The Stewards of Soquel Forest is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization developed to help the Forest achieve its mission. It was founded in 2000 by local educators and volunteers from the Advocates for the Forest Nisene Marks (State Park). The Stewards have supported a wide range of SDSF activities over the years.
Those teachers wanted to see more hands-on field trips regarding natural resources for local students. The first of these field trips were with fifth grade students from the Rio Del Mar Elementary School that covered soil properties, local fisheries and watershed protection. Other early activities of the Stewards included supporting the annual Forestry Conservation Days event at Sanborn County Park near Saratoga where thousands of fifth and sixth graders learned about ecology, the Web of Life, wildlife, fisheries, careers in natural resource management and sustained-yield timber harvesting.
The volunteers from the Advocates for the Forest Nisene Marks (State Park) who helped create the Stewards fostered a rich relationship between the two organizations and the staff of the two adjacent public lands (state forest and state park). Specific products from this relationship included the development of new signs, information boards, newsletters and brochures for both state forest and park.
Local mountain bikers also joined the Stewards Board of Directors. With their help the Stewards answered CAL FIRE’s request for assistance in improved trail maintenance and design. The Stewards organized many trail maintenance events with hundreds of volunteers turning out over the years to develop more sustainable and fun trails.
Thomas Sutfin, the first SDSF Forest Manager from 1990 to 2009 joined the Board upon his retirement from CAL FIRE.
More recently the Stewards organized and sponsored the 2016 SDSF Open House which brought out hundreds of people “to learn about and experience your state forest.”
Dozens of researchers explained their work on the Forest and demonstrations included sustainable timber felling and fisheries population sampling. See “Activities” for more information on the event.
The Soquel also raise funds for various Forest needs including trail maintenance, signage, educational events, facilities, and land acquisition to improve public access. Additonallly, we do advocacy for the Forest to help it reach its long term potential as a regional center for forestry education and research and watershed and fire protection.