Press Release

MALT Protects Another Local Ranch for Agriculture, Preserving Critical and Diverse Contiguous Habitat

MALT partners with longtime dairying family to protect rangeland, habitat just north of Nicasio

Pt. Reyes Station, Calif. – Surrounded by protected farmland north of Nicasio — and offering stunning 360-degree views of West Marin and the greater Bay Area — Ielmorini Back Ranch was at risk of estate development. Now protected for farming forever, this productive ranch also boasts critical habitat for American badgers, bobcats, mountain lions, western pond turtles and California red-legged frogs.

The protection of this 758-acre ranch connects two separate blocks of MALT-protected farmland, forming a contiguous 14,383-acre stretch of MALT-protected agricultural land and associated habitats. These 14,383 acres are part of an important wildlife corridor spanning from the hills above the San Geronimo Valley to inland Sonoma County and Mount Saint Helena, providing an essential thoroughfare for migrating wildlife.

“MALT is proud to partner with the ranch’s owners, Doug and Cathy Ielmorini, and their four children to support their family dairy operation, protect important habitat and safeguard these productive rangelands for agriculture forever. We are very grateful to both Doug and Cathy for their partnership, and look forward to the years ahead as we work together to steward these precious resources,” said MALT executive director, Jamison Watts.

In addition to providing over 300 acres of productive grasslands to support the family dairy business, the ranch is also home to the headwaters of Arroyo Sausal, which feeds this ranch’s pristine redwood groves, Douglas fir forests, bay-oak woodlands, perennial and annual grasslands — including abundant stands of California’s state grass, purple needlegrass.

With the protection of Ielmorini Back Ranch, MALT has now protected 54,209 acres of Marin’s farmland from development for farming, in perpetuity.

Ielmorini Back Ranch’s protection was funded by private donations to MALT as well as $1.516 million from Measure A, which, since implemented in 2014, has allowed MALT to leverage $14.02 million in grants to protect 12 farms and ranches totaling 7,018 acres. To date, Measure A has made it possible for MALT to preserve 17.5 miles of streams, 1,815 acres of forests, 4,886 acres of grassland and 28 acres of wetland.

“Marin Voters can be proud of the work that their dollars are doing to preserve Marin’s unique natural resources and to ensure that Marin’s kids will always grow strong on local, high quality and sustainably produced milk,” said Carl Somers, Chief of Planning and Acquisition for Marin County Parks.

About MALT: Marin Agricultural Land Trust is a member-supported nonprofit organization created in 1980 to permanently preserve Marin County farmland. Some of the Bay Area’s most highly acclaimed dairy and meat products and organic crops are produced on farmland protected by MALT, which totals more than 54,000 acres on 86 family farms and ranches. To learn more about MALT, visit malt.org.