Mailliard Ranch: Facts

Key Facts About This Landscape

KEY FACTS

  • Mailliard Ranch is a 14,838-acre property located in southern Mendocino.
    • It is within the ancestral lands of the Central Pomo Tribes.
    • It has been owned by the Mailliard family since 1925.
    • The land contains nearly 1,000 acres of reserves, including old-growth coast redwoods, mature mixed-conifer forest, the Garcia and Navarro River headwaters, and 28 miles of priority anadromous streams (streams in which fish such as salmon migrate upriver from the sea to spawn).
    • The property has two old-growth redwood groves, Cathedral Grove and Armstrong Grove.
    • The entire property has 12,870 acres of forest.
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  • The property ensures watershed health and habitat connectivity throughout 82,000 acres of contiguous protected lands.

    • The conservation easement protects 1,831 acres of the Garcia watershed and 1,710 acres of the Navarro watershed and will improve wildlife habitat and water quality in these watersheds.
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  • The easements will reduce by 50 percent the amount of timber that can be cut under the California Forest protection rules—and, by consequence, increase by that same factor the amount of carbon that will be stored by the forest.
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  • About the flora and fauna:

    • Snow Mountain wildlife corridor runs through the east ranch. The corridor contains 12 plant species of special concern and 8 animal species of special concern. 7 percent is in US Fish and Wildlife Service-designated Critical Habitat for federally listed species.
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    • The habitat can support species such as:

      • Golden eagle
      • Black-tailed deer
      • Northern spotted owl
      • Coho salmon
      • Steelhead trout
      • Townsend’s big-eared bats
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    • There are at least 159 native plant species on the property.
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  • The purchase price for the conservation easements is $24.7 million.

    • The Mailliard family has contributed a land value donation of $6.5 million.
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  • The Mailliard Ranch project nearly doubles the amount of land that Save the Redwoods League has protected in Mendocino County to 34,037 acres.

 

Redwood trees in the Cathedral Grove at Mailliard Ranch
The 14,838-acre Mailliard Ranch in Mendocino County has two old-growth coast redwood groves, Cathedral Grove and Armstrong Grove. Photo by Marcos Castineiras, Save the Redwoods League.

FAQ’s

Why is this property a priority for the League?
Protecting Mailliard Ranch fulfills goals of the League’s Centennial Vision: protecting the remaining old-growth redwood forests, securing the redwood forests’ footprints, and restoring the forests’ ecological conditions.

Spanning nearly 15,000 acres, Mailliard Ranch is a stronghold of biodiversity and ensures watershed health and habitat connectivity throughout 82,000 acres of contiguous protected lands. It contains nearly 1,000 acres of reserves, including old-growth coast redwoods, mature mixed-conifer forest, the Garcia and Navarro River headwaters, and 28 miles of priority salmon-bearing streams. Its rich habitats also capture significant amounts of carbon, helping to stabilize regional carbon storage.

Who are the landowners and what is their history?
Mailliard Ranch is owned by the Mailliard family. Wife and husband Kate Mailliard and John Ward Mailliard Jr. purchased the home ranch in 1925. They subsequently purchased adjacent properties, many of which had been aggressively harvested for timber in the past. Their motive was to reassemble and restore the natural landscape as they sustained the ranch financially. By 1945, they had acquired multiple parcels, combining them into a single 14,838-acre holding that today represents 69 legal parcels.

From the beginning, the Mailliards have focused on protecting the redwood forest. Their livestock and timber harvest activities were always gentle on the land, improving pasture and woodlands rather than degrading them. In 1954, John Ward Mailliard Jr. donated the 242-acre Mailliard Ranch State Natural Reserve to Save the Redwoods League. Both John W. and Kate, as well as their son, John III, served on either the Board or Council of the League from 1944 to the mid-1980s.

Larry Mailliard, grandson of Kate Mailliard and John Ward Mailliard Jr., has been managing the property on behalf of the family for nearly three decades.

What is a conservation easement?
According to the Land Trust Alliance, a conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently limits uses of the land to protect its conservation values. It allows a person or group to continue to own and use their land and to sell it or pass it on to heirs. No matter how many times the land gets sold down the line, the protections stay with it forever.
Why was this project done in three phases?
The Mailliard family agreed to complete the agreement in three phases to allow time for the League to secure state and federal funding and private donations. The League secured an option agreement to protect Mailliard Ranch in 2015. Conservation easements for the west and middle ranches were granted in December 2018. The final conservation easement for the east ranch was granted in February 2021.
Will there be public access to Mailliard Ranch?
Mailliard Ranch will remain privately owned, and so there will not be public access to the property or its protected redwood groves.

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