Puente Hills Preserve News, June 2024

A Message from our Executive Director Andrea Gullo:

The Puente Hills Preserve, managed by the Habitat Authority, has been protected for 30 years because community members cared enough to save the hills for wildlife, habitat, recreation and for all of the other amazing economic, health, environmental and quality of life benefits that come with open space preservation. We hope to see you on one of our trails which can be accessed via our trailheads: Sycamore Canyon, Powder Canyon, Hellman Park, Arroyo Pescadero, Hacienda Hills, and Turnbull Canyon.

The Habitat Authority currently faces an ongoing structural budget deficit which might require eliminating ranger services and reducing other critical services. While no decisions have been made, the Board of Directors is exploring local funding options, including a potential special tax of 1¢ per building square foot (less than $20 a year for the average homeowner), with annual adjustments limited to 3%, until ended by voters. To learn more, click here.

Annual Fuel Clearance

Annual fuel clearance around the Preserve is ongoing. These activities are funded via a one-time grant from CalFire which ends this year to do the important work of creating defensible space around the urban-wildland interface. In addition to weed abatement and brush clearance we have already removed over 280 dead and hazardous trees with this grant, and over 70 hazardous trees with a different grant, all over the past three years. To learn more about the CalFire grant, click here.

To learn more about our fire preparedness actions, click here.

Volunteer With Us

Independence Day celebrations are a beloved pastime, but fireworks are cause for wildfire concern near the hills and a threat we take seriously. We are currently accepting sign-ups for our volunteer July 4th Fire Prevention static patrol. This is very important, and your assistance will help the multi-agency and volunteer effort to keep the hills safe from fires. If you are interested in helping out there is a mandatory pre-meeting with our ranger on Saturday, June 29th at 9am in the barn at the Sycamore Canyon Trailhead at 5030 Workman Mill Rd.

To learn more and sign up click here.

Fawning Season

It’s fawning season on the Preserve, which means adorable baby deer (fawns) are making their debut! Fawns are typically born from late-April through mid-June, just when the grasses and forbs are lush from winter and spring rains. These grasses not only sustain adult deer but also offer ideal concealment for fawns, who are additionally aided by the white dappled spots on their backs which enhance their camouflage. Twin births are not uncommon, especially for females (does) that have fawned in previous years. Ever vigilant mothers, does will defend small areas surrounding their newborn fawns from threats and potential predators, including off-leash dogs. If you’ll be visiting the Preserve during this vulnerable time, please remember to enjoy wildlife sightings from a distance to ensure the safety of yourself and the wildlife that call the Preserve home.

The fawn photo below is courtesy of one of our wildlife trail cameras deployed on the Preserve.

Have you seen fawns on the Preserve? If so, where?
Powder Canyon
Turnbull Canyon
Arroyo Pescadero
Hellman Park
Hacienda Hills
Sycamore Canyon

Answer to last month's newsletter poll question: What is your favorite flora on the Preserve during this time of the year? Poppy flowers 34.3%, Sticky monkey flower 18.6%, California Bush Sunflower 11.4%, Prickly pear cactus 8.6%, Western blue-eyed grass 8.6%, Catalina Mariposa Lily 7.1%, and Other 11.4%.

It's no surprise that most of you chose Poppies—not only are they gorgeous, but they are also California's official state flower. 

The Habitat Authority is a local government agency, and is qualified to accept tax-deductible charitable donations including monetary and real property. Donations such as these contribute to the purpose of the agency and provide tax benefits for the giver.

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