Bivista Ridge Ranch Protected Along East Shore of Tomales Bay

March 5, 2024

The 592-acre Bivista Ridge Ranch along the eastern shore of Tomales Bay is now protected in perpetuity. Today we protected this ranch with a MALT agricultural conservation easement, ensuring this land remains dedicated to milk, butter, and cheese production, offering refuge for local biodiversity, and supporting regional resilience amid a changing climate. We’re deeply grateful for all the support in preserving agriculture and open space, as well as the local food economy.

You might have passed this ranch driving along Highway 1 as you parallel its western boundary north of Marshall. Winding along the coast, the ranch’s six acres of wetlands are fed by over a mile of creek habitat — an ideal refuge for the profusion of life that call this landscape home. 

See for yourself:


An Essential Landscape to Preserve Local Agriculture 

Standing at the ranch center, the legacy of coastal ranching is palpable in the barn’s weathered redwood and the charming, historic house, built the same year California became a state. Today, 473 acres of the Bivista Ridge Ranch have been deemed “Farmland of Local Importance” by the California Department of Conservation, indicating its critical role in contributing to Marin County’s robust food economy, now and in the future.

The Taylor family are the current land holders and have been faithful stewards of the land since 1976. Bivista serves as an integral part of their organic dairy operation that is based at the 705-acre Bivalve Dairy, another MALT protected ranch a few miles to the south. With more than 150 acres of organic hayland and ample pastures, Bivista Ridge Ranch is an essential part of their local business and the natural foundation of their award-winning cheeses. 


Key Piece of Regional Climate Resilience

Flying over the eastern shore of Tomales Bay, you will find a landscape that looks much as it has for decades, a complex matrix of working ranches that fit neatly like pieces of a puzzle. Since MALT’s founding in 1980, we have protected more than 55,500 acres of this landscape, with Bivista Ridge Ranch building upon a block of 10,726 contiguous acres of MALT-protected lands.

As our climate continues to change, maintaining and enhancing the landscape’s health and connectivity will become increasingly important. Species are often forced to migrate to find suitable climates, food sources, or mates, so it’s critical our ecosystems continue to function the way nature intended, with room to roam. Bivista Ridge Ranch adds to this connectivity of protected lands.

Nearly the entirety of Bivista Ridge Ranch is within the Critical Linkage Area identified by the Conservation Lands Network, a broad area of land that supports the movement of both plants and animals. Protecting this landscape is vital for the preservation of our local biodiversity and its resilience to a changing climate. We’re excited to be partnering with the Taylor family to further this land’s legacy of careful land stewardship.

Partners Make it Possible

Our ability to protect this agricultural landscape would not be possible without our partners in conservation. In December of this year, the Marin County Board of Supervisors approved grant funding from the county’s Farmland Preservation Program (Measure A), a quarter-cent sales tax voters renewed in 2022. Since its initial passage in 2012, our team at MALT has applied for and received Measure A grant funding to protect more than 13 farms and ranches totaling more than 7,953 acres — the power of a community united.

The matching funding for this $3.9 million easement comes from the California Strategic Growth Council’s Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALC) in collaboration with the Department of Conservation. SALC is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities.

There’s a lot to celebrate. In total MALT and our partners have now invested more than $100 million in Marin County agricultural land conservation since our founding in 1980— a huge milestone only made possible through the ongoing commitment of our generous donors, partner organizations, and Marin County voters.

We are deeply grateful for the public funding, our donor community’s unwavering support, and the commitment of Marin County voters.

The Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) acknowledges that we work in the unceded ancestral lands of the Coast Miwok people of present-day Marin County. We recognize the centuries of attempted erasure, displacement, and genocide these communities have endured and that many inequities exist to this day. We honor with gratitude the land itself and celebrate the ongoing relationship with the Coast Miwok people on their traditional territories. 

Learn more here.

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