Spear heads leadership change at Sequoia Riverlands Trust

Sequoia Riverlands Trust Board of Directors names Scott Spear as acting executive director

VISALIA – The organization preserving some of Tulare County’s most breathtaking landscapes have gone back to their roots in search of new leadership.

Scott Spear
Acting Executive Director, SRT

Last month, Sequoia Riverlands Trust, which oversees three, privately owned nature preserves in Tulare County, announced the organization has named Scott Spear as its active executive director.

Spear has farmed most of his adult life in Tulare County and Southern Monterey County and has also been involved with land conservation for the past three decades. He began his conservation work in 1995 with Four Creeks Land Trust, one of predecessor organizations to Sequoia Riverlands Trust (SRT), and then SRT upon its establishment in 2000. Scott served as SRT’s inaugural board chair, a title he held for 14 years.

“Scott has a 20-year history with SRT, which, combined with his experience as a farmer, uniquely positions him as a bridge to our future leadership,” current SRT board chair Mike Olmos said. “Scott was instrumental in the creation of our organization. As acting executive director, he will work closely with a team of senior staff and the board of directors as SRT continues its critical conservation, education, policy, and land management work.”

SRT begins the search for a new executive director from a place of strength and stability, Olmos said, “firmly rooted in our mission to inspire love and lasting protection for important lands. We are committed to our vision of a future where productive farmland and healthy natural systems are protected to generate community vitality and economic prosperity.”

After a sabbatical, Scott returned to the SRT board in 2019. He currently serves on the Tulare County Ag Advisory Committee, which he joined in 2012. Additionally, since 2018 he has served on the California Roundtable for Ag and the Environment. Scott has two married daughters and three grandsons, all living in the Bay area.

“SRT is so grateful for the strong support of our volunteers, staff, ambassadors, and donors,” Spear said. “Their support has made us the robust and vital land trust we are today, and their continuing commitment will ensure the future of SRT’s work.”

SRT preserves at Kaweah Oaks, Homer Ranch, and Dry Creek are open to the public despite closures earlier this year due to impacts from COVID-19 and a devastating wildfire season. Kaweah Oaks Preserve is located a half mile north of Highway 198 on Road 182 in Exeter. It is open every day of the year from 8 a.m. to sunset. There are four marked, clear trails to hike, plus a children’s trail in development and a planned fitness trail that will encompass mind, body and spirit.

Dry Creek Preserve is located 2.5 miles east of Highway 216 on Dry Creek Road in Lemon Cove. It is open every day from 8 a.m. to sunset during the months when fire is not a danger, usually from about Nov. 1 to June 1. The rest of the year, Dry Creek is open on weekends only. Hike or bring your dogs for a visit. Homer Ranch, located east of Dry Creek Preserve, is open on weekends during the non-fire danger months. The ranch offers beautiful spring views for hiking.

Blue Oak Ranch, northeast of Springville, is located near Scicon. The site is open only on special days, with plans in the works for the site to be open permanently. Trails are under construction, and catch-and-release fishing for members is also allowed on some open days. The Springville Archery Club has a set up for practicing and often does demonstrations on open days. Stay tuned as work we to make Blue Oak a regular site for recreation for the east side of Tulare County.

For more information, contact [email protected].

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