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San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy

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Conservancy Staff

Trish Boaz, Executive Director

Trish Boaz, Executive Director of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, says her parents inspired her to be a nature lover.

“They would pack up me, my four sisters and three brothers in their Vista Cruiser and head for the national parks. My love of nature was definitely influenced by the beauty of Yosemite, where my uncle was a ranger,” said Trish. (Coincidentally, Trish lives on Yosemite St. in Crown Point.)

Trish, 56, is a nature lover in spite of having several close calls in the outdoors. There was the time she experienced the freezing waters of the Gros Ventre River in the Grand Tetons while playing on the rocks; the times she nearly drowned at Half Moon Bay and June Lake; the time she got geyser burns in Yellowstone; and the time she experienced altitude sickness on Mt. Lassen. And then there was the train derailment on the White Pass Trail in Alaska, and daring climbs on Half Dome.

Born and raised in Mountain View, California, the daughter of Alfred and Dolores Chasuk, Boaz is the sixth out of eight children. She attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, graduating with a BS in Business Administration. She met her husband, San Diegan Scott Boaz, while there; together they have a daughter (24) and a son (27).

Trish moved to San Diego in 1982, the day after she graduated, and got right to work for nature, in nature.

She served as Chief of the Resource Management Division for the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation for over seven years, overseeing the implementation of the Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP).

She also managed the award-wining County Trails Program, which resulted in the dedication and construction of vital trail linkages, including portions of the Coast to Crest Trail.

Under her leadership, the County completed Resource Management Plans (RMPs) for every County MSCP preserve. These RMPs provide guidance for land stewardship, species- and cultural-resource monitoring and ongoing habitat management.

Trish also coordinated the County’s acquisition of over 7,100 acres of open space lands, leveraging $44 million of County general funds with $47 million of private, federal, state and regional funds.

She also managed the award-winning County Trails Program which resulted in the dedication and construction of vital trail linkages, including portions of the Coast to Crest and other trails in the San Dieguito River Park.

Before working at Parks and Recreation, Trish was the Environmental Resource Manager for the County Department of Planning and Development Services.

Trish was appointed to the Pacific Northwest Resource Management School Board of Regents in 2008, elected Chair of the Board in 2014, and served as Immediate Past Chair in 2015.

She also served as long-time Land Use and Environmental Policy Advisor to former Third District County Supervisor, Pam Slater-Price.

From 1984 to 1995, Trish honed her knowledge of San Diego land-use and environmental issues under the mentorship of San Diego land-use and environmental law attorney, Jim Dawe.

On April 1, 2013, Trish joined the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy—a non-profit dedicated to sustainable management of the natural resources of the San Dieguito Watershed, with priority given to the protection of the San Dieguito River corridor—as Executive Director, bringing over 25 years in conservation and environmental knowledge to the Conservancy, as well as established positive relationships with many of the Conservancy’s partners.

The Conservancy, established in 1986, has been successful in acquiring thousands of acres of land and restoring hundreds of acres of habitat. It is also close to completing the entire length of the 70-mile Coast to Crest Trail that stretches from North Beach in Del Mar to Volcan Mountain near Julian. Forty-five miles are already open to the public.

In short order Boaz led the Conservancy’s efforts to raise funding for the River Path Del Mar, Lagoon Open Air Classroom, finalize trail alignments atLusardi Creek and Pamo Valley, obtain grant funding for continued habitat-restoration projects and work with our other conservation partners to acquire additional open space lands.

Since she started, the Conservancy she has received more than $500,000 in grants for its programs.

Trish is also a crisis interventionist with the City of San Diego Police Department. “This is my way of giving back to those who helped me through a spate of crises that happened in my life. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to help someone make it through a tragic time in their lives.”

Jessica Norton, Conservation Manager

Jess Norton brings over nine years of federal, state, and local experience in protected species regulation, natural resource management, and environmental planning to the Conservancy. She gained extensive knowledge of San Diego’s native habitats and species during her 4½ years with the County of San Diego Department of Parks & Recreation, where she was responsible for preparing Resource Management Plans, overseeing biological/cultural surveys, and obtaining grant funds for habitat restoration projects. Most recently, she worked as a contractor at Camp Pendleton, revising its Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan. She is excited by the opportunity to preserve, protect, and educate others about all the amazing resources within the River Park.