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THE LAND CONSERVANCY OF SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY

AKA  LCSLO
San Luis Obispo, CA
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GuideStar Summary

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&1002; Registered with IRS Legitimacy information is available
&1002; Financial Data Annual Revenue and Expense data reported
&1002; Forms 990 2013, 2012, and 2011 Forms 990 filed with the IRS
&1002; Mission Objectives Mission Statement is available
&1002; Impact Summary Impact Summary from the nonprofit is available
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Basic Organization Information

THE LAND CONSERVANCY OF SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY
Also Known As: LCSLO
Physical Address: San Luis Obispo, CA 93406 
EIN: 77-0039294
Web URL: www.LCSLO.org 
NTEE Category: C Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification
C34 Land Resources Conservation
C Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification
C30 Natural Resource Conservation and Protection
C Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification
C32 Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management
Ruling Year: 1984 


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Mission Statement

Through cooperative and voluntary measures, The Land Conservancy of SLO County works to permanently protect and enhance lands having important scenic, agricultural, cultural, and habitat values for the benefit of people and wildlife.

Legitimacy Information

This organization is registered with the IRS.

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Annual Revenue & Expenses (IRS Form 990, July 2011)

Fiscal Year Starting: July 01, 2011
Fiscal Year Ending: June 30, 2012

Total Revenue $1,749,516
Total Expenses $1,955,943

Revenue & Expenses

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Balance Sheet (IRS Form 990)

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Forms 990 Received from the IRS Additional Information
IRS Form 990 is an annual document used by approximately one-third of all public charities to report information about their finances and operations to the federal government. GuideStar uses data from Form 990 to populate its database with financial information about nonprofit organizations. Posting Form 990 images on the GuideStar website is an ongoing process.

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Forms 990 Provided by the Nonprofit

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Financial Statements

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Annual Reports

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Leadership (GuideStar Exchange,
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February 2013)

Kaila Dettman

Term:

Since Nov 2012

Leadership Statement:

The Land Conservancy has adopted a new strategic plan that calls for investments in our land conservation, public outreach and fundraising programs.  Our goal is to increase the pace of land conservation by expanding our professional staff and building organizational resources.  Because of our balanced spending model and the continued investment of our loyal donors, we are confident we can skillfully weather the current economic downturn.  As we look ahead to our next 25 years, we have never felt better about the work we do to protect important lands throughout  San Luis Oispo County.   - Brian B. Stark, Executive Director - Robert A. Hill, Conservation Director

Board Chair (GuideStar Exchange,
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February 2013)

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Board of Directors (GuideStar Exchange,
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February 2013)

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Officers for Fiscal Year (IRS Form 990)

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Highest Paid Employees & Their Compensation (IRS Form 990)

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People information was last updated by the nonprofit in February 2013

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Programs

Program: Land Conservation Program (GuideStar Exchange,
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February 2013)

Budget:
$200,000
Category:
Environment
Population Served:
General Public/Unspecified

Program Description:

The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo's Land Conservation Program is at the heart of our mission.  We undertake permanent land conservation through cooperative conservation agreements with private landowners, and we may also purchase land for conservation purposes. Our program protects important lands with scenic, agricultural, habitat, and cultural values. The lands we protect grow food for the community, provide scenic recreational areas for area visitors and residents, and ensure a safe and clean environment. Our agricultural land projects strive to keep farming and ranching economically viable in a growing county.  Our land program is funded by our generous donors and grants. It starts with our donors, whose funds are used to maintain a professional staff with experience in real estate transactions, conservation values, and fundraising.  In turn, our staff raises grant funds to leverage donor dollars many times over the original donation. In one recent project our staff began with a $50,000 donation and turned it into $2.1 Million in grants. Funds raised for our projects include funds to permanently endow the maintenance and legal defense of the land or conservation restrictions.

Program Long-Term Success:

The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County currently oversees over $10,000 acres of conservation lands. Most of this land remains in private ownership and we monitor the land to ensure compliance with conservation agreements. We also provide on-the-ground maintenance of the lands we own. We have become valued partners to government agencies throughout the county helping with conservation planning assistance. We authored the City of San Luis Obispo's Greenbelt Conservation Plan and also authored the Los Osos - Baywood Park Conservation Plan, and are currently working with the City Of paso Robles on the Salinas River Parkway Project. We have been part of the community for 25 years and our regular successes have made the Land Conservancy a top performing environmental non-profit.

Program Short-Term Success:

The Land Conservancy has been growing in the last few years due to an outstanding record of completing projects and the combined talent of our professional staff. We recently moved to a larger office to accomodate growth in the Land Conservation department. Our current land team is working on conservation projects that could double our land conservation acreage in the next 2-3 years. They are also working on strengthening the program area in anticipation of our application for accreditation with the national Land Trust Alliance. recent developments include the development of a cost recovery structure that helps assure that we have the resources to expand our conservation activity.

Program Success Monitored by:

Success for a land trust goes beyond dollars raised and acres conserved. While these are important measures, our success really lies in the opportunities we create for people to form bonds with the land and the permanent protection of air and water quality. Land is where our food grows, where we commune in harmony with nature, and where we get away from our daily stresses. Land is where we teach our children, fall in love, and observe natural wonders. The lands we protect foster these values in our growing community.   Part of our responsibility to the land we protect is monitoring. We monitor all of our conservation  projects at least once each year. We use standardized checklists that help us be sure we are looking at everything and protecting the public investment in conservation lands. We maintain funding reserves to defend our conservation interests and we work closely with private landowners to develop land stewardship goals.

Program Success Examples:

A recent success is our continuing partnership with the California Army National Guard and the City of San Luis Obispo to protect the headwaters of Stenner Creek. The project to protect the Stenner Ranch, an 838 acre cattle ranch, achieves goals set in the City of San Luis Obispo's Greenbelt Plan and the National Guard Base's Compatible Use buffer plan. It also protects land adjacent to Los Padres national Forest and land protected by the same partnership a year earlier. As a result of these projects,  the entire headwaters of Stenner Creek are protected for threatened steelhead and several popular trails are now officially in public ownershia local mountain-biking group rallied 100 volunteers to do public trail improvements. In a related transaction, the Land Conservancy received a Conservation Easement from the owners of the Stenner Ranch over land making up the Bowden Ranch. This project also facilitates public access to a popular recreation area.

Program: Habitat Restoration Program (GuideStar Exchange,
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February 2013)

Budget:
$500,000
Category:
Environment
Population Served:
General Public/Unspecified

Program Description:

The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County maintains a staff of habitat restoration specialists that repair damaged environments. We focus on coastal streams and wetlands, as well as coastal dunes. We work on land that is owned by the Land Conservancy, land owned by government agencies, and privately owned lands. Funding for the program comes from grants and varies year to year depending on the projects that we get funded.   Along coastal streams, we work on erosion control,  native revegetation, modification of fish migration barriers, and educational outreach projects. To date, we have replanted over 5 miles of local stream banks, making the habitats better for fish and wildlife. We have also improved fish passage at 11 former barrier sites, and done outreach to reduce urban pollution of streams. Our staff includes trained biologists and an erosion control specialist. Our field crew members come as recent college graduates in landscape architecture, biology, and ecology majors. With over 35 physical projects in ground, we are making a measurable improveemnt in fisheries habitats.   Wetlands are among the rarest habitats in Califiornia because 95% have been filled in or developed over. At the land Conservancy, we are identifying lands capable of sustaining wetlands and have been installing new wetland projects. At one site, we created 6 pools that are now home to 95 species of birds, rare pond turtles, and many amphibians. This is quite an improvement over the 20 species of birds found on the site prior to our work.   In the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes, we would with other non-profits and state and federal agencies to protect one of the most fragile and rare environments in the state. The Dunes are home to a concentrated list of rare plants that are threatened by non-native grasses. These grasses out-compete the rare plants and threaten some of thease plants with extinction. Our restoration crews are in the field almost every day beating back the invasion of these grasses. A local biologist estimated that we have set back the weed infestation by 30 years since we have been active in the area. We work collaboratively with the State Dept. of Parks and Recreation as well as the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge.   Our restoration program is based on what we consider a moral imperative. We simply believe, as do our state and federal resource agencies,  that we need to work to save these precious resources. We have assembled the best qualified team of restoration managers in our region and have become an important partner in saving our special resources.

Program Long-Term Success:

The restoration program has been strong for well over a decade. Due to our skilled staff, we are considered a go-to organization for restoration needs. Local government agencies have contracted with the Land Conservancy to develop restoration plans and implement mitigation projects on their behalf.  We have completed over 50 physical restoration projects and have met the success criteria for all but the newest installations. We also have a proven ability to finish projects within budgets. Our staff frequently present our projects to professional restoration associations.   We are usually working on project development 2 years ahead of project installation. Duruing this time we prepare grants and secure the necessary environmental permits required to do the project. Our project backlog is strong, so we expect our crew to be busy for the near future.

Program Short-Term Success:

Our latest project involves re-planting 1 mile of stream banks along Nipomo Creek and 2 triburtary streams with native vegetation. Prior land uses led to degradation of the stream corridor. Land Conservancy staff are in the process of installing 12,000 native trees and shrubs on this site. The first phase is complete and we are now maintaining the site. The next phase will be installed this fall.

Program Success Monitored by:

We set up strict monitoring protocols for every project and our stewarship manager directs the project monitoring activities. Each project starts with a project plan and clearly described success criteria. Monitoring methods are developed before the project is built and we monitor each project yearly to assess our progress in acheiving the success criteria. We monitor our work based on the principals of adaptive management, so we identify reasons for any project failure and take active steps to modify management of the site to address any unforseen needs. This monitoring focus has helped us plan for future projects, so our methods are improving with each project.

Program Success Examples:

At the Filipponi Ecological Area, a property owned by the City of San Luis Obispo as part of their greenbelt, the land conservancy developed a 12 acre wetland restoration project and raise $700,000 for the project. The project involved installation of 6 pools, a wetland swale, removal of 800 feet of levees, and replanting of 4,000 linear feet of streams. Prior to the project,we set up baseline information so we can assess our impacts on the site. Prior to construction, the property was home to 20 species of birds. Now, after 7 years, the project site boasts a bird count of 95 species. Birds can often tell us more than numbers when it comes to the value of restoration. In addition to the successful project, Land Conservancy staff take over 150 college students out to the site each year to teach them about the fundamentals of habitat restoration.   All of the Land Conservancy's projects are planned for maximum improvement for plants, fish, and animals, but also to share these values withe the public and inspire others to get involved.

Program: Learning Among the Oaks (GuideStar Exchange,
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February 2013)

Budget:
$20,000
Category:
Environment
Population Served:
Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Program Description:

Learning Among the Oaks (LATO) is an educational program that provides hands-on learning experiences for K-6 students at Santa Margarita Elementary School via a trail program onto the adjacent privately owned Santa Margarita Ranch.

Program Long-Term Success:

Program Short-Term Success:

Program Success Monitored by:

Program Success Examples:

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Impact Summary from the Nonprofit

The Land Conservancy's efforts make San Luis Obispo County a healthy, beautiful and enjoyable place to live, work and play. Protecting local lands upholds the unique character, environmental health & economic viability of San Luis Obispo County.  The Land Conservancy works exclusively in San Luis Obispo County to: protect drinking water support farmers and ranchers save homes for wildlife balance conservation needs with development provide outdoor recreation opportunities restore our natural areas create connections between people and land
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