Maddalena Ranch is a 743-acre working cattle ranch is located in the southwestern part of Sierra Valley where California Rangeland Trust is conserving over 29,000 acres in easements. With its open space and scenery, Maddalena Ranch is considered one of the most scenic ranches in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The Maddalena family wanted to place their ranch into a conservation easement for several reasons, which include: 1) maintain the substantial wildlife and habitat values as well as the riparian and wetland values, 2) maintain the abundant water which is important to this Ranch and down stream users, 3) maintain the scenic qualities of the land, 4) maintain the open space and historical values, 5) protect the Ranch from threatening residential growth in the Tahoe/ Truckee area, 6) keep the ranch in the family and in agricultural production.
The ranch is presently used to raise livestock and approximately 70 acres are cut for grass hay, and then grazed. Additional agricultural productivity includes timber and Christmas trees.
The current land owner-ships surrounding the Maddalena Ranch include the Strang Ranch with a Pacific Forest Trust conservation easement to the west and the Tahoe National Forest to the south. There are numerous other holding of public and preserved lands within the Sierra Valley. However, there are small ranchettes and homesites within a quarter mile of the Ranch, suggesting a potential threat of development in the area. The meadows, natural wetlands, marshes, tules, ponds, and year round springs provides valuable habitat for wildlife. Wildlife habitat records show three significant species recorded on the Ranch, including the sticky pyrocoman, Plumas ivesia, and bald eagle.
California Rangeland Trust in partnership with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, the Resources Legacy Fund (Northern Sierra Partnership) and the Sierra Business Council funded this conservation easement.