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Soap Lake

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

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.


Phil Foster Ranch – 51 acres:
Phil and Katherine Foster's farm in San Juan Bautista is SBALT’s most recent conservation easement, located on prime soils in the San Juan Valley, adjacent to the San Benito River.  The first easement of 27 acres was acquired in 2019 with county development mitigation funds. The second easement, 24 acres, was acquired in 2023 with funds made available through the California Strategic Growth Council's SALC program and NRCS Agricultural Conservation Easement Program.  Under the label Pinnacle Organically Grown, the Fosters grow and market a wide variety of crops using practices which build healthy soils, reduce climate impacts, conserve water, and promote on-farm biodiversity.  SBALT is proud to partner with these leaders and innovators in sustainable farming. Read more.


Nyland – 540 acres:
The San Benito Agricultural Land Trust took title of the historic Harvey and Gladys Nyland Property in June 2023 with a conservation easement protecting agriculture and wildlife held by the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County and a cultural easement providing access for indigenous land stewardship and cultural and educational activities held by the Amah Mutsan Land Trust. Read more.

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