Regulations & Safety

How to Visit a Preserve  •  Regulations  •  Safety  •  Permits  •  FAQ

Persons applying for access are responsible for ensuring that all members of their party are aware of these policies


  1. Submit an online Reservation and wait to receive approval
  2. Submit liability waivers for each visitor by mail (Attn: Center for Environmental Inquiry, 1801 East Cotati Ave, Rohnert Park, CA 94928). Ensure they arrive at the Center at least one business day in advance of your visit.
  3. Pay use fees if required. Use fees are charged to non-SSU employees for the Osborn Elementary School Program and for use of the Osborn Education Center. Payment can be made by credit card at Center Events SSU Box Office. On the box office page, select Center for Environmental Inquiry from the drop down menu located at the top left of the screen.
  4. Sign in at the entrance kiosks and close and lock gates.


SSU Preserves are open to anyone undertaking educational, research or creative inquiry. Recreational use is prohibited.

Preserve regulations promote the safety of visitors, lands, and on-going projects. 

  • Drive only on designated roads and parking areas. At the Galbreath Preserve, vehicles must be 4-wheel drive. 
  • Hike only on designated roads and trails. 
  • Camp only in designated areas. 
  • Do not disturb or remove animals, plants, rocks, human artifacts, flags, posts or other markers. Human artifacts 50 years or older are protected. Violations are a misdemeanor under State law. All visitors are required to read the Artifacts Flyer.
  • Take all materials, equipment, and trash with you when you leave. 
  • Fires are not allowed at the Osborn Preserve, and only during wet conditions (November to May) at the Galbreath Preserve.
  • Do not smoke or use illegal drugs, firearms, or weapons of any kind. Consumption of alcoholic beverages must conform to SSU policies.
  • To prevent the spread of the Sudden Oak Death pathogen, Osborn Preserve visitors must follow instructions posted in the parking lot to wash mud from their shoes. 
  • Acknowledge the Center for Environmental Inquiry in publications and written materials and provide copies to the Center Director.

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Preserves are wild places. Risks include, but are not limited to primitive trails, loose rocks, landslides, tick-borne diseases, poison oak, rattlesnakes, feral pigs, and mountain lions. Each visitor must take precautions to avoid injury and be prepared to respond to an emergency. We recommend bringing the following:

tick on a leaf

  • A fully-charged cell phone and knowledge of areas that have good cell reception. 
  • Emergency contact phone numbers:
    • 911 for situations in which life or property is threatened
    • 707-664-4444 SSU Police Services for immediate assistance (Osborn Preserve only)
    • 908-208-7834 Center Staff for less urgent situations when you feel someone should be notified
  • Preserve map
  • First Aid Kit
  • Drinking water sufficient to meet the needs of all individuals in your group. 
  • A companion if you go into remote areas. Also let someone else know where you are going. 
  • Knowledge of ​safety guidelines when encountering lions, ticks or feral pigs.

If you encounter someone without an approved reservation, please report the incident to Center staff.

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Please review our short list of the most common types of permits needed for research and educational activities at preserves. Persons applying for access are responsible for securing any necessary environmental permits for their activities.


Any questions? Check out our FAQ:

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