Headshot of Michael Dennis, Board Director

Michael Dennis

Santa Margarita, CA

Michael Dennis is a fifth-generation California rancher. He spent much of his childhood on Rancho Santa Ana where he developed a love for open spaces. His passion for living and working in a natural setting later took him to Wyoming, which he then turned into his home for almost 30 years. Michael worked on a few ranches before deciding to become a veterinarian. He attended the University of Wyoming for his pre-veterinary coursework, and then attended veterinary school in Manhattan, KS. Michael returned to California when his mother, Judith Friend, asked him to manage the Carrizo Ranch (which his mother donated the development rights on through multiple conservation easements held by the Rangeland Trust). As the Ranch manager, Michael is working to improve the ecological processes on the land using regenerative practices with grazing as the main tool. His top-notch stewardship earned him, along with his mother, the Rangeland Trust’s coveted Conservationist of the Year award in 2020.