California Rangeland Trust Welcomes New CEO

Michael Delbar Assumes the Helm as the Trust’s New Leader


(SACRAMENTO) – May 12, 2020

The California Rangeland Trust announced that Michael Delbar has taken the helm as its new CEO. He replaces former and longtime CEO Nita Vail who stepped down from her role at the end of April after more than 20 years. Having served as the Trust’s chief operating officer for the past 10 years, Delbar is well poised to lead the Rangeland Trust forward.

“Michael knows the ins and out of this organization, and his commitment to land preservation and to the Rangeland Trust is strong,” said Rangeland Trust Board Co-Chair Mark Nelson. “Michael’s creative and innovative approach coupled with his knowledge of the agricultural industry will ensure the Trust continues to be a leader in conserving California’s heritage and vast working landscapes.”

Delbar hails from a multi-generational ranching family in Mendocino and Lake Counties where they raise beef cattle, timber and hay. Prior to joining the Rangeland Trust in 2010, Delbar served on the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors for twelve years. He also served for two years as the Lake County Farm Bureau Executive Director and is a graduate of the California Agricultural Leadership Program.

“Michael is the right person to lead the organization forward,” said Rangeland Trust Board Co-Chair Valerie Gordon. “His proven leadership, strategic thinking and passion for rangeland conservation and will help take the Rangeland Trust to new levels.”

“I am honored to lead the Rangeland Trust at this juncture, and I look forward to building on Nita’s incredible work,” said Delbar. “I have a deep desire to preserve the land and its natural resources. I am excited and energized to help protect the state’s open spaces and a way of life for California ranchers.”

Under its new leadership, the Rangeland Trust will continue its commitment to conserve the open spaces that are so vital to the Golden State’s cultural, social, and economic well-being. The Rangeland Trust is excited for its continued success in service to its mission and growth under Delbar’s new leadership.

The California Rangeland Trust, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was created to serve the land, people, and wildlife by conserving California’s working rangelands. To date, the Rangeland Trust has protected more than 342,008 Acres of productive grazing lands across the state through the use of conservation easements. For more information please visit