You are Invited to the Ecosystem Restoration Camps California Council

March 22-24, Paicines Ranch, Hollister


Join Californians from all over the state as we unearth new ways to re-orient ourselves to the realities of drought and fire in this time of Climate Crisis.                      Register Now


Please join us for the first

California Ecosystem Restoration Council

March 22-24 at Paicines Ranch, Hollister, CA


Register at




California faces ever increasing emergencies from fire, drought, and environmental degradation. Large-scale ecological rehabilitation of natural and working lands is needed. We are bringing together diverse, active stakeholders to share resources, hopes and dreams; to envision what greater impact we might have by working together; and to co-create a plan for moving forward. Participate in this co-evolving weekend and help foster a growing network of individuals and organizations for facilitating large-scale ecosystem regeneration. Your valuable input and participation is requested. Please register today!




For many years, indigenous peoples, scientists, educators, organizations, and government agencies have worked to protect and restore ecosystems of the West Coast. Today, there is growing awareness that we must scale up and collaborate on these efforts in order to deal with climate change and ever increasing pressures on our environment.


Based on a growing global movement, this gathering will provide the unique opportunity to hear about the Ecosystem Restoration Camps from founder John D. Liu, and by drawing our own collective intelligence, will explore how this could look in California.


Join us to share knowledge, experiences, concerns, and hopes. Ecologists, agency representatives, permaculturists, indigenous leaders, farmers, educators, and concerned citizens will join to co-create a vision for the future of California based on working with nature.




  • How do we learn to live with fires, drought and the needs of a growing population?
  • How can authentic relationships with Indigenous Peoples and their cultural wisdom be incorporated into today’s policies and land management practices?
  • What permaculture and other practices can be used to restore the water cycle?
  • How can we most effectively sequester carbon while rebuilding our depleted soils?
  • How can we galvanize collective, large scale action to heal the ecology of the West Coast?
  • What can we learn from others working on similar projects around the world?
  • Where do we go from here as a growing movement?




  • Meals and onsite camping or indoor accommodations included with registration fees.
  • This is a family-friendly event. Please include childcare info in your registration or email us.
  • No dogs please, as this is a working sheep and cattle ranch.
  • Please carpool with others. Use our com page to organize rides.
  • Limited Work/Trade scholarships available. Please include this in your registration or email us.



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Click here to join the mailing list to learn about future gatherings

 and hear outcomes from this pioneering event.


Join the discussion on our Facebook Event Page & Facebook Group

Report On the California Fire REsponse Weekend, Feb 22-24, 2019:

To understand regenerative practices that are effective for fire prevention, response, and restoration so they may become part of State, Fire District, and local actions. To facilitate grassroots organizing of Californians to become trained citizen teams who know how to prepare and respond and live in a fire ecology.   To learn from model communities.


  • Space is limited to 50 people. Registration required!! Sorry — no drop-ins.
  • Price: $95 whole weekend — program, food, bunkhouse lodging. One-day tickets also available for $50.
  • If you are not able to make it, but would like to be part of the ongoing discussions, please let us know by emailing We plan to create networking lists in specific areas of interest.

You will meet fire prevention practitioners, landscape restoration professionals, erosion control experts, soil water-holding capacity specialists, indigenous land tenders  and policymakers. Together, we will debrief about recent wildfires in California and plan a more holistic approach to fire ecology management. Colleagues from wildfire areas throughout the state will share their experiences and recommendations for improved preparedness.

Event Schedule

Friday, Feb 22:

5:00pm           Arrive, move in

6:00                Dinner

7:00                Welcome, Introductions and conversation

Saturday, Feb 23:

7:00am           Breakfast buffet

9:00                Welcome, Grounding, Introductions

9:45                Matthew Trumm — the Paradise Experience / Q&A

10:45              Break

11:00              Erin Axelrod — Fire Prevention at Hidden Villa – hands-on, go outdoors

12:30pm         Lunch           

1:30                Larry Ray — Prescribed Burn / Q&A

2:45                Break

3:00                Valentin Lopez — Indigenous Fire Ecology / Q&A

4:30                Closing

5:00                Follow-up outdoor activities

6:00                Dinner followed by Participant Stories and Contributions

Sunday, Feb 24:

7:00am           Breakfast buffet – Pack up cabins & bunkhouses by 11am

9:00                Welcome, Grounding, Introductions

9:45                Lydia Neilsen (Rehydrate the Earth) on Prevention joins

Matthew Trumm on Community Response & Larry Ray on Restoration

for a Panel Discussion and Workshop

12:30pm         Lunch & Final Pack up

1:30                John Laird — What’s Needed from Calif State Leadership / Q&A

2:45                Break

3:00                The Human Side of Living in a Fire Ecology – Group Panel / Q&A

                        John Laird on building community, Lora Lee Martin on evacuation planning, Abe Lopez, Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, on a vision for getting more young people involved

4:15                Intentions for Action: What are You Inspired to Do Now?

4:50                Closing Circle

5:00                End

Event Highlights


Feb 23RD
Indigenous Approaches

 With Valentin Lopez

Chairman Valentin Lopez, of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, responsible for traditional land stewardship in parts of Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and San Mateo Counties, will speak on indigenous approaches to caring for land in fire-prone areas Saturday afternoon, February 23.

feb 24TH 
Keynote and Discussion

With John Laird

John Laird will keynote and lead a discussion Sunday, Feb 24 about what’s needed from leadership. A great strategist and outgoing secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency during Governor Brown’s administration, Laird will run for State Senate in 2020. Once in office, he will be in a position to write important legislation that improves conditions in our forests and communities, and increases budgets for critical state agencies and services.

Larry Ray, Lydia Neilsen, Erin Axelrod, Mathew Trumm


Other presenters: Larry Ray, fire restoration specialist in Mendocino County; Lydia Neilsen, Rehydrate the Earth, techniques to improve water-holding capacities of soils; Erin Axelrod, LIFT Economy, forest thinning, bioremediation and home hardening demos: Matthew Trumm, Treetop Permaculture, coordinator of volunteer ecological restoration response for the Camp Fire; and more…

accommodations & Meals
Rustic Retreat, Meals, Hands on Activities


We will gather for meals and conversations between presentations and share stories in a cozy, rustic retreat  setting with bunkhouses and cabins. You will find yourself participating in results-oriented guided group discussions, including some hands-on activities.


Meet Our Speakers

Valentin Lopez

Valentin Lopez

Chairman Amah Mutsun Tribal Band

John Laird

John Laird

Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency

Erin Axelrod

Erin Axelrod

LIFT Economy

Matthew Trumm

Matthew Trumm

Treetop Permaculture

Lydia Neilsen

Lydia Neilsen

Rehydrate the Earth

Larry Ray

Larry Ray

Fire restoration specialist in Mendocino County

Resident Film Maker

 Filmmaker John D. Liu, Founder of the Ecosystem Restoration Camps Movement, will be filming interviews with fire response professionals at the gathering. He will keynote at UCSC Bioneers Conference Thursday evening, February 28, free of charge, Kresge Town Hall.


Thanks to our sponsors for making this event possible

Additional Info:


Organizing Committee:
Ellen Farmer, Galen O’Toole, and Hannah Apricot Eckberg

Inspired by the global Ecosystem Restoration Camps movement

For more information, call or text 831-750-9799

If you can only come one day, you must pre-register $50

If you wish to contribute to a scholarship fund, please donate at registration.