if they’re not attached to a major university … what is the role of grazing and what is the future of this somewhat controversial approach… and more…

Lech Naumovich

11:28am: Kirk and now Diane Renshaw are talking about the relationship between Midpen and Stanford as an arranged marriage. Kirk referred to Diane as the marriage counselor (chuckle chuckle)

Kirk and Diane

11:24am: Now Kirk Lenington from Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District is talking about their research grant program. There isn’t a presentation to share with you, but I’ll do my best to keep you in the loop.

Their grant program started with ants. A donor wanted to do something about argentine ants, which are invasive, and gave some money to Midpen. And there began the program.

11:21am: Anyone following along on Twitter? We’re there with #landinhand

11:19am: Cindy and Ted are talking about talking. How can scientists speak the same language as land managers, and vice versa? Communications are critical from the mundane things like when someone is going to be on the property to the larger things like goals and plans.

11:12am: Now we have up in the front of the room Ted Swiecki and Cindy Roessler who are interviewing each other about how it is to work together.

11:07am: Applause for Matt and Stu and their presentations about the HCP. Sasha says that there were really two kinds of research involved in the HCP: one was that spurred the whole HCP process and one that is involved in regulatory aspects of the plan. We’ll dig more into that in the Q&A section of today’s program.

11:03am: For more pictures about what we’re seeing, hop over to Instagram.

10:56am: Matt Freeman is now speaking about how the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority is going to help implement the Habitat Conservation Plan. His presentation is here:

Matt Freeman at November 2012 Gathering from OpenSpaceCouncil

10:50am: Sasha welcomed Stu Weiss up to talk about the Santa Clara Habitat Conservation Plan. Stu is going to co-present with Matt Freeman from the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority, but first Stu. Here’s Stu’s presentation:

Stu Weiss at November 2012 Gathering from OpenSpaceCouncil

10:42am: This is what the room looks like:


10:37am: Julian Meisler from Sonoma Land Trust is sharing his presentation now, which you can see here:

Julian and john sears point-presentation-meisler-vollmar from OpenSpaceCouncil


10:32am: Sasha Gennet from the Nature Conservancy is introducing all of the panelists now… you can see who they are if you scroll down to the bottom of this post.

Screen shot 2012-11-15 at 10.01.35 PM.png

10:28am: Wow! The room is PACKED and the energy is high. Andrea Mackenzie kicked off the meeting by talking about the Open Space Council and introducing our new Executive Director, Jenn Fox. Big round of applause welcoming Jenn!

Jenn asked everyone to take out the notecards that were on their chairs and sometime over the next hour or so write down the answer to this question:

If the Open Space Council could, in the coming year, succeed in one thing to further land stewardship, what would that be?

We’ll be reporting back later on everyone’s answer to that question. Stay tuned.

By Lech Naumovich

10:05am: While we were arriving and milling about, a slideshow was up on the screen created by Lech Naumovich. His project, Conservation : Humans Required, shows us a new way of looking at the role of humans in conservation. We’ll share some, or maybe all, of the images with you here on the blog throughout the event. Here’s the introductary slide:

1-Humans Required intro

10am: Good morning! The house is PACKED for our Harvest Gathering at the Brower Center entitled Managing Land with Science in Hand. Today we’re talking about how scientists and land managers have worked together on projects throughout the Bay Area.

Our panel includes presentations and discussion about the following projects:

The panel will be moderated by Sasha Gennet of The Nature Conservancy

This is Annie Burke and I will be blogging about the event for the next two hours. Refresh your browser often and pretend that you’re here. My colleagues will be tweeting at @BA_OpenSpace. Pose questions for the Q&A portion of the program on Twitter with the hashtag #landinhand

Ready? Let’s go!