Rules & Regulations

AccessActivity RestrictionsCultural ArtifactsSudden Oak Death

Preserve rules and regulations which are designed to protect natural and cultural resources, research and educational activities, and the safety of visitors and staff. Access is conditional upon the visitors’ ability to abide by these restrictons.  In addition to the Preserve regulations below, visitors are required to adhere to SSU campus rules and policies.

Persons applying for access are responsible for ensuring that all members of their party abide by Preserve rules and regulations. Visitors must also be aware of hazards & safety guidelines.

Access Requirements

Each time you visit, sign in at the entrance kiosk.

  • Approval - Before entering a Preserve, obtain an approved application from the Preserve Director.
  • Visitation and Sign In - Notify Preserve staff before each visit and sign in at the kiosks located at Preserve entrances.
  • Release Forms - Submit a Center preserve waiver. A signed waiver for each visitor must be sent to Preserve staff at least one business day in advance of visit, or visitors must arrange to hand the forms to Preserve staff immediately upon entering Preserve. Forms may be mailed to Suzanne DeCoursey (SSU Center for Environmental Inquiry, 1801 E.Cotati Ave, Rohnert Park, CA 94928) or dropped off at Room 115 Darwin Hall.
  • Gates and Locks - Close and lock gates. Return keys obtained at the SST Office on the following business day after your field trip.
  • Vehicles - Drive only on designated roads. At the Galbreath Preserve, all vehicles must be 4-wheel drive and no vehicles are allowed during rain due to the ruggedness of the terrain.
  • Parking - Park only in designated parking areas. At the Osborn Preserve the designated area is the upper parking lot. At the Galbreath Preserve, entrance parking is inside a locked gate immediately to the right of the main gate.
  • Group Leader Communication - Ensure that all members of your group are aware of and abide by rules, regulations, and safety.
  • Publications - Acknowledge the Center for Environmental Inquiry in publications and written materials and provide copies to the Center Director.
  • Use Fees - Use fees are charged for the following activities. Please make checks payable to the Center for Environmental Inquiry and deliver to Center staff on the day of your event.
    • 3rd - 5th Grade Field Trips: $3 per student participant (excluding adults)
    • Public Tours: Free (cash or check donations recommended)
    • Use of the Marjorie Osborn Education Center by non-SSU groups: $80 for 4 hours or $150 for 8 hours

Activity Restrictions

Do not disturb research equipment. When the project is completed, equipment must be removed.

  • Collecting and Other Disturbances - To protect environmental processes and ongoing educational and research activities, do not disturb or remove animals, plants, rocks, human artifacts, flags, posts or other markers without an approved application that describes the proposed activity.
  • Research and Education Equipment: Remove all materials brought to the Preserve (unless written approval is granted).
  • Campfires - Fires are not allowed at the Osborn Preserve. At the Galbreath Preserve, permits for campfires in designated campfire areas may be requested from the Preserve Director during the rainy season (November to May).
  • Garbage - Take all trash with you.
  • Drugs and Firearms - Do not smoke or use illegal drugs, firearms, or weapons of any kind.
  • Alcohol - Alcoholic beverages are permitted only as part of an event that has been approved by the Director and conforms to University policies concerning alcohol consumption.
  • Trespass- If you encounter someone else on the Preserve, identify yourself and ask that they do the same.  Ask if they have an approved application with the Preserve Director.  If they are not approved visitors, please explain that the Preserve is closed to unapproved use and report the incident to Preserve staff.

The Center is committed to protecting cultural resources. Leave it where you found it and contact Preserve staff with a description.

Cultural Artifacts

The Center is committed to protecting cultural resources. Archaeological and historical resources 50 years or older are protected by California State Law under the Public Resources, Health and Safety, and Penal codes. Violations are misdemeanors.

  • Collection or disturbance of archaeological or historical resources without prior authorization is prohibited by State law. Prohibited activities include, but are not limited to, collecting artifacts, digging, camping in non-designated areas, and driving or parking off-road.
  • Download the artifacts flyer for your group.

Sudden Oak Death at Fairfield Osborn Preserve

Sudden Oak Death (SOD) is well-established at the Osborn Preserve and is being studied and closely monitored. To reduce the risk of spreading the disease to other sites, we require visitors to wash mud from their shoes during late winter and early spring when infectious spores of the disease are abundant in the soil. 

  • Before leaving the Preserve, follow instructions posted at the wash station in the parking lot. Scrub and rinse shoes with water, then spray with antibacterial disinfectant. Washing requires about one minute per visitor. 
  • Do not move plant material that might be infected by spores, especially leaves or stems of bay laurel, to new areas where SOD may not occur.