Arroyo Seco Ranch
Situated just west of Greenfield along the south Salinas Valley corridor, the beautiful 1,675-acre Arroyo Seco Ranch, known previously as the Mueller Ranch, offers an ideal setting for The Big Sur Land Trust (BSLT) to pursue its vision of conserving important lands and waters in Monterey County by engaging communities in land stewardship and broadening its outreach to the surrounding areas of Monterey County.
An important link to surrounding wilderness areas including the Ventana Wilderness, Arroyo Seco Ranch is home to a wealth of native habitats and river and creek systems that sustain many plant and animal species. The property includes approximately 2 miles of the Arroyo Seco River, a key tributary to the Salinas River and one of Monterey County’s few remaining undammed, free-flowing rivers. The Arroyo Seco River is an important tributary for the spawning and rearing of steelhead trout in the Salinas River system and has been identified by the California Department of Fish and Game as a priority steelhead restoration site. The Arroyo Seco floodplain supports one of the best examples of intact sycamore alluvial woodland forests found in the state, and provides important habitat for an array of native wildlife, including the endangered California red-legged frog and numerous songbirds. Horse Canyon Creek has robust populations of California newts, as well as western pond turtles which in other parts of the state are in decline.
In 2007, with the assistance of the Ag Land Trust, BSLT took ownership of Arroyo Seco Ranch from The Nature Conservancy, which had purchased the Ranch in 2002. The California Department of Fish and Game holds a conservation easement on the property and Nature Conservancy scientists will continue to monitor this easement.
With the goal to nurture a personal investment in land preservation throughout Monterey County, BSLT is currently creating a comprehensive plan for the Ranch so it can be a platform for teaching community members about the value of land conservation and stewardship as well as a place for hiking and exploration.
Although Arroyo Seco Ranch is not yet open to the public, BSLT members can experience the property through the Land Trust’s guided hikes program. Planned uses for the property include public trails, hiking programs, and educational opportunities. Properly managed seasonal cattle grazing by two local ranchers continues on a portion of the property. BSLT is also exploring with several area community colleges a plan to use the Ranch as a natural reserve for classes, where scientists and educators can train the next generation of land stewards and field biologists.
Stories and Projects
- Marks Ranch
- Arroyo Seco Ranch
- BSLT and Conservation Corps Team Up for Day on the Land
- Laura Lee Lienk – Bringing People to Nature and Nature to People
- Marks Ranch Backcountry to Remain Open Space with Upcoming Transfer to County Parks
- Hartnell College to Bring Green Construction Practices to Marks Ranch
- Joaquin Sanchez, Lead Organizer, COPA
- Changing Lives through Landscape: Rancho Cielo Youth at Mitteldorf Preserve
- Harmony at Home – Teen Enrichment Summer Camp at Glen Deven Ranch
- Eagle Scout Project Transforms Popular Mitteldorf Preserve Trail
- Leslie Stone – Connecting People and Nature Through Design
- Going Outside