Article Focuses on Volunteers and History of Hi Mountain Lookout

"Back from the brink? Hi Mountain Condor Lookout volunteers and Cal Poly students help wildlife agencies track the endangered California condor"

After you read this New Times article, you will better understand the dedication of volunteers and cooperation between agencies that was required to resuscitate a dilapidated fire lookout and transform it into a vibrant location for research, learning, and camaraderie.

Kudos and Thanks to all those who have, and will, volunteer at Hi Mountain Lookout


COMMUNITY PROGRAM: Annual June Picnic Potluck & Bird Walk

MCAS Annual June Picnic Potluck and Bird Walk 

Monday, June 17th at 5 pm 
El Chorro Regional Park, Poppy Group Area 
(near the entrance and across from the ball park)

Join Audrey and Kyle Weichert for a bird walk from 5:00 to 6:15 pm around El Chorro Regional Park. Kyle is a Senior Biologist for Rincon Consultants in their San Luis Obispo office and has a passion for botany and birds. Audrey is a Certified Wildlife Biologist® who grew up in Paso Robles and has lived on the Central Coast for over 35 years. 

The potluck picnic will follow the bird walk and last until 7:30 pm. Bring your main dish, a side dish to share, and your own reusable table setting, in addition to a picnic tablecloth if you have one. 

Assorted soft drinks will be provided by MCAS hospitality. The event is open to all ages at no charge.


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SWEET SPRINGS: Circle of Friends Celebration

Jan Surbey MCing last year's Circle of Friends Celebration
Circle of Friends Donors unite to celebrate on June 2nd!

Everyone is invited to join the MCAS Board in welcoming the 2018 Sweet Springs Circle of Friends donors on Sunday, June 2nd.

The event will begin at 3PM with the groups gathering at the entrance to the Central part of the Preserve on Ramona (across from Morro Shores Mobile Home Park). Then the group will “bird” along the trails through the Preserve, including the East portion.

The recognition of Circle donors will begin about 4PM at the entrance to Central, where the donor kiosks are located. Wine, cider, and light refreshments will accompany the festivities.

Circle donors are those who have donated at least $500 designated to be used at Sweet Springs.  Circle donors are able to choose the wording they wish to appear on their plaque. The Circle of Friends option will continue during the 2019 fund drive.

FIELD TRIP: Birding By Ear, El Chorro Regional Park, 6/1

FIELD TRIP: Birding by Ear at El Chorro Regional Park
Saturday, June 1st

RSVP Required! Limited to 17 participants**

This will be the third, and final, Birding by Ear field trip this season.

Jessica Griffiths will again lead this field trip. This field trip will focus on bird songs and calls. Jessica will ID all of the bird songs heard, and present helpful tips and mnemonic devices for remembering who sings what.

Bring water, snacks, binoculars and field guides (if you have them) and dress in layers to accommodate changing weather.  Sturdy shoes are recommended as there will be 1-2 miles of slow walking.  Appropriate for ages 12 and up and all levels of birding expertise.

Although the field trip itself is being offered FREE of charge, there is a $5 per vehicle fee to enter the park on weekends this time of year.

**Those interested must reserve a spot by emailing Jan Surbey, MCAS field trip chair, at Jan will send start time and directions to those with reservations.

FIELD TRIP: Birdwalk in the Watershed

Birdwalk in the Watershed

Friday, May 31, 7:30-9:30 am
Saturday, June 1, 7:30-9:30 am

Join Roger Zachary, local Audubon field trip leader, as we walk along the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail section of the Atascadero Mutual Water Company property. We will be birding in mixed oak woodland and riparian woodland along the Salinas River. We should be able to identify approximately 30 species. 

Space is limited. Directions will be sent following registration. 

RSVP HERE or call 805-464-5347. 

SPECIAL EVENT: Hi Mountain Picnic and Social Event

Milky Way Over Lookout
(photo by Randy Stevenson, July 2017)

Hi Mountain Condor Lookout Picnic & Social Event
Saturday May 4, 2019, 11am – 3pm    

Hi Mountain Lookout, Los Padres National Forest
in San Luis Obispo County.        
The Hi Mountain Lookout Project is a collaboration between Morro Coast Audubon Society, U.S. Forest Service at Los Padres National Forest, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service California Condor Recovery Program, Cal Poly Biological Sciences Department, Ventana Wildlife Society, and Pinnacles National  Park.

Hi Mountain Lookout has been restored as a biological field research station and visitor center. Tour the interpretive visitor center with condor and other local wildlife displays and an extensive collection of local natural history references. Meet and socialize with our staff and community volunteers.  Cal Poly student interns, volunteers, and staff will discuss  ongoing field research projects in the Hi Mountain area, including radio tracking of California Condor movements, vegetation sampling, small mammal live trapping and bat research.

The event includes condor radio tracking demonstrations, native plant/wildflowers identification, birdwatching/bird vocalizations, geographical landmarks and local geology.

Bring a picnic lunch, snacks, and beverages. Families with children are welcome. Dogs must be on a leash at all times.

Note: High clearance vehicles are required – the road is driveable but rough in places with several deep ruts to be navigated over and around. For driving directions and other information go to

Visit the Hi Mountain Lookout Facebook page at   RSVP is not required but appreciated - please contact Steve Schubert by e-mail at


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