Big Bend Ranch, 108 acres along scenic California Route 1, was originally part of historic, Rancho San Julian, a striking piece of Central California Coast landscape. This property consists of beautiful and valuable watershed, farmland, grazing, oak woodland and riparian habitat. It’s located in the El Jaro Creek watershed, a tributary of the Santa Ynez River, and an important steelhead stream. The farmland here is not irrigated, but deep and fertile soils have produced vibrant crops and healthy livestock for generations. The Stapelmann family, after spending 40 years enjoying this scenic, agricultural property, donated it to the Land Trust in 2015 to protect it forever with a conservation easement and to raise important funds for our work.
The conservation easement that permanently protects this land restricts the type and amount of development that can occur on the property while also providing an opportunity for a local farmer or rancher to expand their operations. The Land Trust sold Big Bend Ranch to a private landowner in 2017 who will care for the land—and the funds from the sale ensure that the Land Trust can conserve more special places like this for generations to come.