Welcome to Goodan Ranch!

For those seeking solitude and recreation in a scenic natural setting, Goodan Ranch and Sycamore Canyon Open Space Preserves have much to offer. Visitors can hike along miles of trails, where they will enjoy grand vistas, abundant wildlife, and interesting reminders of the long and varied history of man’s use of the area.

Sycamore Canyon consists of 1700 acres of coastal sage scrub and chaparral-covered hills nestled between the cities of Poway and Santee. Bordering on the west side and stretching through the valley floor is the 325-acre Goodan Ranch, a mix of diverse habitats including grassland, riparian, coastal sage, oak woodland, and mixed chaparral.

Goodan Ranch is rich in early American history. Present day structures at the preserve date back to the 1930s, when it was a working ranch. Today, Goodan Ranch is jointly managed by the cities of Poway and Santee, the California Department of Fish and Game, and the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation.

Goodan Ranch and Sycamore Canyon are enjoyable for their peaceful solitude, recreation opportunities, and beauty. You’ll find a multitude of different plant and animal habitats, including coastal sage scrub, southern mixed chaparral, oak woodlands, riparian, and native grasslands.

Common plants include California sagebrush, buckwheat, chamise, lilac, manzanita, lemonadeberry, coast live oak, sycamores, arroyo willow, and various native grasses. Mule deer, coyote, bobcat, rattlesnakes, and birds such as California gnatcatchers, Hutton’s vireos, and scrub jays are among some of the wildlife you may discover.

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Sage September 2014

President’s Report

The photo above was taken before the 2003 fire.

I received the following letter from Garner.

On Jun 9, 2014, at 11:29 AM, Gardner Grady wrote:

“Hi Carol,

I regret to request that you remove me from the Board of the Friends of Goodan Ranch. I am focusing my attention more on my family life and am cutting back on meetings and boards. I am still interested in Goodan Ranch/Sycamore Canyon and will try to make the JPA meetings. I still find it very frustrating that I can no longer legally get from Santee to Goodan Ranch. Thank you for all you do and my best wishes for all of you in the future.

Thank you, Gardner”

We are all grateful for the many years Gardner has served with the Friends.We look forward to seeing him at the Ranch or at the Poway Parade Sept. 6th. Carol

Minutes of the Friends of Goodan Ranch and Sycamore Canyon Open Space Preserves

Aug 4, 2014

Call to order at 7:10

In Attendance:  Carol, Phoenix, De Anne, Ann, Terry. A quorum was present.

-Treasurer report:  $14113 total checking/savings

-Poway Historical Society 50th anniversary Sept 13 Historic Tour; Sept 14 Rummage sale & speakers.

-Gift for Chris Yandall discussed and agreed to make $100 donation to County Park Society in Chris’s name

-JPA annual mtg was cancelled. No reschedule yet

-Maureen did not give Friends report

-Friends web site: keep domain name, access to be given to Andrea Barnes who will post and maintain

- Scripps Ranch event 5/18 attended by Carol, Karen and Phoenix

-Movie in the Park: 8/30 Frozen at dusk

-Tracking report due 8/8 from Phoenix

-Poway Parade: 9/6am, Nancy is Chair person, $250 sponsorship, $100 for 2 magnetic signs for Nancy’s truck

-Vince Rossi author of Stowe article will be speaker at Historical Society

-Gardner Grady resigned as VP 6/9, Ann agreed to take VP position. Thanks Ann.

-How to recruit new members?

- Thornmint work group will meet 9/26 in USGS conference room

-Adjourn 8:04pm


Did you see the County Magazine? – one of our Friends is featured

Ranger Paul with friends

Did you see 92064magazine.com Aug/Sept issue? Poway Historical Society is featured. Join them as they celebrate 50 years on Sept 14th,. A huge rummage sale will be on the south side of the building housing the museum and the Hamburger Factory from 9 – 1. Speakers at 11 include Vince Rossi, San Diego Story Seeker.


Santee Historical Society is having a “Barn-B-Q” on Sat Sept 20th. New  members joining that day get lunch at member price of $2.50. Guests pay $5.00.

The Barn is on Magnolia Ave., Santee.


Blue Sky Ecological Reserve has an afternoon of natured-themed activities beginning at 1pm on Sat. Oct. 11th to celebrate their 25thAnniversary.

Rendezvous in Poway takes place in Old Poway Park
Oct 4th 10 – 4pm and Oct 5th 10 – 2PM
The Barn Dance will be Oct 3rd at 7 PM

Exerpts from the “Chararralian”, Rick Halsey’s latest letter, follow; see his web page for wonderful photos.

“The rate of high-severity fire has been lower since 1984 than the estimated historical rate. Responses of fire behaviour to climate change and fire suppression may be more complex than assumed …Management could shift from a focus on reducing extent or severity of fire in wildlands to protecting human communities from fire.”“Fellow Chaparralian,

A severely burned forest  is not a “destroyed” forest, but rather a habitat restored.

That is not something you are likely to hear during or after the next large forest fire in the Sierra Nevada. It certainly wasn’t during the 2013 Rim Fire in Yosemite and theStanislaus National Forest. It should have been, however, because the science is clear – severely burned forests provide some of rarest and most biodiverse habitats on earth.

Severely burned forests should be left alone, protected, and allowed to thrive without our meddling. This is why we are fighting to stop “salvage” logging  and “reforestation” plans in the forest burned by the Rim Fire. The Forest Service will make a decision about what they will to do in a few weeks. Stay tuned.


For more on the Rim Fire, please visit our webpage here:

The latest research questioning the notion that high severity fires in the Sierra Nevada are “unnatural:”

“Our results suggest that wildfire burning under extreme weather conditions, as is often the case with fires that escape initial attack, can produce large areas of high-severity fire even in fuels-reduced forests with restored fire regimes.
Lydersen, J.M., M.P. North, B.M. Collins. 2014. Severity of an uncharacteristically large wildfire, the Rim Fire, in forests with relatively restored frequent fire regimes. Forest Ecology and Management 328: 326-334.

“Proposals to reduce fuels and fire severity would actually reduce, not restore, historical forest heterogeneity important to wildlife and resiliency. Sierran mixed-conifer forests are inherently dangerous places to live, which cannot be changed without creating artificial forests over large land areas. However, people can adapt to fires by channeling development to safer areas and modifying ignition zones near houses and communities to survive fire.”
- Baker, W.L. 2014. Historical forest structure and fire in Sierran mixed-conifer forests reconstructed from General Land Office survey data. Ecosphere 5: 1-70

“The rate of high-severity fire has been lower since 1984 than the estimated historical rate. Responses of fire behaviour to climate change and fire suppression may be more complex than assumed …Management could shift from a focus on reducing extent or severity of fire in wildlands to protecting human communities from fire.”
Hanson C.T. and D.C. Odion. 2014. Is fire severity increasing in the Sierra Nevada, California, USA? International Journal of Wildland Fire 23: 1-8.

Dead Birds: Dead less than 24 hours – no obvious damage – do Not freeze. Call 1-888-551-4636.Weekends: 858-565-5255

Have you found an injured or orphaned bird or mammal in San Diego County?

Call Project Wildlife at 619-225-9202. See their web site at: www.projectwildlife.org

Events at Goodan Ranch/Sycamore Canyon:

Over ten miles of trails and service roads open to hiking, mountain biking and equestrian use.  Preserve visitors are welcome to visit our visitor center.  Live animals and exhibits on Goodan History, Cedar Fire, Kumeyaay and the MSCP are on display.

Events, hikes and programs start at various Preserve locations.  Some require a one mile walk from Goodan Ranch staging to the Visitor Center. ALLOW ½ HOUR TO PARK AND WALK TO THE VISITOR’S CENTER.  Please check descriptions closely.  No vehicular traffic is permitted in the Preserve.  Transportation for those with disabilities can be arranged, by calling the ranger at (858)513-4737. Goodan staging area accessed from Poway Rd. east on Garden Rd, then south on Sycamore Canyon Rd.  Sycamore Canyon Rd. ends at parking lot.

Highway 67 staging area accessed through SOUTHBOUND Highway 67 only, half a mile south of Scripps Poway Parkway.

All events are free.  For information or to make event reservations call (858)513-4737 or email Justin.Gibbons@sdcounty.ca.gov.          

The Parks website is www.sdparks.org. See


During rainy weather and post rainy weather the Parks Preserves are closed for safety and damage control due to muddy, wet trails and roads.  Please check the Parks website or call the ranger’s office at 858-513-4737 for Preserve status.

Aug 30th Movie – Frozen Enter from Highway 67 by sunset

Sept. 19 Star Party at sunset

Sept 27 Snake Encounter at 9AM

Oct. 17 Star party at sunset

Oct 25 Scavenger Hunt 9AM

Nov. 21 Star Party at sunset

What am I?

JOIN NOW FOR     2014 

 All Memberships are from 1 January of each year.




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____$25 Individual

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____$100 Patron

___ $250 Corporate    ____$1000 Lifetime



13030 Birch Lane,

Poway, CA 92064

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