Flying M Ranch

Merced County

Vernal Pool-Rich Grassland Protected on the Flying M Ranch

The Flying M Ranch extends over 24 square miles of the Merced Grasslands, one of the largest and most intact vernal pool-grasslands habitats in the world. In 2021, 845 acres of the ranch were conserved through a conservation agreement in partnership with the Rangeland Trust. The conserved acreage joins an additional 5,000 acres previously conserved by the Myers family in partnership with the Nature Conservancy. 

As part of the state’s largest stretch of vernal pool-grasslands, the importance of conserving this portion of the landscape was critical. Many species of flora and fauna depend on the habitat offered by the ranch’s seasonal wetlands, including vernal pool fairy shrimp, California linderiella, tadpole shrimp, California tiger salamander, western spadefoot toad, and succulent owl’s clover.

Flying M works with biologists and botanists to assess the condition of their abundance of vernal pools, ensuring the health of these crucial bodies of water. These vernal grasslands are a striking resemblance to what they looked like centuries ago, and because of the Myers’ conservation efforts, this land will remain protected from development and alteration forever.