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    Sonoma County, California

    1122 Acres | March 25, 2013
    Thelma Doelger Animal and Wildlife Preserve Trust
    Conservation Easement

    In 2013 the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust (HSWLT) was selected by the Thelma Doelger Animal and Wildlife Preserve Trust to permanently protect an extraordinary 1,122-acre wilderness property in Sonoma County, California. As with all properties protected by HSWLT, the land is forever protected against development and destructive logging practices, and all commercial and recreational hunting and trapping are prohibited. These restrictions are in line with Thelma Doelger’s wishes for the property and its wild inhabitants.

    Mature forests, including redwoods, oak woodland, Douglas fir and tanoak forests, cover nearly 90 percent of the sanctuary, with grasslands and mixed chaparral comprising the rest. Portions of the property provide habitat for the Northern spotted owl and marbled murrelet, both listed as a threatened species under the Federal Endangered Species Act, along other species of concern such as Humboldt marten, Pacific fisher, Del Norte salamander, coho and chinook salmon.

    Robert Koons, HSWLT executive director said: “It’s an honor and an exciting opportunity. The biodiversity on this land is exceptional. In fact, it’s one of the highest priority areas for conservation in the region because of its diversity of rare species, the quality and variety of its habitats and the connectivity it provides for wildlife across the broader landscape. The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust is delighted to carry forward Thelma Doelger’s compassionate vision, and we are deeply grateful to both her and the Trustees for the opportunity to be responsible for protecting this significant landscape and all of its wildlife.”

    Originally used as a family retreat, the property also became a sanctuary for primates formerly used in research. Thelma Doelger took the primates in and provided safe, healthy housing and caregivers for them, expressly to ensure they would have a peaceful life and humane care for their remaining years.

    The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust intends to provide a permanent sanctuary for wild animals to live free of direct, human-caused persecution and habitat destruction and to conserve the ecological integrity and connectivity of the land for wildlife throughout the Thelma Doelger Wildlife Preserve and Sanctuary.

    Whenever HSWLT accepts a property for protection, we have an obligation to perform periodic inspections to ensure that the wildlife habitat remains in good condition and that the terms of the conservation easements are being met. These inspections, and the handling of any destruction or violations, cost heavily in professional staff time, consultants, and travel expenses. In addition HSWLT needs a reserve of funds for the substantial legal fees needed if enforcement of violations involves court action. If you can help with the cost of stewardship for HSWLT properties, please donate here.

    Hawks Close-up

    With a hooked beak and talons perfect for catching and tearing meat, the hawk is an efficient hunter capable of great speed and precision.


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