As a result of a tree health assessment performed as part of the Monarch Butterfly Habitat Management Plan, the City learned that a significant number of trees in the Ellwood Mesa are dead or dying. Many of the dead and dying eucalyptus trees in the forest were severely impacted by the drought which increased their vulnerability to pests. In an abundance of caution, and at the advice of the City’s insurer, some trails on the Ellwood Mesa were temporarily closed due to the potential for falling trees. As of February 14, 2019, the City of Goleta announced the reopening of trails on Ellwood Mesa in consultation with the California Coastal Commission. Users are encouraged to use caution on trails and should be aware that many of the trees are drought-stressed and in danger of falling. Users enter at their own risk. Before planning any visit to the Ellwood Mesa, we recommend you check our project page here.
Photos from 2018
Goleta MOVES Butterfly Experience
In response to these conditions, the City of Goleta partnered with organizations to develop a new and unique way to experience the butterflies. The MOVES (Monarch Overwintering Visual Experience Simulation) program allows the education that surrounds the lifecycle and migration of the Western Monarch Butterfly to continue. Click here to learn more about the MOVES program, including how to plan a field trip.