The Sweet Ranch is a working cattle ranch nestled on low, rolling hills coated in nutrient-rich grasses that are perfect for cattle grazing. The ranch has been owned by the Sweet family since 1915 when they purchased it from Stanford University. Several generations later, the property is still home to the Sweet family, their cattle operation, sheep, and grain crops. The ranch provides critical habitat for federally listed species including the San Joaquin kit fox, California red-legged frog, and tiger salamander, as well as the American badger and the burrowing owl. To mitigate potential negative impacts to these important species, the Sweet family worked with California Rangeland Trust to not only conserve the ranch, but to enhance its wildlife habitat.
A mitigation easement was placed on the 363-acre ranch through the Rangeland Trust in 2018. Sweet Ranch is conserved in its existing state while promoting species habitat by using managed grazing, invasive species controls, and pond management. The agreement prevents future development and subdivision and provides a consistent habitat for many species endemic to California.
This mitigation easement is part of a larger network of mitigation easement projects through the Rangeland Trust. The projects offset environmental impacts associated with replacing wind turbines and associated infrastructure with more efficient models. These wind turbines provide renewable energy to Google Headquarters and Kaiser Permanente Medical Office in the Silicon Valley area.