Sycamore Sage Sept. 2011  



PARK UPDATE:  Trails at southeast side of Sycamore Park Drive maybe closed temporarily due to Sunrise Powerlink construction activities.  Additionally, helicopters and heavy machinery may temporarily increase noise levels, dust, and other disturbances; hours of construction are Monday – Saturday, 7:00am to 7:00pm.  For more information on the project, or contact Todd Voorhees at or by telephone at (877) 775-6818.

 The Parks website is  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.


 President’s Message

Terry, Gardner and Carol attended the Joint Powers Authority (JPA) meeting for Goodan Ranch on June 23rd. Dianne Jacob presented the current status of the Stowe trail negotiations with the Military. The frustrating impasse remains. Please read and write:


“Dear Carol­­­­­­­­­­­­­,  


Thank you for your time in reviewing our request. We are seeking a letter of support to send to the Marine Corps to support the effort to secure the Stowe Trail through their property. Ideally, letters will be sent over the next 2-3 weeks.


We are proposing a license agreement that will authorize public use of the historic Stowe Trail that was originally established in the 1800’s and has been used by the public for decades.  This trail is a major link between Goodan Ranch and Sycamore Canyon Preserve to the north and Mission Trails Regional Park and Santee Lakes to the South. The total area is 5.178 acres and approximately 3.56 miles long by 12 feet wide over the existing trail corridor on the eastern edge of MCAS Miramar.


This proposed license agreement that we are requesting support for:


1) authorizes non-motorized public use, during daylight hours, of the existing Stowe Trail alignment as shown on Exhibit A

2) provides improved security for MCAS by discouraging access to existing cross-trails through County’s installation of signage and fencing

3) indemnifies the federal government against claims for injury to trail users

4) transfers maintenance responsibilities of the trail to the County

5) serves both the military community and San Diego County at large by providing regional connectivity to the County’s Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch Preserve, the Trans County Regional Trail, and the City of Poway to the north; to the unincorporated Community of Lakeside to the east; and to the City of San Diego’s Mission Trails Regional Park, the San Diego River Regional Trail to south;  and to the adjacent City of Santee and Santee Lakes.


The letters should be sent to:

Major General Anthony L. Jackson

Commanding General

Marine Corps Installations West

P.O. Box 555200

Camp Pendleton, CA 92055-5200


Please copy our office on your letter.  Thank you for your support!


Janice Downs

Policy Advisor

Supervisor Dianne Jacob

County of San Diego

(619) 531-5522


(JPA continued)

Cailin reported that seven parcels closed escrow – 70 acres – at the southern end of Goodan Ranch Sycamore Canyon Preserve. 

And that eight more 10-acre parcels on the north end have also been added. Construction of the SDG&E towers and helicopter pad have begun. Calle de Rob access to the park has been improved.

Karen, Gardner and Carol attended the Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) Annual Report workshop: 2010 Year in Review on June 29th. For more information check out;;; and


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

Correction to Minutes: Ann Tipps was present at the May 2nd meeting.

The meeting of Aug. 1, 2011 was called to order at 7:30 PM

Members present: Carol & Bob, Gardner, Phoenix and Terry.

Treasurer’s report (submitted later by email): Shows Checking $3,638.66; Savings $409.47; Money Market $422.08; CD $6,853.78; for a total of $11,323.99.

Old Business:

Phoenix and Claude Edwards had a successful Bird hike on May 14th.

                Carol, Terry & Gardner attended the JPA meeting on 13 June.

                Carol & Gardner attended the MSCP meeting 29 June.

                Terry is still waiting to do audit.

New Business:

Phoenix reported on the SD Tracking Survey that coyote sightings are up while bobcat sightings are down. Wood rats have increased to 26, desert as well as Big eared. No Mountain sightings in a year.

The reserve has acquired 150 acres to the south and 113 acres to the north.

A Racers and Chasers event will be held.

Next meeting 7 Nov. 7PM at Poway Coco’s.

The meeting adjourned at 8:10.


Year of the Turtle Conservationists have declared 2011 The Year of the Turtle in an effort to raise public awareness of the precarious state of turtle populations around the world. To learn more visit (AZAD’s Symbiosis July 2011 Issue).

Ramona Grasslands

County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, the San Diego County Parks and Recreation Department and community and wildlife partners on Friday, June 3, opened a four-mile trail in the Ramona Grasslands Preserve, marking the first time the public has been able to experience this unique County preserve along a trail.

“The County and its partners have been working for years to acquire land in the preserve to conserve and restore this vanishing habitat,” said Jacob. “Today, the community can finally venture into the Grasslands and experience what makes the area so special.”

The figure-eight loop in the southwestern portion of the 3,500-acre preserve winds through grasslands, chaparral and oak woodlands, passing a pond and stopping by a viewpoint with 360 degree views.

The trailhead off Highland Valley Road near Archie Moore Road offers a parking area for cars and horse trailers.


Poetry from a Kindred Spirit

By Wayne T. Williams, Ph.d

Tunes of the Western Chaparral

The dissonance of dismantling ecosystems



The coils of that black venomous serpent

Shook nine rattles at the end of his strong body

Struck at us ̶ almost too close for an instant leap away

His jaws agape aimed dual drops of venom

Glistening from his fangs

Enough to stop us easy in a few agonizing hours

He knew it; so did we.

Glaring at us, he was fearless

He was in control,

We leapt away so fast,

Like Olympic stars in the broad jump

So scared, we properly observed

His might and danger, from a discrete distance.

(To read the whole poem see



Peñasquitos Canyon a slice of old California

Preserve is rich in history, natural beauty and wildlife

By Martina Schimitschek 12:01 a.m., June 5, 2011, S.D.Union (article excerpts)

If you go:

Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve Hours: 8 a.m. to sunset. Tours of the Rancho Peñasquitos Adobe are available 11 a.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. Sundays.Cost: Entrance is free. Donations are requested for the adobe tours. Phone: (858) 538-8066 or (858) 484-7504

Online: and

It’s home to everything from rattlesnakes and weasels to mule deer and bobcats. They live among the shady oaks, grasses and marshland of Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve.

Surrounded by suburbia, the 3,700-acre park is an important link in the east-west migration of San Diego County’s wildlife, including the occasional mountain lion.

Up until the 1960s, the land was used to graze cattle. The canyon, with its springs and creek, was part of the first Mexican land grant in California. In 1824, Rancho Santa Maria de los Peñasquitos was given to Capt. Francisco Maria Ruiz, who was the commandant of the San Diego Presidio.

The ranch house started with two primitive adobe huts built by Ruiz in 1823 for his vaqueros. Ruiz, who eventually acquired more than 8,000 acres with a second land grant, never lived there, Gray said. The two small adobe huts were incorporated into a larger more comfortable ranch house, which was expanded by Ruiz’s descendants in 1862.

Water bubbles up in a nearby springhouse. Barnyard chickens and goats add to the ambience.

The history of the rancho is interwoven with the history of California. During the Mexican-American War, it was the first stopping place for Brig. Gen. Stephen Kearny after the defeat in the Battle of San Pasqual in 1846. In the 1880s, Col. Jacob Shell Taylor acquired the land for $15,000. Taylor, one of the founders of Del Mar, wanted to subdivide the land and sell lots for $250, but fell on hard times and had to sell the property.

The land was eventually subdivided in the 1970s, but the city and county of San Diego obtained the canyon for open space.

 “At the heart of the canyon is the creek,” Kucharczyk said. Because of runoff from the surrounding development, the creek now runs year-round. Reeds, cattails, willows, cottonwoods, California sycamores and coast live oaks thrive in the riparian corridor.

Another adobe, part of Ruiz’s second land grant, lies at the west end of the park. Called El Cuervo (the crow), this adobe is in ruins. To protect it from further erosion, it’s fenced off and under a roof.

Long before this land was part of the United States or Mexico, American Indians used the area as a way station on their migrations between the coast and inland areas.

Sitting in the shade of an oak tree by the side of the creek, it’s easy to see why the canyon has been such a popular stopping point for hundreds of years.


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:

We need to keep following 2 issues: the Water District’s San Vicente Pipeline; click on “infrastructure”; then “esp”; then “San Vicente Pipeline” and

SDG&E’s Powerlink: 


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 new 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 theVisitor 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

Sat. Sept. 17 Snakes Encounter at 10AM

Sat. Sept 24 Historical Nature Walk with Karen at 9AM

Sat. Oct 22 Owl Program at 11AM

Fri. Oct. 28 Star Hike at 6 PM

Sat. Nov. 12 Introduction to Geocaching at 9AM

Sat. Nov. 26 Scavenger Hunt at 9:30 AM


JOIN NOW FOR 2011   All Memberships are from 1 January of each year.





City_____________State__________ Zip_______________________________________




____$20 Senior 62 plus          ____$20 Student

____$25 Individual  

____$40 Family

____$100 Patron    

 ___ $250 Corporate        ____$1000 Lifetime




13030 Birch Lane,

 Poway, CA 92064