El Rancho Español de Cuyama

Thank you for Joining us in conserving the SPANISH RANCH!

One of the earliest of California’s original land grants, dating back to 1843, the now 5,652-acre Spanish Ranch (AKA El Rancho Español de Cuyama) is the largest remaining piece of what once covered more than 70,000 acres. The Spanish Ranch is unique for its geological formations, six different habitats, watershed, archaeological history, and agricultural resilience.

The landowners have partnered with the California Rangeland Trust to conserve the Spanish Ranch, a historic California ranch in an area that is vital for migrating wildlife. Then, our donor community stepped up to help keep intact the largest remaining ranch in the Cuyama Valley. 

We have reached our initial goal with over $1,000,000 from private donors foundations – the first such strong showing of support from the community for one of our conservation opportunities!

We expect to complete conservation on the Spanish Ranch in mid-2024. If you contributed to this project, we will be in touch after closing about a celebration on the Ranch!

Fundraising Goal | $1,000,000

Why We Must Conserve the
Spanish Ranch

From the early Chumash Indians to the Californios and through today, the land has a rich agricultural history. The historic roots of the Spanish Ranch continue to be honored today – even the original 1870s adobe still functions as the property headquarters.

Today, the Spanish Ranch is a working cattle ranch that also supports firefighter training and has served as a staging site for battling wildfires in the region. The ranch is a community resource for local youth groups and other organizations in the surrounding area. As land continues to be developed to meet a growing population, conservation of the Spanish Ranch will help tilt the scale for the environmental values we need. The more we can conserve, the better the future for all of California’s people and wildlife, even far beyond the Cuyama Valley.

Located in one of the last undeveloped coastal valleys in Central California, the Spanish Ranch is in a region especially threatened by conversion to other intensive uses, which has almost drained the Valley’s water basin while fracturing natural habitats and wildlife corridors. Such conversion degrades and, in many cases, destroys the environmental benefits derived from managed rangelands.

We believe that this project will highlight the need for preserving the Valley and attract more conservation funds for the area. Conserving the Spanish Ranch will help make the valley a beacon for wildlife and environmental preservation. It can also demonstrate to other landowners how conservation easements present an attractive alternative to selling all or part of their land for uses with high water demands on an already seriously impaired water basin.

Enjoy this brief video about the ranch and history that you can be part of conserving:

A working landscape like we have - and we hope to conserve with a conservation easement - uses the land and enhances the land and that’s what the California Rangeland Trust has been able to do with hundreds of thousands of acres already. And I want to be a part of that.