Maddalena Ranch is a 743-acre working cattle ranch located in the southwestern part of Sierra Valley, where the California Rangeland Trust has conserved over 29,000 acres. With its open space and scenery, Maddalena Ranch is considered one of the most scenic ranches in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The Maddalena family wanted to place their ranch into a conservation easement for several reasons, their main priorities were to 1) maintain the substantial wildlife and habitat values as well as the riparian and wetland values, 2) maintain the abundant water which is important to this Ranch and downstream users, 3) maintain the scenic qualities of the land, 4) maintain the open space and historical values, 5) protect the ranch from threatening residential growth in the Tahoe and Truckee areas, and to 6) keep the ranch in the family, as well as in agricultural production.
There are numerous other holdings of public and preserved lands within the Sierra Valley. However, there are small ranchettes and homesites within a quarter mile of the Ranch, suggesting a potential threat of development in the area. The meadows, natural wetlands, marshes, tules, ponds, and year-round springs provide valuable habitat for wildlife. Wildlife habitat records show three significant species recorded on the Ranch, including the sticky pyrocoman, Plumas ivesia, and bald eagle.
The Rangeland Trust in partnership with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, the Resources Legacy Fund (Northern Sierra Partnership) and the Sierra Business Council funded this conservation project.