Santa Cruz

A Look at the Santa Cruz Mountains Spotlight Stewardship Program

Santa Cruz Mountains pic

Santa Cruz Mountains

Dr. Traci Bliss is an award winning professor and experienced speaker on redwood preservation in the Santa Cruz Mountains. An environmental history writer in Santa Cruz, California, Traci Bliss engages with a number of organizations, including the Santa Cruz Mountains Stewardship Network. She recently received an invitation to join the organization’s Spotlight Stewardship program.

The Santa Cruz Mountains Stewardship Network was established with a goal of promoting safe, effective land use and stewardship practices at both the local and regional level. Through the organization’s Spotlight Stewardship program, prominent and influential community leaders throughout the Bay Area and Santa Cruz region can tour different lands and familiarize themselves with the various challenges facing the stewardship of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

The program is comprised of four distinct sessions, with each session consisting of an on site visit and a discussion on relevant stewardship topics, from issues with water quality to the many threats posed by invasive species. More recent topics of discussion include sustainable approaches to land use and the possible effects of cannabis cultivation. To learn more about the program or to engage in a Spotlight Stewardship tour, please visit

History and Awards – The Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History

A PhD graduate of Stanford University, Dr. Traci Bliss is a recognized local historian and conservationist, a sought after speaker on the topic: “How the Santa Cruz Mountain Redwoods were Saved”. Additionally, Dr. Traci Bliss is the president of the History Forum at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, where she has expanded membership and increased awareness of local history projects and programs. She recently led the Forum on a field trip to the Castro Adobe State Park in northern Watsonville. Built from 1848 to 1849, this is one of the finest examples of a rancho hacienda in the Monterey Bay area.

Dedicated to bringing together visitors and the community through art and history, the nonprofit Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History offers a wide range of hands-on exhibits, programs, and events.

To recognize people who make contributions to local history, the museum presents two awards each year through its History Forum. The honorary title of Distinguished Historian is awarded to a local historian of note whose work consistently promotes Santa Cruz County history.

The Forum also sponsors the Dolkas Award, a grant to support a project committed to raising awareness of local history. Half of the $2,000 award is presented at the forum’s annual dinner event and the other half is presented once the project has been completed.