Orvis Ranch

Calaveras County & Stanislaus County

Progress & Preservation in Harmony with Nature

On March 31, 2006, Bruce and Roma Orvis entered into a conservation easement agreement with California Rangeland Trust that ensures the 2,563-acre Orvis Ranch will forever remain the same. Situated in the rolling foothills, the property is twenty-eight miles east of Stockton and straddles Stanislaus and Calaveras Counties. Owned and operated by the family since 1873, the Orvis Ranch has been grazed for generations and is part of the historic Snow Ranch. Today, Mr. Orvis manages a purebred Hereford operation on the Ranch. The Ranch is an example of progress and preservation in harmony with nature. Vegetation in the area is primarily annual grassland, thus the property is used for year-round cattle grazing. The Ranch provides important foraging habitat for a variety of animal species, and also features concentrations of vernal pools and other important plant communities. Native birds depend on the annual grasslands and also benefit from keeping the property agriculturally active. In the spring, native wildflowers are highly scenic along the hills and drainages, and provide much desired open space. The purpose of the conservation easement is to allow ongoing agricultural productivity of the property while conserving the open space, historical value, scenic character, and wildlife habitat. California Rangeland Trust worked with the Trust for Public Land in assembling funds from the State of California Department of Conservation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Great Valley Center to purchase the conservation easement. The conservation agreement will ensure that the natural environment and agricultural lifestyle will both be preserved in perpetuity.