Next Public Meeting – March 16th, 7:30 p.m.

email meetings@rbda.us for zoom credentials

Panel Discussion on Trail Building in Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Santa Cruz Mountain Trail Stewardship (SCMTS, formerly Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz) have begun developing the initial 19 miles of recreational trails in the Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument. Trail-building is underway on both the south and north side of Bonny Doon Road. The 5,800 acre public land was secured as a project of the BLM in 2017, and the BLM has partnered with the local SCMTS group to build a total of 30 miles of multi-use trails. Please join the RBDA for a public meeting on Wednesday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m. to learn more about the trail building in Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument and engage with a panel of experts on the unique challenges of managing public activities on this land.  

Matt De Young is the Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship (SCMTS). SCMTS works to improve and maintain trail access in the Santa Cruz Mountains region. They have designed, funded, built, and maintained trails at Wilder Ranch, Pogonip, Delaveaga, Soquel Demonstration State Forest, The Glenwood Preserve, Fall Creek, Calero County Park, The Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve, and many other parks in the region. Their current focus is on trail construction at Cotoni-Coast Dairies where in partnership with the BLM they are funding and building out the trail network to open the property to public access.

Benjamin Blom is the Field Manager for the Bureau of Land Management Central Coast Office. A native of Massachusetts, Blom began his BLM career in Grand Junction, Colorado, where he served as the planning lead for the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area. Since 2013, Blom has served as manager of the Headwaters Forest Reserve in BLM California’s Arcata Field Office, completed legislative specialist details with the BLM in Washington D.C., and was an assistant field manager and an associate district manager for the BLM in northern California. Blom holds a master’s degree in forestry from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Dr. Grey Hayes is an ecologist and group facilitator working to create a community for Nature in Santa Cruz County. Dr. Hayes has published extensively including peer-reviewed science, in natural history books and magazines, and in online periodicals and blogs. Since 1989, Grey’s group facilitation and organizing work has focused on helping people to better work together to restore natural vitality to California’s landscape for many generations of humans and non-humans, alike. Locally, he strives to increase his and others’ understanding of the ecology of Santa Cruz County’s North Coast and, through that understanding, increase community investment in the restoration of biodiversity.

Lee Thompson is a non-law enforcement Park Ranger for BLM Central Coast Field Office with focus on the Cotoni-Coast Dairies portion of the California Coastal National Monument. 

Adam Wilde is the Outdoor Recreation Planner for the BLM Central Coast Field Office.  


Virtual Meeting Participation

Zoom (zoom.us) is a video conferencing platform that is free to use through either a web browser or application, and audio participation is possible through a dial-up connection on your phone. We selected this platform based on its widespread use and ease of accessibility. For this meeting, we will be utilizing all the available security features, including password-protection and waiting rooms managed by the host.

Access and participation in this meeting:

• Send your e-mail address to meetings@rbda.us to receive the meeting credentials and password. Your email will not be used for any other communication and will not be shared.

• Call into the meeting between 7:10 and 7:20, so that we can begin at 7:30.

Next Public Meeting

Alex Byers –  Assistant District Attorney, Santa Cruz County

 Wednesday, January 12, 7:30 p.m. 

Placement of SVP in Bonny Doon: What Next?

 Please join the RBDA at the January Annual Public Meeting for a discussion with Santa Cruz County Assistant District Attorney Alex Byers about the County’s attempt to overturn the decision of Superior Court Judge Syda Cogliati to place convicted serial rapist Michael Cheek in Bonny Doon. As this Highlander goes to press, we do not know the outcome of the County’s appeal. But we maintain that because of the remoteness of Bonny Doon, the lack of communication infrastructure and services, the slowness of law enforcement response, this is never an appropriate place for violent criminals. Please come learn about the way other communities have organized to prevent placement and what the district attorney’s office can do to prevent more placements in the future. 

Alex Byers: Originally from San Diego I joined the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office in 2008. Since that time, I have handled a variety of cases including homicides, gang violence, and general misdemeanor and general felony case loads. Currently, I am assigned to both the Vehicular Homicide Unit, which includes the investigation and prosecution of vehicle code offenses that have resulted in death or serious bodily injury and the Mental Health Unit which includes cases involving the criminally insane, mentally disordered offenders, developmentally disabled offenders, and sexually violent predators. I am also the District Attorney’s representative to the Santa Cruz County Behavioral Health Court, a collaborative review court focusing on mentally ill offenders, and Reentry Court, another collaborative court tasked with assisting parolees reintegrate into society.

Prior to the District Attorney’s Office, I was employed as a Deputy Public Defender for the County of Kern where I defended indigent defendants. I have a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara (1997) and a Juris Doctorate from the Santa Clara University (2001). I am a resident of Santa Cruz County and have lived here for over a decade with my family in Aptos.


Details on How to Participate in the Virtual Public Meeting

Zoom (zoom.us) is a video conferencing platform that is free to use through either a web browser or application, and audio participation is possible through a dial-up connection on your phone. We selected this platform based on its widespread use and ease of accessibility. For this meeting, we will be utilizing all the available security features, including password-protection and waiting rooms managed by the host. 

Access and participation in this meeting: 

•Send your e-mail address to meetings@rbda.us to receive the meeting credentials and password. Your email will not be used for any other communication and will not be shared.

•Call into the meeting between 7:10 and 7:20, so that we can begin at 7:30. 

Next Public Meeting

Wednesday, November 10, 7:30 p.m. 

Zoom Video Conference Meeting

Tracking Post-Fire Blooms of Native Plants Using Citizen Science 

 Amy Patten – California Native Plant Society 

As our community looks forward to a season of rest and rain after struggling to recover from the CZU fire and defend our homes for the 2021 fire season, the RBDA invites you to a meeting celebrating the resilience and growth of our bioregion. The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) has been surveying the emergence of native plants from the post-fire seedbeds and started a citizen science program to help us all understand the history and current state of our local botanic diversity — and help celebrate and defend that diversity by joining the survey project. Using the app iNaturalist, you can take photos of plants you find but can’t identify, and the hive mind of botanists on the app will help identify them. If you’ve found a rare native, join the CNPS Rare Plant Treasure Hunt Program and help botanists understand propagation and survival of our natural heritage.

Please come to the virtual RBDA Public Meeting on Wednesday, November 10, at 7:30 p.m. to learn more about this program and hear what exciting native plants the CNPS survey has found in its study of Big Basin and Bonny Doon post-fire landscapes.

Amy Patten is the Rare Plant Treasure Hunt Manager at the California Native Plant Society, where she works with volunteers to collect data on rare plant populations around the state. Patten graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2009 with a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and she is passionate about the natural history of the Central Coast. 


Virtual Meeting Participation

Zoom (zoom.us) is a video conference platform that is free to use through either a web browser or application, and audio participation is possible through a dial-up connection on your phone. For this meeting, we will be utilizing all the available security features, including password-protection and waiting rooms managed by the host. Please send your e-mail address to meetings@rbda.us to receive the meeting credentials and password. Your email will not be used for any other communication and will not be shared.

Fire Recovery and Community Connection Pop-up – June 19, 2-5 p.m. @ Bonny Doon School

Live Music, Free Taco Truck, and Friendly Faces!This Saturday, June 19, 2-5pm, Bonny Doon School, 1492 Pine Flat Road

The purpose of this event is not only to connect Dooners with fire recovery resources but to connect Dooners with each other.

These events have been popular and successful in Boulder Creek and Davenport. Now coming to Bonny Doon. We hope to see you there.

Access support from the following organizations and people:

Ryan Coonerty, County Supervisor – 3d district

4-Leaf – planning and permitting

United Policyholders – insurance claims

Red Cross – household support

Nation’s Finest – counseling/mental health

Office of R3

Davenport Resources Center

Catholic Charities

Bonny Doon Presbyterian Church

Please bring a water bottle, the summer heat is here!  

Please Park on Ice Cream Grade.

Produced by the Santa Cruz County Long Term Recovery Group

Next Public Meeting – Perspectives on Living in a Post-Fire Forest

Maya Khosla – Wildlife biologist, writer

Dr. Chad HansonResearch ecologist

Please join us at the next RBDA public meeting for a discussion with two researchers with expertise in post-fire forest ecology about how to live responsibly in our post-fire landscape. We are also hoping for an update from the Third District Supervisor Ryan Coonerty’s Chief of Staff, Rachel Dann, on the controversial post-fire removal of many of our trees under the guise of Phase II cleanup. 

See details here

Next Public Meeting – Anybody out there? Grassroots Communication Solutions Needed to Prepare for the Next Emergency

RBDA Virtual Public Meeting 

Wednesday, March 31, 7:30 p.m. 

Zoom Video Conference Meeting 

The next RBDA public meeting will facilitate a discussion about what you and your neighbors can do to prepare for the next emergency given the distressing lack of cell phone and internet coverage when the power goes out in Bonny Doon. As the RBDA lobbies the carriers and our government officials for better telecommunications infrastructure, it is also working to support the organization and implementation of grassroots radio-based communications systems.

Come to the meeting and learn how to organize your neighborhood and to select the right radio tools so that you can communicate with your neighbors, other Bonny Doon neighborhoods and emergency services outside Bonny Doon during a power outage.

You’ll hear from Dooners from different areas that have already used these techniques to communicate with neighbors when trouble arises and others who are preparing to do so. Share the systems you and your neighbors are creating, and bring your ideas to help us build a whole from all the parts.

Dawn Mackey will present a plan to distribute radios to neighbors and unite the groups who have already organized grassroots communications systems. Mackey is a 48 year resident of Bonny Doon, and over the years has been an active participant and leader in a number of organizations including the Bonny Doon Volunteer Fire Team, the Bonny Doon Preschool, 4H, and currently serves on the Bonny Doon Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and as the volunteer coordinator for the Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve. She is also a member of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) where she participates in regular radio nets and other activities. 

Please join us for this discussion. It’s important that all of Bonny Doon gets on the same page to build the most effective emergency communication network so that no one is left isolated and in the dark during a crisis.