Sudden Oak Death has been impacting California’s coastal forests for more than a decade. In that time, and in the absence of a centrally organized and coordinated set of mandatory management actions for this disease in California’s wildlands and open spaces, many local communities have initiated their own management programs. We present five case studies to explore how local-level management has attempted to control this disease. From these case studies, we glean three lessons: connections count, scale matters, and building capacity is crucial. These lessons may help management, research, and education planning for future pest and disease outbreaks.