Johnson Ranch

Area: 930 acres

Location: French Valley area, unincorporated Riverside County, California

Date acquired: 2000

Acquisition Type: CNLM has a long-term agreement with landowner or third party

Key Habitats: Coastal Sage Scrub, Mixed Chaparral, Valley Foothill Riparian, Vernal Pools, California Annual and Perennial Grasslands.

Species of Special Interest to CNLM: Coastal California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californicaQuino checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha quino and Riverside fairy shrimp (Streptocephalus woottoni


The Johnson Ranch Preserve consists of approximately 930 acres in the unincorporated area of French Valley, Riverside County, California. The Preserve is part of a larger landscape of preserved lands totaling over 2000 acres. The Assessment District 161 Multiple Species Subarea Habitat Conservation Plan (Conservation Plan) is the basis for the establishment of this Preserve. Under the Conservation Plan, several development companies within the Assessment District contributed the funds to purchase the (now) preserved lands and to establish an endowment to fund their management by the Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) in perpetuity.

Our Work

Bobcat catches snack

CNLM is responsible for management of approximately 930 acres of Johnson Ranch, all of which is owned by Riverside County. Most of the species for which the Conservation Plan was created are found in sage scrub habitats; therefore, the primary management objectives are aimed at protecting, enhancing, and expanding the sage scrub communities. Several species covered under the Conservation Plan are associated with vernal pools. The vernal pools on Johnson Ranch Preserve are found where agricultural activities historically took place; therefore, the management activities involve controlling erosion and non-native plants while the pools recover from heavy disturbance. Other portions of the former agricultural fields are being converted back to sage scrub. CNLM implements a comprehensive Integrated Pest Management program, which includes grazing by cattle and sheep, to control and manage the diverse vegetation communities and protect them from nonnative invasive plant competition.  A variety of monitoring programs are used to track the condition of the diverse vegetation and vernal pool communities and to assess the success of our management activities.

Public Access

Due to the vulnerability of the species and habitats that exist on this preserve, it is not open to the public.


For information and inquiries regarding Johnson Ranch or Center for Natural Lands Management,  please contact Regional Preserve Manager, Kim Klementowski at or 760.731.7790 extension 208.