Thanks to the commitment and generosity of former ranch owner Steve Lyons, a key land parcel between Los Alamos and Orcutt is protected by a Land Trust conservation easement. Part of the original Las Flores Ranch and now known as North 4 Deer Ranch, the 653 acres of undeveloped property is on the southern slope of the Solomon Hills just west of the Highway 101. The easement limits the ranch to one home site and 100 acres of agricultural cultivation and support buildings. Most of the land will be left undeveloped and available for livestock grazing. The property is also in the known range of the endangered California tiger salamander (CTS).
Long used for cattle grazing and some dry farming, the property is a mosaic of dense coastal sage scrub, oak woodland, stabilized dunes, and open grassland. It is an important link for habitat continuity between the public undeveloped lands to the southwest: La Purisima State Park, the Burton Mesa Ecological Reserve, and Vandenberg Space Force Base, and Los Padres National Forest in the northeast. The relatively intact riparian habitat and culvert access under US 101 help large mammals like deer, bear, mountain lion and bobcat migrate more safely.