The Natural Communities Coalition - Coordinating Science and Land Management across the Conserved Land Network of Central & Coastal Orange County.

Speaker: Milan J. Mitrovich, Ph.D.

Date: May 18, 2017 (doors open 7:00 pm, Speaker at 7:30 pm)

Location: Duck Club, Irvine (Directions)

Orange County is the smallest county in southern California, yet it is one of the richest in public lands with over 55,000 acres of open space. Mountain slopes, rolling hills, coastal valleys, seaside terraces, and pristine beaches characterize the county. It is no accident that Orange County sets aside so much land for public access.

The natural and open spaces in Orange County such as Crystal Cove State Park, Irvine Ranch Open Space, the Laguna Greenbelt, and various regional parks make up a tapestry of land moved from private ownership, preserved by citizen groups, mandated by state and federal laws, and set aside as natural spaces for the protection of wildlife and the increased quality of life of its residents. This Reserve System is a permanently protected open space managed for the benefit of the plants and wildlife that define the character, uniqueness, and natural diversity of Orange County.

Dr. Mitrovich will present an overview of the Natural Communities Coalition and how it is striving to fulfill its main objective of facilitating good stewardship of the Reserve System by coordinating with OC’s many stakeholders to protect and enhance Orange County’s wildlands. Dr. Mitrovich will discuss priority land management initiatives now being addressed by the Coalition, with a focus on invasive species management, and share his thoughts on the challenges and opportunities presented when measuring and communicating about the health of the Reserve System.

Milan Mitrovich, Ph.D., is the Science Coordinator for the Natural Communities Coalition. His background is in conservation science, with an emphasis in landscape and wildlife ecology. Milan holds a B.S. in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution from the University of California, San Diego, and a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis, and San Diego State University. He has been active in Orange County Conservation for well over a decade. With the Coalition, Milan works with the organization’s directors and officers as well as representatives from partnering organizations and the public to coordinate research and management activities associated with the protection and recovery of sensitive plant and animal species found within the 38,000-acre Reserve System.

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