A 6,800-acre working cattle ranch dedicated to the conservation of blue oak woodlands, grassland birds, and the demonstration of the Audubon Conservation Ranching Initiative.
Audubon California acquired the 6,800-acre Bobcat Ranch in 2007 as part of its ongoing effort to support and encourage the conservation and restoration of blue oak woodlands and rangelands in California.
Our objective for Bobcat Ranch is for it to become our flagship demonstration site for the Audubon Conservation Ranching Initiative, which is a market-based conservation approach that offers incentives for good grassland stewardship through a certification label on beef products.
In 2020, Bobcat Ranch was the first property in California to become Audubon Conservation Ranching (ACR) certified. More information on the program can be found here: https://www.audubon.org/conservation/ranching
For thousands of years, the land that we call Bobcat Ranch has been the home of Patwin people. Today, there are three federally recognized Patwin tribes: Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian Community, Kletsel Dehe Band of Wintun Indians, and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation. The Patwin people have remained committed to the stewardship of this land over many centuries. It has been cherished and protected, as elders have instructed the young through generations. We are honored and grateful to be here today on their traditional lands.
A key part of the ACR-certification process, Audubon developed a Habitat Management Plan (HMP) with the help of Point Blue Conservation Science as part of their Rangeland Monitoring Network. Our HMP outlines critical elements of operational management and conservation practices identified to achieve positive outcomes for ten priority focal bird species, soil health, and overall biological diversity.
The ranch is home to a variety of bird species, including Lark Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Golden Eagle, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Oak Titmouse, Burrowing Owl, Nuttall’s Woodpecker and Yellow-billed Magpie. Mammal species include Bobcat, Mountain Lion, Black-tailed Deer, American Badger, and Black Bear. Bobcat Ranch hosts a rich blend of habitats, including Blue Oak Woodland, native perennial grassland, annual grassland, seasonal wetland, and chaparral.
Bobcat Ranch is an important conservation anchor, adjoining the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, a 330,780-acre matrix of private and public lands, including the 27,000-acre Blue Ridge BLM lands, the Department of Fish and Game’s Putah Creek Wildlife Area, University of California’s Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve, and Cahill Reserve.
The LNU Lightening Fires reached Bobcat Ranch, a 6,800 acre blue oak conservation property and certified Audubon Conservation Ranch. Thanks to the prevention work and prescribed fires by CAL FIRE and our staff, we successfully protected Bobcat Ranch’s infrastructure and surrounding developments.
If annual, non-native, and invasive grasses have a strategy for success, it is certainly, “the early bird gets the worm.” Our response focuses on prescribed burns and timed grazing to benefit grassland birds.