Past Generation Plants New Future
Paul Ichord's 2,918-acre ranch in California's Central Valley is now protected forever with help from the California Rangeland Trust. A conservation easement ensures that the ranch's existing habitat, including rolling grasslands, vernal pools and endangered species, will continue to be preserved.
The Ichord Ranch sits within the Merced Grasslands, one of the largest and most intact vernal pool grasslands habitat in the world. Eleven state or federally listed threatened or endangered species are known to be on the Ranch, such as: succulent owl’s-clover, San Joaquin Valley Orcutt grass, Colusa grass, the California tiger salamander, the San Joaquin kit fox and Swainson’s hawk. The high concentration of vernal pools supported by the current grazing practices sustains this abundance of species and wildlife.
Paul Ichord’s father bought the ranch in the 1950s and the family has run cattle here ever since. Paul and his three sons run stocker cattle on the property and pasture some cows in the summer. Paul said, “I have many pleasant memories duck and goose hunting here when I was a boy and now my boys and I get to do the same.”
Paul continued, “It has taken over five years to complete this project and it was an enormous struggle to stay with it. But this easement gives our family a new future. Working with our partners such as the Wildlife Conservation Board and the Rangeland Trust has made this project very worthwhile.”
Photo of vernal pool in the spring on Ichord Ranch by Vollmar Consulting.