SBALT PROTECTED LANDS
SAN BENITO COUNTY
Soap Lake – 1,113 acres:
This conservation easement was established in 2014 and encompasses 1,113 acres of grasslands, wooded areas, and wetlands at the convergence of Pacheco Creek, Tesquisquita Slough, and Ortega Creek in northernmost San Benito County. The beautiful ranch supports cattle grazing, and is home to an array of birds and other wildlife, including endangered species. Flooding during periods of heavy rain creates a sizeable natural lake, adding to the property’s unique habitat value and providing flood protection for downstream communities within the Pajaro River Watershed.
Brandenburg – 68 acres:
This 68-acre parcel was protected in 1997 and is currently being used to grow lettuce. It was SBALT’s first conservation easement in the San Juan Valley, located near San Juan Oaks Golf Club. This conservation easement will help protect agriculture in the fertile San Juan Valley.
Rancho Larios – 521 acres:
This 521-acre property consists of beautiful foothill grazing land southwest of the city of San Juan Bautista. This property was SBALT’s first acquisition and is owned in fee by the land trust. Donated to SBALT, this property hosts a working cattle ranch which is currently leased out for grazing. The ranch also provides an open space buffer around the community of Rancho Larios and is the headwaters for the Elkhorn Slough, an estuary of ecological significance to the entire Central Coast.
Silva Ranch – 153 acres:
This 153-acre parcel near the city of San Juan Bautista was protected by a conservation easement in 2014. The farmland is located in San Juan Valley, perhaps the richest agricultural resource in the region. The farm produces a variety of row crops each year, contributing to the robust agricultural industry and beauty of San Juan Valley.
Wilkinson Ranch – 3,173 acres :
This remote, oak-studded ranch located in south San Benito County near Panoche protects grasslands, oak woodlands, small streams and springs. Protected in 2001, this working cattle ranch consists of 3,173 acres of high vistas and pristine natural areas with lots of wildlife.
Cook – 1,694 acres:
Some of San Benito’s best grazing land was protected by this 615-acre conservation easement located near Tres Pinos. This conservation easement adjoins the Cook 1,079 easement for a total of 1,694 acres at this location. Protected in 1997, this preserve contains gently rolling hills that support a working cattle ranch. This preserve also helps protect the vista of the hills southeast of Hollister for future generations while protecting the region’s watershed.