Susan Lyon - Founder & Director Emerita

“It is All about the Land”


With gratitude for her years of bringing fun and vision to our organization, the Cayucos Land Conservancy Board is honored to announce Susan Lyon's new position as Director Emerita. We will all still benefit from her wisdom, but greatly miss her wit at our meetings! Thank you, Susan.

Here is her story, as told to her interviewer, Sarah Foland:

Susan and Roger Lyon moved to Cayucos in 1976 after working in Los Angeles for a year.  They were both born and raised in the Southland, but they saw the changes in the area since their childhood that made it not a great fit for their future. 

Roger a land use attorney and Susan an artist and teacher found Cayucos to be the place that had not lost the sense of community nor the open space around it.  They had both witnessed what happens to areas when lack of planning and/or the necessary local commitment merges towns and cities: without separators between towns, the sense of belonging to a community was being lost.

While living on the beach the first 6 months, the couple searched many areas of the county for a place to settle, but Cayucos checked all the boxes. They made their home on the old Magetti Dairy Ranch and raised their family on a life-defining ranch filled with love, crops and art. 

Susan and her friend Kathy Madonna wrote and implemented an “Artist of the Month” program at Cayucos School for 10 years. They did massive amounts of volunteering as did many of the parents.  During that time along came Estero Bay Properties and its proposal to develop the coast north of town; would that really "help Cayucos out"?

Never having been involved in politics, it was an amazing introduction to and lesson for Susan on grass-roots movements. The lesson was that if you are willing to stand up, if you stayed committed to standing a long time and your mission is well planned and reasonable, you have a chance for success. Buckminster Fuller's words “Think Globally… Act Locally”  resonated for Susan then, as they do today. Add “One person can make a difference.” and you've got her perspective on life.

             Susan at Land Trust Alliance Rally 2018

Doing her part to preserve 4 miles of coastline that became Estero Bluffs, and for a greenbelt around Cayucos never gets old to talk about.  There are so many great stories and civics lessons from those 10 years of fighting for our community.  She is willing to share those stories and retains the excitement 34 years later. 

Just one of Susan's many projects. You can climb to the top of Hang Glider Hill, rest on this bench and enjoy the fantastic view.

Susan is grateful to have been part of something that has made such a difference for Cayucos and all who visit the central coast.

Her family ranch continues to raise money for CLC and the the Community Foundation through a tourist giving program,

Susan says she may have stepped down from the board, but she will always be a fan and fundraiser for CLC.


                       Susan with her grandson Wyatt.

"In the end, my friends, it is ALL about the land and leaving something for our children’s children."