About the Coastal Ranches Conservancy

The Coastal Ranches Conservancy was formed in 2003 by a small group of Gaviota ranch owners who had worked for many years to protect and improve natural resources on the Gaviota Coast. The role of the Coastal Ranches Conservancy is to work cooperatively with neighboring private and public land owners to address the protection and enhancement of natural resources in the Gaviota region.

The Coastal Ranches Conservancy was established as a 501(c) (3) public benefit, non-profit organization to support and encourage Gaviota Coast land owners, government agencies, and other interested parties to address various environmental, education, and habitat management issues. Since its inception ten years ago, the Coastal Ranches Conservancy has raised over $100,000 in donations and provided financial support for a variety of projects, including:

  • Restoration of native grasses on previously-farmed pasture lands
  • Eradication of invasive, non-native plants in a cooperative effort with Gaviota State Park
  • An educational brochure related to cattle operations and land stewardship
  • A feasibility study by the Bren School (UCSB) regarding the removal of fish migration barriers on Santa Anita Creek
  • Support for a tide pool education and awareness field program for elementary school children
  • Support for the Gaviota Coast Steelhead Coalition
  • Support for efforts to streamline permitting required for habitat restoration and maintenance work on the Gaviota Coast
  • Support an improved stream crossing for a private avocado ranch in Refugio Canyon

The Coastal Ranches Conservancy Board is made up of people who have had a long connection to the Gaviota Coast as landowners, agriculturists, and land stewards working for the protection of natural resources. Their knowledge and experience helps the Coastal Ranches Conservancy apply its resources in the program areas that can achieve the maximum benefit to the region. No outside donor funds are used for our administration or overhead costs; the money you contribute all goes directly to the projects we fund. This helps ensure that your contributions do the most good.

The Gaviota Coast represents about 50% of the remaining rural coastline in Southern California and supports the healthiest remaining coastal ecosystems with a high degree of biodiversity. Much of the land that is not held by public agencies is owned by private landowners who operate large cattle ranches and manage active agricultural operations. The Gaviota Coast is one of the best remaining examples of the rare and endangered coastal Mediterranean environment left in the world. This unique assemblage of plants and animals deserve our understanding and our support so that they do not disappear as has happened in so many other places along the California Coast. We need your help to do this work so please click here to contribute, and please sign up for our newsletter.

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