In 2009, the conservation agreement on the 2,912-acre Ichord Ranch in Merced County was completed. The conservation agreement ensures the existing habitat will continue to be managed in a manner that promotes a stunning array of threatened and endangered species, conserving significant natural landscapes and habitat areas.
The Ichord Ranch sits within the Merced Grasslands, one of the largest and most intact vernal pool grasslands habitats in the world. Eleven state or federally listed threatened or endangered species are known to be on the ranch like the succulent owl’s-clover, San Joaquin Valley orcutt grass, the California tiger salamander, the San Joaquin kit fox, and Swainson’s hawk. The high concentration of vernal pools supported by the current grazing practices sustains this abundance of plant species and wildlife.