President’s Report

The month of  May has brought us some unusual rains and welcome clouds. It also brought back the JPA (Joint Powers Authority) meeting which was cancelled in 2014 due to the fires. I am happy to report that more acreage has been acquired for the Reserve and new trails are being prepared. Already open are connections to Sycamore Trails West (a part of Mission Trails). Thank you for your continued support and appreciation of our lovely Preserve.


Minutes of the Friends of Goodan Ranch and  Sycamore Canyon Open Space Preserves
May 11, 2015
Meeting was called to order at 7:05pm

In Attendance:  Carol Crafts, Karen Larsen Gordon, De Anne Erickson, Nancy Ujazdowski, Terry Callan, Ann Tibbs and Timothy Ann Hunt. A quorum was present. Bob Crafts attended as a guest.

-Minutes submitted with one name correction from the February 2, 2015 meeting were moved, seconded and passed.

-Treasurer report:  $16,683 total checking/savings. $1,435 income with $1,280 in expenses. $1,021 in checking $15,622 in savings, with the memorial donation of Chris Yandall distributed and recognized. Memberships continue to be collected for 2015. Terry has filed the 2014 federal and state tax returns.

Ongoing Reporting:

-Tracking report: No report.

-JPA annual meeting is scheduled for May 18th at 12:00 noon at the Visitor’s Center. Carol and DeAnne will attend.

–  New live-in volunteers Cathy and Mike Ovary have been participating in plant surveys.

– Ranger’s Report: Jeffrey remains as full time maintenance. No word on San Diego Thornmint surveys. Materials for the mews have arrived or on order. Well sites explored are not viable for use as a water source for the facilities. Summer programming is now available. Dave Knopp, County ofSan Diego, inquired regarding Friend’s viability. Maureen responded with accolades, particularly regarding Carol’s leadership.

Old Business:

– Monitoring of endangered plants requires accurate weather readings, and the use of a tablet for data inputs. Additional information about specific equipment is to follow meeting further with the San Diego Monitoring and Management Program leaders.

New Business:

– The Goodan Ranch/Sycamore Canyon Open Space Preserve is hosting Movie in the Park on June 6th. It will be ‘The Goonies.’ No funds from Friends have been requested.

– Sunday, May 17th is the Sustainable Scripps Ranch event. Nancy volunteered to join Carol, Phoenix and Karen at the booth.

(Fred Kramer of San Diego Tracking team also joined us).

– Carol is soliciting articles for the June 1st Sycamore Sage.

– A survey is being conducted by the City of Poway Jim Hagey about building a wildlife/pedestrian/equestrian overpass of Highway 67 just north ofPoway Road. An article will be in the June Sycamore Sage.

-Meeting Adjourned at 7:37pm

Next Meeting: Aug 3, 2015 at The Hamburger Factory Restaurant on Midland Rd

Letters: We got mail!

From  Ruth:
I have been a member of the San Diego River Conservancy (SDRC) Board for the last several years.  With limited CA State resources, we have been helping restore and upgrade the river’s watershed.   One of our major goals is Arundo removal along the river and tributary streams.  Perhaps a link to SDRC’s website might be something you could include in Sage.

On the home page is a link to Arundo removal in Sycamore Creek in Santee, near the Santee Lakes.  There is a video (taken by a drone) fly-over of before and after Arundo removal that is very interesting.    An article about the removal is here:

From: Rick of California Chaparral Institute []

The Earth Day Newsletter had a quote from a Father to a son:
“May your dreams and ambitions find the freedom to roam through life and discover the true miracles of the world, and through your efforts may the beauty of the delicate balance of nature be preserved for the joy and appreciation of all mankind. With the greatest of expectations,
All my love, Dad.       Christmas 1975.”

Subject:  Chris Yandall Donation

On Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 4:57 PM, Lafontant, Christine < wrote:

Hi Terry,

I am so sorry for your loss. Your donation will go to the San Diego County Parks Society into an account specific to skateboarding. I have copied Aliah Brozowski who is the District Manager overseeing the Lakeside Skatepark to make her aware that these funds will be available for a skateboarding related project or program.

Thank you for your generosity in honoring your friend.

Christine Lafontant, District Manager

Former professional skateboarder Kanten Russell, now a skatepark designer, stands by a concept drawing of a skatepark for Ramona with Miles and Reed Gunnett and Dillon Webster.
Former professional skateboarder Kanten Russell, now a skatepark designer, stands by a concept drawing of a skatepark for Ramona with Miles and Reed Gunnett and Dillon Webster. Maureen Robertson

Andrea Barnes wrote:

-Chris Yandall used to work for the County of San Diego.  I think it was from 1992-1999.

If something special happens with this it would be great to know about it as I would post it to his fans on Facebook.  He has a worldwide following of skateboarders.

In fact, in last weeks Ramona Sentinel, they had an article about how the 7th graders were being taught the technique of skateboarding called ‘skogging’ that Chris developed.  Click on the image at right for the article.

On-site news:

By Cathy

Early summer is settling in at Goodan Ranch. On the surface the hills seem unchanging, but careful observation reveals plants and animals in constant motion. As on-site volunteers we have front-row seats. White sage and coastal goldenbush are replacing the fading blue mountain lilacs. The kestrel babies have now fledged. Their first flight attempts seemed a bit clumsy. Hummingbirds buzz from back and forth in the flowering sage garden at the ranger station. We often bring out the field guide to identify these beautifully colored little birds. An oriole pair has been enjoying an extended stay in the garden. It is really exciting to see these bright orange birds.  A young red-tailed hawk, affectionately named Cocoa by Ranger Maureen, quickly built a nest and is sitting on it. At night the newly-hatched baby barn owls call for food.

Occasionally we see young coyotes. They watch Annie the boxer dog and me with curiosity when we hike. For her part, Annie looks straight ahead and walks quickly when we see these strange puppies.

Rattlesnakes love the warm rocks and roads. Our two-year-old granddaughter Nora happily pointed out a Southern Pacific rattlesnake sun-bathing outside of the garage. Rattlers like this one are relocated to less traveled areas of the park. Those of us who drive in the park watch carefully for snakes crossing the road.

We check the roads for Poor Will birds as well. At night they look just like rocks. They have to be scooted away by hand so the car can move forward.

Hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians pass by our trailer. These visitors enjoy the park’s beauty and athletic challenge. It’s fun to meet and talk to like-minded people. There have been some less respectful visitors as well. One night we took my sister and nephew, who were visiting from Chicago, to the highway 67 staging area to stargaze. We heard motors and saw vehicle lights near the ridge trail. On investigation the next day, Mike noticed some of the blooming yuccas were cut. Apparently the Lord’s candles are quite valuable. The next day some Jeep vehicles drove off-road in one of the more pristine areas of the park and damaged the chaparral.

Our trailer is a great home for us. All of its working parts are functioning well, including the WiFi and TV. When the hot water started smelling like rotten eggs, Mike replaced the anode rod in the hot water heater. That solved the problem. We planted marigolds, tomatoes, peppers, and carrots in pots in our enclosure. Savannah and Tiny are content at the lovely Sycamore Canyon stables. As I said last month, “life is good.”

From the Poway News Chieftain, May 13, 2015, by J. Henry Jones:

“An online survey is now underway to find out how many people say they would use a proposed pedestrian-equestrian-wildlife bridge over state Highway 67 that would link trails throughout the county.

The results of the survey will be included with a grant application seeking funds that would be used to help build the bridge, which has an estimated $6 million price tag.

The survey is being organized by Jim Hagey, an avid hiker who came up with the concept of the bridge, and has the support of the City of Poway and theCounty of San Diego.

A link to the survey can be found on Poway’s website: (The survey link is found on the city’s home page under the title, ‘Bridge over Highway 67 Being Considered.’)

The bridge would be built across the highway roughly 1.75 miles north of the intersection of Poway Road and Hwy. 67 and would link the Lake Poway/Mt. Woodson/Potato Chip Rock trails to the Iron Mountain trail system to the west across the highway.

San Diego County and the city of Poway have agreed to seek funding sources not only to construct the bridge but also to purchase about 800 acres of land on the western side of Iron Mountain through which additional trails might be constructed linking Ramona to the system.

The vision, as seen by Jim Hagey, an avid hiker, would be to expand the parking lot at the Iron Mountain Trail head making it a centralized hiking hub.

“The bridge could lead to a north/south trail that would extend the entire length of the county,” Hagey said. “It would interconnect all the trails in the county. Otherwise all those trails become a ‘Call Mom Trail,’ — you get to the end and call your mom and say, ‘Drive me back.’”

The survey is short and includes a link to a map showing where the bridge would be built and how the trails would connect.”

Quail Guzzlers of Goodan Ranch and Sycamore Canyon Open Space:

The 2003 Cedar Fire exposed many treasures including Kumeyaay artifacts, homesteader sites and quail guzzlers, in our preserve by removing heavy brush. The treasure hunt continues as more quail guzzlers are being discovered by County staff and Carol Crafts of Friends.

Did you know there is an organization dedicated to repairing and maintaining guzzlers throughout the County of San Diego? According to the website,

“Pheasants Forever launched Quail Forever in August of 2005 to address the continuing loss of habitat suitable for quail and the subsequent quail population decline. Bobwhite population losses over the last 25 years range from 60 to 90 percent across the country. The reason for the quail population plunge is simple – massive losses of habitat suitable for quail. There are five major factors leading to the losses of quail habitat; intensified farming and forestry practices, succession of grassland ecosystems to forests, overwhelming presence of exotic grasses like fescue that choke out wildlife, and urban sprawl.”

Quail Forever has a hunting background, and like Ducks Unlimited, strives to improve overall native habitat and conduct population monitoring. Quail guzzlers provide not only water, but shelter for many small species. Most of our county’s 200 to 300 guzzlers were built between 1948 and 1952 by California Department of Fish and Game, although many of their locations and status have been lost due to construction.

A detailed description of guzzlers may be found at .

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          

June 6th Movies in the Moonlight – enter from Highway 67

June 19th Sunset Star Party – From 67

July 11th –Snakes Encounter – At visitor Center – arrive early and walk down

Aug. 21st –Star Party from 67

Sept. 19th. Sunset Night Hike – call for info

The Parks website is 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.

Events Elsewhere:

  • June 20th – Old Poway Park – Sam Hinton Folk Festival 10:30 – 3PM
  • Museum open 10 – 4.
  • June 20th, July 18th Santee Historical Society Barn Open House 10 – 12.

JOIN NOW FOR       2015

 All Memberships are from 1 January of each year.




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Poway, CA 92064
The Sycamore Sage