Mendocino Land Trust's Matt Coleman Murdered

Initially reported as a bear attack, the death of a man near Rockport in Mendocino County was quickly updated to a homicide.  Police today reported more details including the name of the victim.

Matthew Coleman (45) of the Albion area, well known for working with the Mendocino Land Trust, was found deceased on August 11 next to his vehicle.  It is believed he was conducting property management at a rural piece of property North of Westport,CA when  he was shot. When contacted by me, the Mendocino Land Trust confirmed that Coleman was doing some care-taking duties for Save the Redwoods at that piece of property for them when he was murdered.

Coleman worked for the Trust for the last 4  six years. He wrote for their newsletter, provided multiple photographs and led nature hikes. More importantly, he also was was the Big River Stewards Volunteer Coordinator for the Mendocino Land Trust .  He worked to involve locals in the restoration and care of the Big River area.  Before that, he also “worked as an environmental educator from the Mendocino Woodlands to Point Reyes National Seashore, researched endangered salmon for the California Department of Fish and Game and the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission and studied the impacts of logging on watersheds for the National Forest Service’s Caspar Creek Watershed Study.”

UPDATE:  Excellent piece in the Press Democrat describing Coleman’s likeable personality and what he was doing at the property he died on.

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63 comments

  • TRULY SAD………I HAVE NO OTHER WORDS 🙁

  • TRULY SAD………I HAVE NO OTHER WORDS 🙁

  • Bears that pack guns are the worse kind. I wonder if there was any connection to the sacred herb?

  • Bears that pack guns are the worse kind. I wonder if there was any connection to the sacred herb?

  • especially organized illegal cartel bears with greed machismo and firearms a bad combination for any bear, buts whats truly upsetting about this is the loss of a environmental conservationist and someone that cares and was dedicated to working in land conservation on the north coast

  • especially organized illegal cartel bears with greed machismo and firearms a bad combination for any bear, buts whats truly upsetting about this is the loss of a environmental conservationist and someone that cares and was dedicated to working in land conservation on the north coast

  • Matt was a true brother and steward of the land. His tragic and brutal murder is absolutely senseless. His death has left a HUGE hole in this community and in his family near and far. Whoever thought that killing Matt was necessary is an empty, greedy, lost sole. Karma is a bitch.

  • Matt was a true brother and steward of the land. His tragic and brutal murder is absolutely senseless. His death has left a HUGE hole in this community and in his family near and far. Whoever thought that killing Matt was necessary is an empty, greedy, lost sole. Karma is a bitch.

  • This is so heart breaking. He was an incredible brother and teacher. I am priveledged to have walked through the woods with him teaching and connecting Bay Area youth the mystery of the redwoods at our years at Caritas Creek. My heart goes out to his family and friends.

  • This is so heart breaking. He was an incredible brother and teacher. I am priveledged to have walked through the woods with him teaching and connecting Bay Area youth the mystery of the redwoods at our years at Caritas Creek. My heart goes out to his family and friends.

  • A homicide apparently if Mr. Coleman was shot, but how do you know it was a murder?

  • A homicide apparently if Mr. Coleman was shot, but how do you know it was a murder?

  • Ms. Kim,

    In the context of a tragic loss of a fine man it would be unseemly to overplay matters of mere nomenclature. We have all lost an outstanding member of the community. This is a tragedy. The event, from what little we currently know, was certainly a great crime, a criminal homicide, but the term ‘murder’ is a legal conclusion and should probably not appear repeatedly in the posting. A homicide is a murder when the judge and/or jury conclude that it is. Forgive an aging former prosecutor and peace and solace to Mr. Coleman’s friends and family. My some justice come of this tragic event. And to you ms. Kym — Big ups and all respect.

    • I knew it! To the rest of us, murder and homicide are synonyms so, when you commented, I thought you must have a legal background.

      I didn’t know Matt but from what I understand the natural world has lost an advocate. Thank you, Matt, for all your work.

  • Ms. Kim,

    In the context of a tragic loss of a fine man it would be unseemly to overplay matters of mere nomenclature. We have all lost an outstanding member of the community. This is a tragedy. The event, from what little we currently know, was certainly a great crime, a criminal homicide, but the term ‘murder’ is a legal conclusion and should probably not appear repeatedly in the posting. A homicide is a murder when the judge and/or jury conclude that it is. Forgive an aging former prosecutor and peace and solace to Mr. Coleman’s friends and family. My some justice come of this tragic event. And to you ms. Kym — Big ups and all respect.

    • I knew it! To the rest of us, murder and homicide are synonyms so, when you commented, I thought you must have a legal background.

      I didn’t know Matt but from what I understand the natural world has lost an advocate. Thank you, Matt, for all your work.

  • What we do know is that at the very least he encountered someone who killed him and took a life for some senseless reason. The obvious speculation is a cartel or illegal mex grow was stumbled upon. The cartel grower or illegal in the woods is a danger to all as they tend to shoot first and escape back to Meh-he-co and then change their name and return for more murders and drug trafficking. These violent encounters are becoming common place on public and private forest lands as these people are given guns and told to shoot if they are discovered or think they are. So far the U.S. Govt wants to continue the open border walk right in policy and the cartels are becoming established and armed and dangerous right here in N-Cal. I guess it is time to return to the old west ways of dealing with outlaws as this Govt. policy of open borders will get you killed.

    • At this point there is absolutely no reason to assume that he was killed by a Mexican National. First, we don’t even know it was a marijuana-grow-related killing, and second there have been plenty of marijuana-grow-related killings by non-Mexicans around here.

      Of course your line that said “So far the U.S. Govt wants to continue the open border walk right in policy…” indicates that you’re living in a world of dark fantasy.

  • What we do know is that at the very least he encountered someone who killed him and took a life for some senseless reason. The obvious speculation is a cartel or illegal mex grow was stumbled upon. The cartel grower or illegal in the woods is a danger to all as they tend to shoot first and escape back to Meh-he-co and then change their name and return for more murders and drug trafficking. These violent encounters are becoming common place on public and private forest lands as these people are given guns and told to shoot if they are discovered or think they are. So far the U.S. Govt wants to continue the open border walk right in policy and the cartels are becoming established and armed and dangerous right here in N-Cal. I guess it is time to return to the old west ways of dealing with outlaws as this Govt. policy of open borders will get you killed.

    • At this point there is absolutely no reason to assume that he was killed by a Mexican National. First, we don’t even know it was a marijuana-grow-related killing, and second there have been plenty of marijuana-grow-related killings by non-Mexicans around here.

      Of course your line that said “So far the U.S. Govt wants to continue the open border walk right in policy…” indicates that you’re living in a world of dark fantasy.

  • Those of us who work in the woods know that a chance encounter with a lunatic is scarier than anything nature may throw at us. Matt was a kind and gentle man with much to give to community and the natural world. May he find peace.

  • Those of us who work in the woods know that a chance encounter with a lunatic is scarier than anything nature may throw at us. Matt was a kind and gentle man with much to give to community and the natural world. May he find peace.

  • Let the evidence speak for itself when it does, the speculation is a mex grow, it could be an oridinary criminal and murderer. I would like all the former Nam recon guys to suit up and cleanse the woods of a menace called the illegal mex grower. This menace is an invader and a killer of people and wildlife and dumps poisons by the ton into watersheds that kills all. This invader is foreign to this land and uninvited and at a point the people when the Govt. fails to act will.

    • A gentle reminder that Vietnam recon guys are pushing over 60. Another reminder is we did not win the war in Vietnam, they did the US had to pull out due to discontinued funding from congress. The Vietnamese sort of kicked our rears over 50,000 dead Americans later.

    • Unfortunately, I will have to agree on this. AND this is why cannabis will never be taken as seriously as it should as medicine.

  • Let the evidence speak for itself when it does, the speculation is a mex grow, it could be an oridinary criminal and murderer. I would like all the former Nam recon guys to suit up and cleanse the woods of a menace called the illegal mex grower. This menace is an invader and a killer of people and wildlife and dumps poisons by the ton into watersheds that kills all. This invader is foreign to this land and uninvited and at a point the people when the Govt. fails to act will.

    • A gentle reminder that Vietnam recon guys are pushing over 60. Another reminder is we did not win the war in Vietnam, they did the US had to pull out due to discontinued funding from congress. The Vietnamese sort of kicked our rears over 50,000 dead Americans later.

    • Unfortunately, I will have to agree on this. AND this is why cannabis will never be taken as seriously as it should as medicine.

  • Okay smart folks who spend their time on these boards scouring for some syntax error or a wrong use of words or heaven forbid, a spelling error.

    Matt’s death is being investigated by the Police as: “187PC-Murder ”

    Simply repeating that on a message board is not compromising anything. It’s posted on the Sheriff’s website exactly the same way.

    Shows over, go on back to your perfect lives where everyone is just ever-so-slightly imperfect. You are superior and get to point out imperfections wherever you think you encounter them. Feel good. Wallow in your perfection. Bask in your glorious understanding of verbatim and the law.

    Death is ‘Murder’ when it is caused by another person and there is ‘malice aforethought’ or ‘pre-meditatiion’; some moment of planning or preparation. Otherwise, a death is due to accident, suicide, natural causes, negligence or a ‘crime of passion’.

    Yes, it is unseemly to overplay matters of mere nomentclature. So please don’t do it.

  • Okay smart folks who spend their time on these boards scouring for some syntax error or a wrong use of words or heaven forbid, a spelling error.

    Matt’s death is being investigated by the Police as: “187PC-Murder ”

    Simply repeating that on a message board is not compromising anything. It’s posted on the Sheriff’s website exactly the same way.

    Shows over, go on back to your perfect lives where everyone is just ever-so-slightly imperfect. You are superior and get to point out imperfections wherever you think you encounter them. Feel good. Wallow in your perfection. Bask in your glorious understanding of verbatim and the law.

    Death is ‘Murder’ when it is caused by another person and there is ‘malice aforethought’ or ‘pre-meditatiion’; some moment of planning or preparation. Otherwise, a death is due to accident, suicide, natural causes, negligence or a ‘crime of passion’.

    Yes, it is unseemly to overplay matters of mere nomentclature. So please don’t do it.

  • “the racist speculation is a mex grow…”

    There, fixed that for ya.

  • Matt was a Kind, Gentle Soul – And yes, a Steward of the Land as well. Heart-breaking…

  • Matt was a Kind, Gentle Soul – And yes, a Steward of the Land as well. Heart-breaking…

  • How about the “oppressed, armed, dangerous, illegal, latino cartel member” who is ordered to murder and given guns to do so, some by the current administration under the DOJ and ATF Operation Gunrunner, while murdering the wildlife and environment and destroying all for his patron’s greed while also cooking over an open fire in the woods and threatening to burn my and your houses to the ground and all of the others here.

  • How about the “oppressed, armed, dangerous, illegal, latino cartel member” who is ordered to murder and given guns to do so, some by the current administration under the DOJ and ATF Operation Gunrunner, while murdering the wildlife and environment and destroying all for his patron’s greed while also cooking over an open fire in the woods and threatening to burn my and your houses to the ground and all of the others here.

  • How about you wait for the facts about this homicide to emerge before hijacking this thread to spew your hatred and prejudice? Just a thought.

    It seems to me that you’re being quite disrespectful to the victim of this homicide (and his family and friends) by using his death for your propaganda purposes — especially since at this point we’ve seen no evidence that it has anything to do with Mexican nationals, illegal immigrants, latinos, cartels, the Obama administration, the DOJ or ATF or any of your other obsessions.

  • How about you wait for the facts about this homicide to emerge before hijacking this thread to spew your hatred and prejudice? Just a thought.

    It seems to me that you’re being quite disrespectful to the victim of this homicide (and his family and friends) by using his death for your propaganda purposes — especially since at this point we’ve seen no evidence that it has anything to do with Mexican nationals, illegal immigrants, latinos, cartels, the Obama administration, the DOJ or ATF or any of your other obsessions.

  • Until we know more facts, it seems premature and pointless to speculate on the race of the person who killed Matt. Their ethnic identity seems of less importance then their moral makeup. The idea that this is from an illegal grow seems one obvious possibility but there are others. Hopefully, more information will come out soon before this becomes a matter of racial tensions rather than individual actions.

  • Until we know more facts, it seems premature and pointless to speculate on the race of the person who killed Matt. Their ethnic identity seems of less importance then their moral makeup. The idea that this is from an illegal grow seems one obvious possibility but there are others. Hopefully, more information will come out soon before this becomes a matter of racial tensions rather than individual actions.

  • Luckily, there are some quality law enforcement people who will likely solve this crime or at least have an understanding of what happened. What many of us who live off the grid far from the cities fear is an increasing presence of organized armed criminals from Mexico being dropped off and then setting up grows and waiting while armed for the innocent person to stumble on them as is possible here in this case. The family of this man wants justice and the criminal dealt with, as all who care about their own loved ones do. The race question is simply a fact that there is an invasion occurring of armed drug cartel members mainly from Mexico across this state. Couple that with their orders to shoot anyone who stumbles upon them. This may or may not be what happended, but most people I know have the very same concerns if you live back in the hills where the Sheriff is sedlom seen and they have an hour response time if they are in town.

  • Luckily, there are some quality law enforcement people who will likely solve this crime or at least have an understanding of what happened. What many of us who live off the grid far from the cities fear is an increasing presence of organized armed criminals from Mexico being dropped off and then setting up grows and waiting while armed for the innocent person to stumble on them as is possible here in this case. The family of this man wants justice and the criminal dealt with, as all who care about their own loved ones do. The race question is simply a fact that there is an invasion occurring of armed drug cartel members mainly from Mexico across this state. Couple that with their orders to shoot anyone who stumbles upon them. This may or may not be what happended, but most people I know have the very same concerns if you live back in the hills where the Sheriff is sedlom seen and they have an hour response time if they are in town.

  • Elizabeth Rishmawy

    Matt was my grandfather’s son. This is so heartbreaking for my family, and so freaking senseless. Murder is murder, his life was taken away from us when it was far from his time to go. Instead of trying to figure out how or why and arguing about it, please be respectful of one another and just use this to remember his life and the good that he did for the community. This isn’t a discussion forum for an episode of Criminal Minds or Law and Order.

    I only wish that I got to know him more as I was growing up. My heart goes out to my grandfather, Matt’s mother, and especially his sister, who I know was the closest to him. Rest in Peace, Uncle Matt.

  • Elizabeth Rishmawy

    Matt was my grandfather’s son. This is so heartbreaking for my family, and so freaking senseless. Murder is murder, his life was taken away from us when it was far from his time to go. Instead of trying to figure out how or why and arguing about it, please be respectful of one another and just use this to remember his life and the good that he did for the community. This isn’t a discussion forum for an episode of Criminal Minds or Law and Order.

    I only wish that I got to know him more as I was growing up. My heart goes out to my grandfather, Matt’s mother, and especially his sister, who I know was the closest to him. Rest in Peace, Uncle Matt.

  • I would like all the former Nam recon guys to suit up and cleanse the woods

    Aren’t they in their 60s now?

  • I would like all the former Nam recon guys to suit up and cleanse the woods

    Aren’t they in their 60s now?

  • Some of the former Nam recon guys are living here and are still in shape and a force to be reckoned with, they are good to have as friends and neighbors. They are very libertarian now and aren’t big fans of the current U.S. Govt and for good reason.

  • Some of the former Nam recon guys are living here and are still in shape and a force to be reckoned with, they are good to have as friends and neighbors. They are very libertarian now and aren’t big fans of the current U.S. Govt and for good reason.

  • I am so sorry that we have lost Matt as a serious environmentalist and, clearly, much loved friend and family member. My heart goes out to his friends and family.

  • I am so sorry that we have lost Matt as a serious environmentalist and, clearly, much loved friend and family member. My heart goes out to his friends and family.

  • Matthew -you are gone too soon. You are with the creator of the creation you adored.

  • Matthew -you are gone too soon. You are with the creator of the creation you adored.

  • First, deep deep gratitude, respect and thanks to Matt for the amazingness he has brought into being here on the coast thru hard work and teachings. its amazing and we all benefit daily. we walk those trails, our rivers are clean, they still have fish in them, and we have more info about the natural world living around us so as to have a better crack at not destroying it. your blood, sweat and now tears have secured and preserved pieces of nature only hard, hard work and tireless dedication has made available to the public. You are a hero of our time. Without folks like you these opportunities wouldn’t exist. Period. Respect, honor and recognition to what you have spent your day in and day out doing. Vast thanks to you and your fellow nature stewards!
    Secondly, sadly, “mexican Mafia” violence has taken lives. but so have young vets, tweekers, greedy locals, racists and psychos like Manson (who also once lived here on the coast). all of these realities suck and happen here as well as other places. and so have old vets. i would not feel more comfortable with a crew of them “patroling the forest”. i have vet friends i love who live good lives but also struggle with flashbacks and sometimes violent outbursts they can’t control, don’t remember and work hard to deal with. all these realities are a part of our society and we’ve all got to figure out how to deal with them. violence like this strikes indiscriminately.
    Thirdly, not all known info is published, so save your breath and trust that time will reveal, and you too will be certain it is murder. Peace.

  • First, deep deep gratitude, respect and thanks to Matt for the amazingness he has brought into being here on the coast thru hard work and teachings. its amazing and we all benefit daily. we walk those trails, our rivers are clean, they still have fish in them, and we have more info about the natural world living around us so as to have a better crack at not destroying it. your blood, sweat and now tears have secured and preserved pieces of nature only hard, hard work and tireless dedication has made available to the public. You are a hero of our time. Without folks like you these opportunities wouldn’t exist. Period. Respect, honor and recognition to what you have spent your day in and day out doing. Vast thanks to you and your fellow nature stewards!
    Secondly, sadly, “mexican Mafia” violence has taken lives. but so have young vets, tweekers, greedy locals, racists and psychos like Manson (who also once lived here on the coast). all of these realities suck and happen here as well as other places. and so have old vets. i would not feel more comfortable with a crew of them “patroling the forest”. i have vet friends i love who live good lives but also struggle with flashbacks and sometimes violent outbursts they can’t control, don’t remember and work hard to deal with. all these realities are a part of our society and we’ve all got to figure out how to deal with them. violence like this strikes indiscriminately.
    Thirdly, not all known info is published, so save your breath and trust that time will reveal, and you too will be certain it is murder. Peace.

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