Stewardship

*Special Alert*
Wildfire Resources

On Friday, July 5th at 3:45PM the Lake Fire began near Zaca Lake. Sedgwick and neighboring communities are under an evacuation order as of 12:29 PM July 9th. All university personnel are off of the reserve after several days of preparation and supporting fire crews. CalFire is on site tending to operations.

Fire crews have been on a fire line at Figueroa Mountain Road at the north end of the reserve since early Saturday. The fire had crossed Figueroa Mountain Road onto the reserve in the north center, which is now in mop up operations. On the north east sides there are slow moving fires. As of the evening of July 9th, the fire was moving slowly downslope as a backing fire and hand crews were holding it.

For updated information, please use the following links:

Ready SBC

Cal Fire

Inciweb

Alert California

Los Padres National Forest Twitter

Los Padres National Forest Facebook

Watch Duty App


Reserve staff and volunteers are committed to the wise stewardship of the Reserve’s 5,865 acres, including the infrastructure of the 10-acre field station. The careful and responsible management of the Reserve includes but is not limited to trail and road maintenance, ecological restoration, facility management, and fireproofing.

Trail and Road Maintenance

Sedgwick contains 20.2 miles of trails and 23.36 miles of roads in a network that allows users access to this unique and scientifically-significant landscape. Weather conditions can greatly affect road and trail conditions, but consistent researcher and student access to the Reserve is vital to maintain. Each year, Reserve Stewards and volunteers embark on hundreds of hours of trail maintenance, which includes clearing downed trees, mowing, weed whacking, trimming, debris removal, and generally staying aware of current conditions to advise users on access.

Restoration

In the 1990s, critical research based at Sedgwick around oak tree mortality sparked a movement to plant and care for young oaks at the Reserve, helping ensure more of them make it to old age. Sedgwick Reserve’s Oakies are responsible for planting and caring for hundreds of oak trees and other native species around the field station. In 2023, they began work in Angela’s grove, part of an old farm field on the property, with a goal to eventually reforest the land, add understory plants, and make it an accessible education forest.

Facility Management

The ten-acre field station includes the ranch house, bunkhouse, classroom and studio, four tent cabins, camp bathrooms and showers, outdoor kitchen, Tipton Meeting House, multiple quonset huts and maintenance barns, and the 1908 barn. Due to generous donations from Linda La Kretz-Duttenhaver the Ranch House was completely remodeled and updated in 2017, the bunkhouse was built in 2019, and the La Kretz Center for Research at Sedgwick Reserve was built in 2019. Due to a generous donation from Nancy and Joe Byrne through the J.E. and Lillian Tipton Foundation, the Tipton Meeting House was built in 2011. Reserve staff ensure the cleaning and maintenance of all these all these facilities and the infrastructure that keeps it running (e.g. waterlines, propane, electricity, etc.). Collectively, these buildings serve a base camp for researchers, students, and professionals as they venture out into the Reserve for research and education.

Fireproofing

Vegetation management