Shasta Land Trust…
THIS MONTH, Enjoy spoke with Paul Vienneau, executive director of the Shasta Land Trust, about its role in environmental stewardship and land conservation within the region.
ENJOY: How do you describe Shasta Land Trust?
VIENNEAU: The Shasta Land Trust is a community nonprofit that believes in protecting what makes Shasta County so special. This includes our vibrant agriculture, open space, public recreation, wildlife and amazing habitats across our local streams, rivers and lakes.
ENJOY: What are the geographic boundaries of the lands protected by Shasta Land Trust?
VIENNEAU: Since 1998, we have worked within Shasta County, but we are not specifically limited to that border.
ENJOY: The website features an impressive list of protected properties, an eclectic mix of ranches, preserves, park lands and even a gun club. Why were these different types of lands chosen?
VIENNEAU:Alargefocussinceourbeginning has been working with willing landowners who believe in the benefits associated with protecting their land. While our properties may seem different, they all contain special conservation values that make them worth protecting. For example, the gun club property contains a small nonprofit that operates on a protected property ripe with habitat and open space value. The similarity amongst them all is the importance they provide to our community.
ENJOY: What is the Trust’s current land conservation project?
VIENNEAU: We are working to wrap up seven new conservation easement projects across Shasta County. One special project is the return of the Pit River Tribe’s ancestral lands in the Hat Creek/Fall River area. With the transfer of ownership from PG&E to the Pit River Tribe, these lands will once again be managed in line with the Tribe’s cultural and historical practices. We are helping guarantee that the land once occupied by the Pit River Tribe is once again managed with its historical importance in mind. We’ve built strong relationships with the Tribe and look forward to working with them long into the future as they once again retain ownership of these special places.
ENJOY: What environmental features are particularly notable about the Pit River Tribal lands?
VIENNEAU: The area (Hat Creek Watershed) includes a mixture of annual grasslands, wet meadows, chaparral and different forest types. Ponderosa pine, native oak and gray pine forests are foraging and breeding grounds for the acorn woodpecker, western gray squirrel, black bear and mule deer, among other wildlife.
ENJOY: What do you want readers to know about land conservation and environmental stewardship?
VIENNEAU: The most important thing is recognizing that the natural world we are surrounded by here in Shasta County is not a forever guarantee. We must work hard to make sure the outdoor places we love are protected if we want them to be there for the next generation. Land conservation allows for this future to be possible. •
Shasta Land Trust www.shastalandtrust.org
Article Written By:
Claudia Mosby is a Redding-based freelance writer. She is the founder and director of The Expressive Spirit, a wellness company in Mt. Shasta offering spiritual direction, arts and nature-based activities and consultancy for grief and loss.