BIG BLUFF RANCH

In December 2010, The Land Trust acquired a 3,776-acre conservation easement on the Big Bluff Ranch in western Tehama County. Family owned since 1960, Big Bluff Ranch has transitioned from a seasonal farming and stocker cattle operation into a sustainably managed ranch utilizing year-round grazing and the Holistic Management Model. The outcome of this management regime is a healthy landscape with many marketable options including livestock products, hunting, fishing, and other non-consumptive activities, such eco-tourism in a vibrant, clean and healthy watershed. The conservation easement encourages agricultural production, cattle grazing and habitat protection, and directly supports a diversified and vibrant agriculture and agro-tourism operation. Conservation values protected by the easement include thousands of acres of blue oak woodland and savannah, as well as annual grassland, working farmland, chamise-redshank chaparral, spring-fed wetlands, intermittent and perennial streams, riparian habitat along Red Bank Creek, scenic open space, and habitat supporting several special-status species including valley elderberry longhorn beetle, foothill yellow-legged frog, and California red-legged frog. The project is also contiguous with land owned by the Bureau of Land Management and Mendocino National Forest, providing an essential buffer to help prevent the area from being compromised by incompatible land use. Funding for the purchase of the conservation easement was provided by the California Wildlife Conservation Board’s Oak Woodland Protection Program. Additional support was provided by Defenders of Wildlife, CAL FIRE, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Partners for Fish and Wildlife, the California Rangeland Conservation Coalition, California Cattlemen’s Association, California Department of Fish and Game, and The Nature Conservancy.

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