The Santa Cruz Mountains Stewardship Network is a region-wide and cross-sector collaboration of independent individuals and organizations who are committed to practicing effective stewardship on their own lands and coordinating their efforts with other land stewards to enhance stewardship on a regional level.

The mission of the Santa Cruz Mountains Stewardship Network is to help cultivate a resilient, vibrant region where human and natural systems thrive for generations to come.

The Santa Cruz Mountains region, as we define it, extends from the San Francisco Bay area, south to the Pajaro River and is bounded to the east by the Santa Clara Valley and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The region is comprised of a diverse array of ecosystems which include diverse natural features ranging from ridge tops to alluvial fans, old growth forests, saltwater lagoons, marshes, mudflats, and intertidal zones. Ownership and land use varies from park and open space preserves to privately held timber and agricultural lands interspersed with both rural and urban communities.

The primary objectives for forming and joining the Stewardship Network are to:

  • Build trust and strengthen relationships within and across sectors and jurisdictional boundaries
  • Value diverse perspectives and approaches to stewardship, exploring together what constitutes best current and future stewardship practices
  • Sense and respond to emergent challenges
  • Identify critical obstacles that hamper stewardship efforts and develop strategies for improving effectiveness
  • Collaborate where individual and regional stewardship goals converge
  • Leverage existing activities and resources and avoid duplication of stewardship efforts
  • Share information in order to enhance knowledge and promote best practices that support long term sustainability
  • Inform other landowners, the public at large, potential project funders, regulators, and legislators about the importance and value of effective stewardship for enhancing the health of the Santa Cruz Mountain region
  • Recognize and support landowners and private businesses who are advancing stewardship goals and are using best practices
  • Ensure adequate resourcing for long term stewardship efforts
  • Educate and recruit future stewards of the land