Agriculture, Environment, Land Protection, Ranching

Moore Ranch Stewardship: A Partnership in Success

December 2, 2018

Moore Ranch, located in Nicasio Valley, has been MALT-protected since 2004 and a working ranch since all the way back to the mid-19th century. This property is an important part of Marin’s rich agricultural history. Recently, MALT partnered with the Moore family and the Marin Resource Conservation District (Marin RCD) on a stewardship project on the ranch that will improve a riparian (situated on the banks of a stream) corridor and benefit wildlife species, such as hawks, eagles, songbirds, deer, foxes, badgers, frogs, turtles.

The Stewardship Assistance Project

Moore Ranch is blessed with a headwater tributary and diverse woodland corridor that nearly bisect its 1,000-plus acres of rangeland that filter seasonal runoff on its way to Nicasio Reservoir.

While this mile-long stretch of creek has been historically fenced, the Moores recognized that the fencing could be improved. They applied for a grant from the Marin RCD to replace the fence as part of a long-term investment in the property with a host of additional conservation benefits.

Because of the generous support of our donors, MALT, through our Stewardship Assistance Program, was able to provide staff expertise, technical support and matching funding to ensure completion of the Moore fencing project. This stewardship project fits nicely into the property’s Creek Conservation Area management plan as part of its MALT easement and it Carbon Farm Plan, recently developed in partnership with MALT staff.

The Long-Term Benefits

The new and improved fencing on Moore will make a real difference:

It will preserve existing vegetation on the creek banks such as native oaks and willows. This habitat is home to a number of wildlife species and their migration corridors.

It will protect a critical section of creek for implementing a three-year native plant revegetation project. The Moores are partnering with the Salmon Protection and Watershed Network to plant a broad native pallet of willows, lilacs, rushes, yarrows and more.

It will serve as a cross fence on the property to allow continued implementation of good rangeland management practices. These practices fit into the Moores’ Carbon Farm Plan and will help rotate cattle grazing, improve pasture health and sequester more carbon in the soil.

It will create a continuous protected riparian (situated on the banks of a stream) corridor that is more beneficial than an interrupted corridor. A corridor one mile long is rare in West Marin so this project has a high conservation value and fits well with the neighboring protected lands, including MMWD’s Nicasio Reservoir.

A high conservation value means the riparian corridors provide shelter, food and clean water to a wide range of animals including threatened and endangered species; restore native and natural plant species; and allow the incised (eroded) creek channel to heal, revegetate, and restore itself.

We are proud of this partnership to protect the working lands that we love.

The support of our donors provides MALT with the much-needed resources to partner with our MALT-protected ranches and farms in the ongoing and long-term stewardship of the land.

Together we are protecting farmland forever.