Agriculture, Land Protection, Ranching

Spotlight on Stewardship: Longmeadow Ranch

December 20, 2019

MALT’s partnership with Marin ranchers and farmers begins the moment the land is permanently protected. Once a conservation easement is placed on a farm or ranch, MALT’s stewardship team gets to work, providing technical guidance and funding to support landowners as they plan and implement conservation practices that improve soil and water quality and strengthen climate resiliency.

Longmeadow Ranch: A Partner in Conservation

Longmeadow Ranch is a family-owned producer and purveyor of world-class wine and food, with farms in three counties on more than 2,000 acres of grapes, olives, fruits, vegetables and pasture. Their 421-acre MALT-protected ranch in Tomales is iconic for the shaggy, long horned, double-coated Scottish Highland cattle raised on the ranch’s rolling hills of grass and clover.

Stewarding the Land at Longmeadow Ranch

After partnering with MALT to protect this land through a conservation easement, the owners of Longmeadow Ranch, the Hall family, expanded their grass-fed beef cattle business. Facilitated by MALT’s stewardship team, they were able to partner with Marin Resources Conservation District (Marin RCD) and National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to develop and implement new grazing practices along Keys Creek, an important tributary to Tomales Bay.

Creekside Restoration

In partnership with Marin RCD, NRCS and STRAW (Students and Teachers Restoring A Watershed), MALT worked with Longmeadow Ranch landowners to plant 340 shrubs and trees along the banks of Keys Creek to restore habitat and improve water quality throughout the Walker Creek watershed.

Creekside Fencing

Through our Stewardship Assistance Program (SAP), MALT and Longmeadow Ranch partnered to construct roughly 21,000 feet of fencing along the banks of Keys Creek which, by restricting livestock access, decreases sediment and pathogens entering the Walker Creek watershed and directs cattle grazing away from the Keys Creek floodplain.

Livestock Water Development

In partnership with the Marin RCD, new water sources were established and existing water sources were enhanced throughout the ranch to improve grazing productivity and bolster the health of Keys Creek and the Walker Creek watershed. A solar-powered pumping system was also installed to further enhance livestock water sources.

MALT’s Growing Stewardship Program

Since its inception in 2000, SAP has contributed more than $788,500 to implement projects on 44 different farms, ranches and dairies in Marin.

During the 2018–19 fiscal year, MALT staff and partner organizations worked with 27 landowners to install infrastructure improvements to protect soil and water quality, stabilize stream banks and restore riparian habitat. Additionally, $182,833 in SAP funding was matched with $160,188 by partner funds for the implementation of conservation practices on easement-protected lands.

Our stewardship work thrives thanks to the ongoing support of our donors who share our vision of protecting our agricultural lands forever and advancing conservation practices in partnership with Marin’s ranchers and farmers.