Habitat and Open Range
Marin County: biodiversity hotspot
From the rugged coastline and still waters of Tomales Bay, up deep redwood-shaded canyons, through chaparral, scrub and oak savanna, clear to the grassy tops of rolling ridges, Marin County provides refuge and resources for an extraordinary array of plants and animals. Here you can find 41 animals and over 100 plants under special protected status, reflecting both the outstanding diversity and perilous fragility of our landscape.
When MALT protects a property, we make a promise to help permanently protect the land’s agricultural and natural values alike.
Stewardship: Enhancing Agricultural and Natural Resources
Our Stewardship Department works closely with landowners to advance sustainable land management. MALT offers landowners technical support, resources and funding for projects that protect or restore sensitive habitats like streams and wetlands. We help landowners control invasive weeds on their properties, which can damage pasture quality and out-compete grassland species that grazing animals rely on.
Stitching it Together: Wildlife Corridors
Across North America, many wild spaces are like islands in a sea of developed land. To thrive, species need to travel to different parts of their range throughout the year to find food, shelter and mates. Barriers that break up good habitat – like a subdivision or freeway – restrict or eliminate an animal's ability to access these resources.
Alone, a MALT-protected ranch ensures hundreds of acres of habitat harboring a vibrant array of native wildlife and plants. Together, large blocks of protected ranches offer even greater protection than the sum of their parts: fish can spawn in miles of healthy streambeds and wildlife can travel and forage across a carefully-stewarded landscape offering diverse natural resources.
Big swaths of adjacent MALT-protected land near Tomales, Marshall, Novato, and in Hicks and Chileno valleys provide important habitat links to other protected lands along the Marin-Sonoma coast, as well as inland to the Bay Delta and the greater San Francisco Bay Area.
Animals like spotted owls, red-legged frogs, coho salmon, bobcats, coyotes and songbirds find refuge on farms and ranches in our county, alongside cows, sheep, fruit trees and rows of vegetables.
One ranch at a time, MALT is working alongside local ranchers to stitch together a quilt of well-managed land, safeguarding our agricultural heritage and precious natural resources alike.
More Benefits of Marin Farms
Local Food »
Clean Air and Water »
Carbon Farming »