2020 Year in Review

January 12, 2021

We thought we’d start our first newsletter of 2021 by sharing photos of happenings of 2020. Many of them are silver linings to a difficult year, thanks to our fine MLT supporters and staff! 


The MLT Family adapted to working remotely. Our team evolved in 2020, with Monika Richardson joining the crew in March as the new Conservation Project Coordinator. Our new Executive Director, Conrad Kramer came aboard in August. Amy Wolitzer started as the new Outreach and Development Coordinator in November.

The Old Smith Ranch Trail opened! Thanks to the support of our donors and The Nature Conservancy we were able to complete this project. The bench in the photo was dedicated in honor of Joseph Melchione.

Land Trust staff continued working with property owners to make sure beautiful areas, like this forest in Comptche, are preserved for future generations. Photo by Monika Richardson.

Despite the tough times of 2020, flowers continued to bloom at Navarro Point. Photo by Monika Richardson.

June 13, 2020:  Volunteers kept on smiling and coming out to work, 6 feet apart. With many indoor activities off-limits, trails were busier than ever! Photo by Monika Richardson.

Hikers, birders and outdoor enthusiasts continued to show appreciation for MLT trails by dropping dollars in our donation box at Pelican Bluffs. Photo by Monika Richardson.

Planning began for an additional trail at Shady Dell. This trail will connect to the Peter Douglas trail to create a loop. Photo by Nicolet Houtz.

Monika continued to axe her heart out while working on trail projects. Photo by Nicolet Houtz.

A new trail was  cut at Old Smith Ranch to Betty’s Bench. Photo by Nicolet Houtz.

Betty’s Bench was dedicated on June 6 to longtime MLT supporter Betty Stechmeyer. Sadly, Betty passed away in August, but her memory lives on, not only at her bench but all over Mendocino County. If you have not seen the charming video of the bench dedication, take two minutes to watch – Betty’s warm personality shines through!

The Matt Coleman Environmentalist of the Year award winners for 2020 were Tom Wodetzki, Betty Stechmeyer (pictured with Nicolet Houtz), and Lenny Noack.


Three interpretive panels, designed by Erica Fielder and shown here by Conservation Project Manager Nicolet Houtz,  were installed at the Old Smith Ranch Trail. Photo by Monika Richardson.


Mr. Bandito Burrito helped install the interpretive panel about salmon! 


Wildfires burned locally and all over the state. Here we see the smoky air at Shady Dell. Photo by Nicolet Houtz.



Noyo River Redwoods (BEFORE): Imagine you are a salmon… you swim miles upstream and come to THIS? Photo by Nicolet Houtz.


Noyo River Redwoods (AFTER!): Thanks to Trout Unlimited, a new rail crossing was completed in October. Unlike the old damaged culvert (before photo) this crossing will allow salmon to make their way upstream. Photo by Nicolet Houtz.


Thank you for being part of our 2020 silver linings! Here’s wishing good things for us all, and the wild places we wish to protect, in 2021.