Serving California Since 1998

California Rangeland Trust is the largest land trust in California. Our mission is to serve the land, people, and wildlife by conserving California’s working rangelands.

What does California Rangeland Trust do?

  • Much of the open space in California is being lost to development. Over the past 10 years, 784 square miles of open landscapes—roughly the size of Los Angeles and San Diego combined—were converted to industry and housing
  • California Rangeland Trust is committed to protecting air, water, wildlife, and healthy local food by conserving rangeland and ensuring it will never be developed.
  • We help ranchers partner with funders to permanently protect working lands through conservation agreements.
  • Much of the open space in California is being lost to development. Over the past 10 years, 784 square miles of open landscapes—roughly the size of Los Angeles and San Diego combined—were converted to industry and housing
  • California Rangeland Trust is committed to protecting air, water, wildlife, and healthy local food by conserving rangeland and ensuring it will never be developed.
  • We help ranchers partner with funders to permanently protect working lands through conservation agreements.

56 of the ranches conserved by the California Rangeland Trust – encompassing 306,781 acres – were included in the recent Ecosystem Service Study. Researchers discovered:

  • These ranches provide between $900 million and $1.44 billion in ecosystem services annually.
  • Rangeland Trust conservation easements return between $3.43 and $3.47 for every dollar invested when considering the loss of all ecosystem services under current zoning restrictions.
  • Returns rise to between $103.28 and $166.76 for every dollar invested when considering the loss of all ecosystem services under maximum potential future zoning.

California Rangeland Trust Presents

A COMMON GROUND

Rangelands heal our planet.

California is an incredible state, rich in beauty, history, and diversity. It’s a place that has captured the national imagination for centuries: The farthest edge of the American West, where the mountains meet the sea.

As one of only five regions in the world with a Mediterranean climate, our state feeds the world. California is home to 5.2 million cattle and calves—fourth in the nation for cattle, with livestock responsible for 27% of all agricultural revenues in the state.

This is a heritage that all Californians share. These natural resources are essential to our way of life. But it faces threats. The working landscapes that characterize the Golden State are at risk. 62% of California’s open space consists of privately-owned rangeland. And that land is disappearing at an alarming rate.

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Open Spaces

62% of California’s undeveloped land is private rangeland.

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Wildlife

67% of endangered species spend part of their lives on private rangeland.

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Fresh Air & Water

85% of California’s fresh water runs over ranches.

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Acres Conserved
San Luis Obispo County
The California Rangeland Trust has worked diligently to preserve the state's most precious lands in more than 50 locations.
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Tuolumne County
The California Rangeland Trust has worked diligently to preserve the state's most precious lands in more than 50 locations.
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Napa County
The California Rangeland Trust has worked diligently to preserve the state's most precious lands in more than 50 locations.
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Monterey County
The California Rangeland Trust has worked diligently to preserve the state's most precious lands in more than 50 locations.
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Merced County
The California Rangeland Trust has worked diligently to preserve the state's most precious lands in more than 50 locations.
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Fresno County
The California Rangeland Trust has worked diligently to preserve the state's most precious lands in more than 50 locations.
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San Luis Obispo County
The California Rangeland Trust has worked diligently to preserve the state's most precious lands in more than 50 locations.
Learn More
Tuolumne County
The California Rangeland Trust has worked diligently to preserve the state's most precious lands in more than 50 locations.
Learn More
Napa County
The California Rangeland Trust has worked diligently to preserve the state's most precious lands in more than 50 locations.
Learn More
Monterey County
The California Rangeland Trust has worked diligently to preserve the state's most precious lands in more than 50 locations.
Learn More
Merced County
The California Rangeland Trust has worked diligently to preserve the state's most precious lands in more than 50 locations.
Learn More
Fresno County
The California Rangeland Trust has worked diligently to preserve the state's most precious lands in more than 50 locations.
Learn More
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Acres Conserved

Follow Our Blog

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GROUNDBREAKING ECOSYSTEM SERVICES STUDY RELEASED

We are thrilled to announce the release of the long-awaited Ecosystems Services Study, conducted by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley. The study has found that working lands conservation by the Rangeland Trust provides between $900 million and $1.44 billion in environmental benefits annually, and returns between $3.43 and $3.47 for every dollar invested.

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PASSING THE REINS

Big changes are happening at the California Rangeland Trust. After twenty years of service, CEO Nita Vail will leave her position at the end of April, passing the reins to Michael Delbar, who has been with the Rangeland Trust for ten years and currently serves as its chief operating officer.

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HISTORY IN THE MAKING

In an emotional confession, Merrie told of her promise to Don’s father regarding the ranch. “I made a promise to his dad on his deathbed, because his dad, his mother, and I were close. I made a promise to him, before he passed with cancer, that I would work my best to keep this a ranch and carry on his wishes that he was already doing. I told him I would do it. He knew I would keep the promise.”

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Join Us in Protecting What Matters.

California Rangeland Trust is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization (tax identification number 31-1631453) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

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