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 ( 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 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. 

Next Public Meeting – From the Ashes: Insight From Paradise and Sonoma Communities as We Rebuild

Virtual Meeting: Wednesday December 9, 7:30 p.m.

email for meeting credentials

NOTE: We have been experiencing intermittent problems with this new email address, so please cc

Our community has been forever changed by the CZU August Lightning Complex Fires. There have been so many poignant and inspirational accounts of the wildfires on social media, and in local and statewide media. Together these stories illustrate the strength of our community as we responded to the wildfire with coordinated action, bravery, and compassion for our neighbors. Our hearts are with all our whole community, as each and every one of us are engaged in efforts to rebuild or restore our homes, support the needs of others, and work to preserve the spirit of our wonderful community. 

At our December public meeting, we will be hosting two speakers from communities that have also suffered the devastation of wildfires, Jennifer Gray Thompson and Charles Brooks. They will share their experiences from living in the aftermath of a wildfire, the process of rebuilding their communities, and will be available to answer questions about what the next few weeks, months and years might hold. Ryan Coonerty,  3rd District County Supervisor, and Rachel Dann, 3rd District County Supervisor’s Analyst, will also be participating. 

Please join us.

Jennifer Gray Thompson is a lifelong resident of the Sonoma Valley. She graduated from Dominican University with dual degrees in English and History. After teaching high school AP English for 10 years, Jennifer went on to earn a master’s degree in Public Administration from University of Southern California’s Price School of Public Policy. Post-graduate school, Jennifer worked for the County of Sonoma from 2013 to 2017 for the Board of Supervisors.  After the devastating fires of October 2017, she accepted her current position as Executive Director of Rebuild Northbay Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping our region rebuild better, greener, safer, and faster. Jennifer is a proud board member of La Luz Center, a resource and referral nonprofit serving primarily the Latino community in Sonoma Valley. She is also Vice Chair of the Springs Community Alliance. 

Charles Brooks is a graduate of CSU Chico with a degree in Business Administration. Charles and his wife Jennifer have lived in Butte County since 1998 and lost their home in the Camp Fire of 2018.  Brooks is an Eagle Scout and has been involved in several volunteer civic organizations including: Boy Scouts of America, Students in Free Enterprise, Butte County Search & Rescue, Paradise Citizens’ Alliance and coached his boys’ soccer teams for many years. Founding Rebuild Paradise was an easy choice and necessary step to assist the Butte County community to recover in a meaningful way over the many years to come.

Participating in the Virtual Public Meeting

Zoom ( 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. 

Here are details for accessing and participating in this meeting (these can also be viewed at our website 

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

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

Our hearts are with all our loved family, friends and community members who have been impacted by the CZU August Lightening Complex Fire.

Please reach out to us at if we can be of any assistance. Below are some resources compiled by the Santa Cruz Sentinel

RESOURCES TO GET HELP                               

from 8/25/20 Santa Cruz Sentinel


General evacuee disaster assistance, such as housing, food and other associated needs. Visit disasterassistance. gov to apply. Spanish- speaking survivors: Survivors can also call 800-621-3362 for any questions and assistance.

PROPERTY TAX RELIEF: If your property is damaged or destroyed by wildfire, you may be eligible for property tax relief under Revenue and Taxation Code section 170. To qualify you must file a claim within the time specified in your county ordinance, or 12 months from the date of damage or destruction, whichever is later. The loss must be at least $10,000 of current market value to qualify. Contact your local County Assessor or visit BOE Property Tax Disaster Relief at proptaxes/disaster-relief.htm for more information or to file a claim.

INSURANCE RESOURCES: Helpful information is available through United Policyholders (UP), a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization for insurance consumers that was formed in 1991 to help victims of Northern California wildfires. UP’s Roadmap to Recovery at programs/roadmap-to-recovery offers free insurance guidance, tools, and resources for disaster victims. Answers to frequently asked questions about first steps to take, policy coverage, and what to expect can be found on the website, https://www.uphelp. org/.


U.S. Small Business Administration Virtual Business Recovery Center and Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center for Lighting Complex fire-related difficulties, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday. Email or call 916-735-1500. Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future. Economic injury assistance for small businesses is available to businesses regardless of any property damage.


Customers served out of Davenport and Scotts Valley are directed to go to the Santa Cruz Main Post Office, 850 Front St. Santa Cruz. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday.


Evacuees may see if they qualify for CalFresh food assistance by applying at or mybenefitscalwin. org, at 888-421-8080 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. Paper applications at 18 W. Beach St., Watsonville or 1020 Emeline Ave., Santa Cruz.


Free loads of laundry from evacuees at the Laundry Room, 419 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz. 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 831-471-8141 , laundryroomseabright. com.


Through a partnership between Santa Cruz County and the California Emergency Medical Services Authority, a temporary medical clinic with a range of medical services, including pharmaceutical services and physicians on-site to assist patients throughout the day has opened at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, 2601 E. Lake Ave., Watsonville.


The Red Cross maintains an online and fireresources.aspx for updated open/closed shelter and hotel locations. Safe parking locations also available.

• Harbor High School, 300 La Fonda Ave., Santa Cruz. 

• Cabrillo College (gymnasium), 6500Soquel Ave., Aptos. 

• Santa Cruz Bible Church, 440Frederick St., Santa Cruz. 

• Congregational Church of Soquel, 4951Soquel Drive, Soquel. 

• Simpkins Swim Center, 97917th Ave., Santa Cruz. 

• Lakeview Middle School, 2350E. Lake Ave., Watsonville. Open for outdoor camping with limited indoor capacity.

No-cost disaster relief accommodations may be available through Airbnb. Visit disaster-relief to register and learn more.

Animal boarding is available at 831-454-7200. Horses and other large animals are being welcomed at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, with overflow capacity available at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.


Scotts Valley Police Department is responding to a high level of requests to regain access to evacuated homes and businesses. From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, officers only will respond to essential requests to retrieve medicine and medical equipment that cannot be accessed elsewhere, will lock homes or businesses and turn off sprinklers. Officers will accompany people to get their left-behind pets; to get work vehicles, tools or items directly related to their livelihood for one visit only; to retrieve a friend or family member in need of evacuation. Access requests to retrieve personal items or to turn off propane tanks will not be granted. Call police dispatch at 831-440-5670. Wait times may be hours long.

Virtual Public Meeting this week!

Communications & Power Infrastructure in Bonny Doon 

Wednesday, August 5, 7:30 p.m. 

Zoom Video Conference Meeting 

The RBDA will be organizing a series of meetings over the next year to discuss the many critical issues surrounding the safety of our community. For the first meeting, we have assembled a panel of experts to discuss communications and electric power infrastructure issues. 

Panel members will include:

Ryan CoonertyCounty Supervisor, 3rd District

Rachel Dann – County Supervisor’s Analyst, 3rd District

Bettye Saxon – Central Coast External Affairs Regional Director, AT&T

Maureen McCartyDistrict Director for Assemblymember Mark Stone

Kate Beck Public Utilities Regulatory Analyst, Public Advocates Office, California Public Utilities Commission

Jeana Arnold Local Public Affairs, Central Coast Division, PG&E

Lennies M. Gutiérrez – Director of Government Affairs, South Bay and Southern Peninsula – Comcast California 

The 2018 Camp Fire was a wakeup call for all Californians. A great deal has changed since Bonny Doon was last threatened by the Martin (2008) and Lockheed (2009) fires. At that time, Bonny Doon residents had copper wire phone service and received reverse 911 phone calls in time to evacuate. The copper wire infrastructure was reliable and robust. During winter storms it was not uncommon for the power to go out for days, but the phones still worked. Today many people have only mobile phones and/or internet based voice over internet protocol (VOIP) phone service. As a result, during winter storms, it is now common to be without internet services for days, even after power has been restored. In the past, a temporary loss of phone service was considered mostly an inconvenience. However, as traffic and the cost of housing has gotten worse, more people are choosing to live and work remotely (and the pandemic has required and accelerated this), so a service loss can have severe economic consequences. Furthermore, with PG&E’s Public Service Power Shutoff events, we are now contemplating a future where, during wildfire season, the only line of communication people have is vulnerable. 

At our August public meeting we will discuss three main topics with an expert panel comprised of the different communications and power stakeholders, including internet service providers, traditional telecommunication providers, power utilities, and local government. First, how does the current communication infrastructure work—from our personal communication devices, to the network infrastructure outside our homes, to data centers operated by internet service providers and power utilities? Second, what can be done today to be better prepared as an individual, community, local government, and/or non-governmental stake holder? Third, what might the future of communication infrastructure in small rural communities look like, and what kind of infrastructure and technologies should we advocate?

Please join us for this important discussion on power and communication infrastructure. We need your input!

Open House on PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutdowns (PSPS) on June 24th at 5:30 p.m.

PG&E is hosting an online Open House regarding wildfire safety for the Central Coast counties of Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey Counties that is open to the public. It will be held on June 24, 2020 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Register for the webinar here.