Last updated May 25, 2024

Together with the City of Sonoma, we are partnering with Perennial Grazing to bring grazers to Montini Open Space Preserve from May 25-June 4, 2024. By grazing at the Preserve, the sheep will perform much-needed fire fuel reduction work. Last year, the sheep also did their fire reduction work on June 2-12, 2023.

The method, developed in South Africa, uses specific grazing techniques to improve plant diversity, increase carbon sequestration, and reduce litter cover.

Besides sustainably controlling flammable invasive grasses, the project allows our researchers to study the effects of grazing on this oak savannah/grassland ecosystem with a focus on water storage, native species cover, biodiversity, oak regeneration, and carbon sequestration. Sonoma Ecology Center manages the land on behalf of the City of Sonoma, which owns the 98-acre open space. We are excited to continue to bring grazing onto the land as an ecological approach to managing grasslands and reducing fire risk for the community. 

Sonoma Ecology Center has a long track record of successfully protecting Sonoma Valley’s open spaces. We do this by identifying opportunities for preservation and working with partners to establish or expand protected areas. We also help manage land to maximize multiple ecological benefits. To date, we have helped protect or to manage over 5,000 acres of Sonoma Valley land.

Please be mindful of the grazers if you hike at the Montini Open Space Preserve this week!