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Click to read about MCAS birding locations like the 4th Street Overlook and Sweet Springs Preserve. Photo: Dave Tyra
Follow this link to discover our trove of SLO County birding guides. Photo: Maggie Smith
David Clendenen grew up in Big Horn, Wyoming, then moved to California in 1973 when he was 16 years old. Dave graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 1981 with a BS in Wildlife Biology. He worked first for the Audubon Society and then for the US Fish & Wildlife Service during his 15-year tenure on the California Condor Recovery Program.
He participated in all phases of the Condor Recovery Program, including studies of the remnant wild flock, before assisting in the capture of the last free-flying birds for captive breeding. He held the position of Lead Biologist during the early stages of condor reintroduction, and was appointed by the FWS Regional Director to serve on the Condor Recovery Team. During a hiatus between capture of the last wild birds and reintroduction, Dave participated in the bald eagle reintroduction on Catalina Island, and worked on a study of bald eagles in Arizona.
He left the Condor Program in 1997 to work for The Wildlands Conservancy. He served for 11 years as the Manager of Wind Wolves Preserve near Bakersfield, before moving into a new position as organizational Ecologist, where he served until May of 2013. During this time, he developed a deep love of conservation land stewardship, and initiated multiple projects for restoration of native habitats and the control of invasive plants.
Mr. Clendenen left The Wildlands Conservancy to join Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting, where he remains engaged in conservation efforts in the San Joaquin Valley. He has enjoyed new challenges at Vollmar Consulting, including biological assessment of private ranches in preparation for the placement of conservation easements, wetland mapping, and targeting natural lands for conservation, with priority focus on parcels adjacent to existing conservation lands, or parcels that contribute to the preservation of wildlife corridors in the San Joaquin Valley.
David remembers visiting Sweet Springs during his college years at Cal Poly, and has returned there periodically over the years. He has recently moved back to San Luis Obispo, and is honored to have been selected for the position of Lands Manager by Morro Coast Audubon. David is looking forward to contributing to the stewardship of this very special preserve, in partnership with Morro Coast Audubon and the local community.