Bennett Ranches

Madera County

Unfragmented Open Space for Natural Plant and Wildlife Habitat

In January 2011, California Rangeland Trust received two donated conservation easements on Stone Corral, and Tombstone Acreage. The Bennett Ranches are in the central Sierra Nevada foothills of Madera County and possess significant conservation values. According to Mr. Bennett most of the land has been exclusively managed for livestock grazing. Besides the historic use of the ranches for managed livestock grazing, there is direct evidence of Miwok habitation dating to pre-European settlement on the Properties, with a village site that has been surveyed by the University of California. Multiple Miwok artifacts, including mortar holes and stones, arrowheads and pottery, have been uncovered over the years.

The ranches are home to agricultural productivity, open space created by working landscapes, and natural plant and wildlife habitat provided by the rangeland environment. They contain unplowed grasslands, natural stream corridors, naturally-occurring springs, granodiorite outcrops, expansive views of the Sierra Nevada range and surrounding foothills, unfragmented open space, natural communities that provide habitat for native wildlife, including: raptors, waterfowl, coyote, badger, skunk, mule-tailed deer, mountain lion, California tiger salamander, western spadefoot and many other species of common and rare plants and animals.