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In 1985, the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County was formed when the Santa Ynez Valley Land Trust and Carpinteria Valley Land Trust combined to serve the entire county. Today, the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County has helped to preserve nearly 24,000 acres of natural resource and agricultural land, including the Arroyo Hondo Preserve, Sedgwick Reserve, Carpinteria Bluffs, Coronado Butterfly Preserve, Point Sal, Carpinteria Salt Marsh and several ranches on the Gaviota Coast. The Land Trust works to preserve and enhance our county’s natural open spaces and agricultural heritage for present and future generations. The Land Trust:
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• Acquires and protects land with natural, agricultural, scenic, recreational and/or historical significance through fair market transactions.
• Shares our knowledge of land conservation strategies with local landowners, planners, public agencies and other conservation organizations.
• Facilitates private conservation of agricultural lands.
• Educates the community through field trips with experts in ecology, agriculture and the arts.

The Land Trust is a sponsoring member of the national Land Trust Alliance (LTA), and has adopted policies, based on the model LTA Standards & Practices, governing land project selection, due diligence, monitoring and stewardship, ethical fundraising, financial and asset management, and conflict of interest.

Who We Are

The Land Trust is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is supported by over 900 members and governed by a volunteer board of trustees. Our conservation projects receive financial support from landowners, individuals, foundations and government grant and tax incentive programs. Our non-profit tax identification number is 95-3797404.

View our 2014 audited financial statements or our 2014 Form 990.

Chet Work, Executive Director

Chet has spent the better part of the past ten years working to ensure that family farms and ranches in Wyoming and Idaho continue to thrive in a landscape that has been under significant development pressure. He holds a Masters of Environmental Management from Duke University and conducted post-graduate study in natural history and environmental education at the Teton Science School in Jackson, Wyoming. He is a graduate of the rigorous Executive Leadership Program through the Land Trust Alliance, the umbrella organization for the 1,700 land trusts through-out the country.

Chet was raised in Colorado, but moved several times in his youth. He claims the one consistent thing he had across all the locations he lived in was the outdoors. His passion for fishing, hiking and exploring the world around him built a land ethic and an understanding of the importance of open spaces and habitat. He is a passionate fly-fisherman and birdwatcher, but is most excited about sharing the local mountains and tide pools with his wife Leigh and three young children. “My passion for conservation is fueled by a desire to see my children enjoy the same wildlife, open space and scenic views I have enjoyed throughout my life,” he said.

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Bruce Reitherman, Conservation Director

Bruce discovered his passion for wildlife, wilderness travel and reliance on the bare necessities early in life and pursued his interest in the natural world by making television nature documentaries for more than two decades. The birth of his daughter ten years ago compelled a desire to refocus closer to home and a return to his biologist roots.  He now provides environmental consulting services to a variety of clients that includes document review and preparation, field surveys, compliance monitoring, habitat restoration, and research; he also serves on the Santa Barbara Channel Keepers Board.  Bruce became Conservation Manager for the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County in 2012 and was promoted to Conservation Director in 2015.

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Judy Jennings, Accounting manager

Judy Jennings joined the team as Accounting Manager in 2013. She holds an MBA from Stanford University and has over 40 years of accounting and management experience. Her non-profit experience includes 10 years as Executive Director of an industry association, 3 years as CFO of the United Boys & Girls Clubs of SB County and numerous non-profit board positions

In the month prior to interviewing for this position, she had hiked or visited 4 of the Land Trust properties. Judy has a great love for the outdoors and participated in Summit for Danny Patagonia, walked 3 times from Santa Barbara to Malibu in the Avon 3Day Walks, and trekked in Nepal on the Annapurna circuit.

carrie-1-5Carrie Mullen, Development director

Carrie Mullen comes to the team after twenty years as a non-profit executive specializing in strategic partnerships, programmatic diversification, marketing, and revenue advancement. After devoting much of her life to work with the University of Minnesota, West Virginia University, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC, this native Californian is very happy to be home!
Carrie achieved a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Political Science, from the University of California, Irvine, and a Master of Arts in Government and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. She has a passion for land and agriculture that dates back to her early years as an avid gardener and fondly remembers transplanting wild yarrow from her parents’ yard into empty peanut cans. She has been a California Certified Nursery Professional since her undergraduate years, active in community gardening projects (including Dowling Community Gardens in Minneapolis—believed to be one of the last remaining Victory Gardens still in use), and is a Master Gardener in Minnesota, Maryland, and West Virginia.

Nancy Martin, administrative coordinator

The work of the Land Trust, preservation and conservation of land and nature is important to Nancy as a grandmother. As a small fish in a larger pond she leaves for the grandchildren a way of being in this world, teaching by example. The next generation will benefit greatly from this attitude. As an artist and grassroots volunteer Nancy is inspired by the beauty of this land and simultaneously held by the quality of consciousness in this community. The mission of The Land Trust supports her intention of right mind, right speech and right livelihood. As a volunteer Nancy is actively involved in the Hospice community as an Anamcara Apprentice and Reiki Master.

Jennifer Stroh
Jennifer Stroh, Membership Coordinator

Jennifer is a conservationist, holding a BS in Zoology from UCSB, and has coordinated a number of programs for local nonprofits and academic institutions with an emphasis in fostering the connection between people, wildlife and land. Over the past 15 years, she has worked as the Vertebrate Collections Assistant Curator at UCSB’s Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration, Plover Conservation Coordinator at Coal Oil Point Reserve, and Aviary Specialist at the SB Zoo. She has assisted in several research projects relating to bird conservation, including a study on brood parasitism in southeastern Texas and a recovery program for cape griffins in South Africa. As Membership and Outreach Coordinator, she will continue to bridge the gap between people and our natural world. What Jennifer appreciates most about the Land Trust are the members who make it happen, the sophisticated staff who keep it ‘real’ and a dynamic Board of Trustees who are willing, active, and provide skillful direction to run a dynamic nonprofit.

Graham W LTSBCGraham Wesolowski, Conservation Associate

Graham works to manage the Land Trust’s annual easement monitoring program, generate a computer mapping system, and help with the important work of seeking out new protection opportunities, not just through data management and resource research, but the old fashioned way, one handshake at a time.

A graduate from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, Graham came to the Land Trust with a background in ecological restoration, research and conservation planning and spent the previous 6 years restoring habitats up and down the coast of California. He has worked as a part of the Habitat Restoration Team in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, as a member of AmeriCorps at the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County, and most recently as a Conservation Intern with the Irvine Ranch Conservancy.

Jennifer Dunn & John Warner, Arroyo Hondo Preserve co-Managers

John has a great deal of experience when it comes to managing visitor activities and being responsible for overseeing business planning. John has a degree in Business Administration from California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, California and experience as a Production manager which comes in handy for scheduling and managing large groups of people. In addition to working at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, John has three associate degrees from Santa Barbara City College in Nursery Production and Operations, Landscape Contracting, and Landscape Irrigation and owns his own California native plant nursery, Santa Barbara Natives, since 2003. John and his wife Jenn have been managing the Arroyo Hondo Preserve for over 8 years.

Jennifer is a very social person who has had experience as an event coordinator for Hind, an athletic apparel company in San Luis Obispo, California where she managed and scheduled public events and trade shows. Jennifer is a Registered Nurse who has been working at Cottage Hospital since 2003.

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Sally Isaacson, education Coordinator

Sally is the Volunteer Coordinator for Arroyo Hondo Preserve where she works closely with the docents who lead programs for school children and adults. She also coordinates volunteers for habitat restoration and trail keeping work days and for special events.
Sally was formerly Director of Education for the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden where she worked for twenty years in a variety of positions. She has taught at Allan Hancock College and at a variety of levels in the public schools. She has an M.A. in Botany and several teaching credentials. Sally enjoys writing and nature photography and she contributes regular “Backroad Discoveries” articles with photographs for the Santa Ynez Valley Guest Magazine. She also teaches occasional classes for the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Sally and her daughter run a herd of beef cattle on the family ranch (which is protected by a conservation easement) near Lompoc.


If you are interested in joining our intern program, please email Jennifer Stroh, Membership Coordinator, to learn about our available positions.

Intern Alumni: Marta Mazess (Conservation) Shelan Zuhdi (Photography) Paige Crane (Community Outreach), Caroline Bargo (Community Outreach), Niki Beigi (Next Generation of Conservationists), Sean Harwood (Next Generation of Conservationists)

2015 Board of Trustees and Advisory Council

The Land Trust Board of Trustees and Advisory Council are community members with diverse backgrounds including ranching, law, land use and environmental planning, biology, teaching, banking, business, park management, real estate and community volunteer work. Both the Board and Advisory Council bring expertise, volunteer hours and a conservation commitment to the success of the Land Trust.

Board of Trustees

Greg Parker, Santa Barbara, President
Kenneth Marshall, Santa Barbara, Vice President
Richard Nagler, Ballard, Vice President
Warren Miller, Santa Barbara, Secretary
Erik Gregersen, Solvang, Treasurer
Carla D’Antonio, Santa Barbara
Carolyn Chandler, Santa Barbara
Bradley Lundgren, Santa Barbara
Maurie McGuire, Santa Barbara
Sheri Overall, Santa Barbara
Jim Phillippi, Santa Barbara
Christine Riesenfeld, Santa Barbara
Sandy Seale, Santa Barbara
Scott Van Der Kar, Carpinteria

Honorary Trustee

David H. Anderson

Advisory Council

Duncan Abbott, Carpinteria • Peter Adams, Santa Barbara • Susan Basham, Santa Barbara
Vera Bensen, Carpinteria Chris Chapman, Goleta J.J. Hollister, Santa Barbara
Eric Hvolboll, Gaviota Nancy Johnson, Santa Maria Oralee Kiewit, Montecito
     Barbara Margerum, Montecito Kerry Mormann, Santa Barbara • Mike Noling, Santa Barbara
Jack Overall, Santa Barbara Jim Poett, Lompoc Robert Renaud, Santa Barbara
Ted Rhodes, Carpinteria • Orrin Sage, Santa Barbara • Richard & Thekla Sanford, Buellton
Vince Semonsen, Santa Barbara • Seth Streeter, Santa Barbara 
Arturo Tello, Carpinteria • Susan Van Atta, Santa Barbara Joe Weiland, Santa Barbara

Mission Statement

The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County protects natural resources, agricultural land and open spaces for the benefit of present and future generations.

What We Do

Since 1985, The Land Trust has worked with willing landowners, public and private grant agencies and other community organizations to protect, restore and manage open space, wildlife habitat and agricultural land in Santa Barbara County by:
• Acquiring land and conservation easements through negotiation with willing private property owners, through charitable donation and purchase.
• Creating conservation plans, restoration projects and incentives for landowners. Raising private donations and grants from government, foundations and  corporations to support land conservation.
• Promoting the preservation, stewardship and restoration of wildlife habitat and watershed resources on the land we protect.
• Educating both children and adults about ecology, agriculture and conservation through programs and events at Land Trust preserves. To date, The Land Trust has protected nearly 24,000 acres of land and has completed or is underway on close to twenty habitat restoration, open space and trail projects.

Land Trust Ethics & Practices

The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County prides itself on a history of high professional standards and ethical practices. To ensure that this tradition of excellence continues, the Land Trust board, staff and volunteers are informed of, and are expected to follow, a number of policies adopted by the Board of Trustees. These include:

Code of Ethics
A Donor’s Bill of Rights
Policy on Conflict of Interest, Board Compensation and Insider Transactions
Whistleblower Policy
Policy on the Receipt, Ownership Sale and Transfer of Marketable Securities
Land and Conservation Easement Project Selection Criteria and Checklists

In 2005, the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County Board of Trustees resolved to implement the revised and expanded Land Trust Standards and Practices, developed in 2004 by the 1,700-member national Land Trust Alliance to serve as the ethical and technical guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust.

For more detailed information on the Standards and Practices visit the Land Trust Alliance.


The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, awarded accredited status to the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County in May 2009 and our accreditation was renewed in 2014 per the Alliance’s five-year cycle.

“Accredited land trusts meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever,” said Commission Executive Director Tammara Van Ryn. “The accreditation seal lets the public know that the accredited land trust has undergone an extensive, external review of the governance and management of its organization and the systems and policies it uses to protect land.”

“Our accredited status demonstrates to the landowners, donors, foundations and government partners we work with that they can rely on the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County to provide solid, lasting conservation projects,” said Executive Director Chet Work. “Our land trust is a stronger organization today having gone through the rigorous accreditation and renewal program.”

The local Land Trust has protected nearly 24,000 acres of high quality wildlife habitat, ranch and farmland and community open space preserves.

Community leaders in land trusts throughout the country have worked with willing landowners to save over 37 million acres of farms, forests, parks and places people care about. Strong, well-managed land trusts provide local communities with effective champions and caretakers of their critical land resources, and safeguard the land through the generations.

Accredited land trusts are able to display a seal indicating to the public that they meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent. The seal is a mark of distinction in land conservation.

“We are proud to display the accreditation seal, for it’s a great honor to have our program receive this national recognition,” said Land Trust President Greg Parker. “The accreditation process was a challenging one, but the net result is that the policies and procedures we’ve put in place make us a more effective, and credible, steward of the natural resources we are committed to protecting.”

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., awards the accreditation seal to community institutions that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance established in 2006, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts from around the country. The Alliance, of which the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County is a member, is a national conservation group based in Washington, D.C. that works to save the places people love by strengthening conservation throughout America.

More information on the accreditation program is available on the Commission’s website. More information on the Land Trust Alliance is available here.

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