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Fairbanks Ranch Fuel Reduction Project

Updated: Mar 26

The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy has been leading the Fairbanks Ranch Fuel Reduction Project since 2015.  The location includes the area between Fairbanks Ranch and Rancho Santa Fe west of the Black Mountain Open Space and it is progressing well. The Conservancy is managing this project and partnering with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, California Native Plant Society-San Diego Chapter (CNPS), Fairbanks Ranch Association, Rancho Santa Fe Association and private landowners.

While we manage the behind-the-scenes work—applying for and administering grants, coordinating with landowners and project partners, and ensuring permit compliance—Arne Johanson and Bob Byrnes, of CNPS, lead the on-the-ground work. Crews from Urban Corps and American Conservation Experience worked hard for many weeks on this project.

Overall, we worked approximately 27 acres during 2017-2018. We worked the entire area from many points as dictated by factors such as access, resources, native recruitment potential and fire department preferences. Work began on first on the Fairbanks Ranch side, starting in the middle and pushing both downstream and upstream. This season we continued to remove biomass going downstream on the Fairbanks side and on the Rancho Santa Fe side continuing downstream from Artesian Road.

Citizen Scientists, led by experts including the Palomar Audubon Society, are collecting biological data through bird and botanical surveys.  The Conservancy strategically placed wildlife cameras to detect movement of species through the project area.  You can find out more about our citizen science efforts for this project here.

We appreciate the support of the private landowners in Fairbanks Ranch, who have donated over $25,000 to the Conservancy for this project.

Read more about this project in an article published by the Rancho Santa Fe Review on November 1, 2017.

A complementary project is being conducted by the Rancho Santa Fe Association on its Arroyo Preserve and other privately-owned property.  The Association recently received a $83,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Read more about this project in an article published by the Coast News on November 1, 2018.


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