Three conservation easements create 82,000 acres of contiguous protected lands
Home to the largest coast redwood forest still in private family hands, Mailliard Ranch is a 14,838-acre property near Boonville, California, in southern Mendocino County. In February 2021, Save the Redwoods League permanently protected this landscape with three conservation easements, closing the final phase of the project. Conservation of the ranch creates more than 82,000 acres of contiguous protected lands from the Garcia River’s headwaters to the coast, and south into northwestern Sonoma County. This project nearly doubles the amount of land that the League has protected in Mendocino County, and it supports the state’s goal of protecting 30% of its lands by 2030.
The Mailliard family will retain ownership of the land and continue their exemplary stewardship and sustainable working forest practices. While there will be no public access because it is a private ranch, the agreement safeguards the entire property from subdivision and development in popular Anderson Valley—no matter who owns the land in the future. The easements also reduce by approximately 50% the amount of timber that can be cut under the California Forest protection rules. With nearly 1,000 acres of reserves, including old-growth coast redwoods, mature mixed-conifer forest, and 28 miles of salmon-bearing streams, the ranch helps to stabilize regional carbon storage. A stronghold of biodiversity, this protected landscape provides habitat for a wide range of animal species such as the imperiled coastal tailed frog, northern spotted owl, and western pond turtle, as well as at least 159 native plant species.
To meet the $24.7 million purchase price for the easements, the League secured more than $10 million in public funding from the State of California Wildlife Conservation Board, the national Forest Legacy Program via CAL FIRE, and the California Natural Resources Agency. These state and federal funds would not exist without voter support, demonstrating how critical the League’s supporters’ voices and votes are in helping us fund conservation projects. The League leveraged public funding with $14.65 million in private donations, including a $6.5 million land value donation from the Mailliard family.
Mailliard Ranch is within the ancestral lands of the Central Pomo tribes. We acknowledge that these tribes have endured generations of violence and displacement across their homelands. We recognize that Central Pomo people still live in southern Mendocino County today and continue to speak their language and practice their cultural traditions.
This feature appears in the beautiful printed edition of Redwoods magazine, a showcase of redwoods conservation stories by leading scientists and writers, as well as breathtaking photos, and ways you can help the forest.
Join our thousands of members today for only $25, and you’ll get future editions of our Redwoods magazine.