Kelly Ranch

Area: Kelly Ranch consists of 55 acres in the City of Carlsbad, San Diego County, California.

Location: Located to the east of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon, this 55-acre Preserve has a varied topography supporting high quality habitat. This protected area lies directly within a residential development, providing beautiful views for neighboring residents.

Date Acquired: 2002

Acquisition Type: CNLM holds a conservation easement and has responsibilities for protecting the species and habitats on the Kelly Ranch Preserve.

Key Habitats:   Coastal Sage Scrub and Mixed Chaparral.

Species of Special Interest to CNLM:  Coastal California Gnatcatcher (Polioptila calfironica calfornica),  Del Mar manzanita (Arctostaphylos glandulosa crassifolia),  Orcutt’s hazardia (Hazardia orcuttii), Wart-stemmed ceanothus (Ceanothus verrucosus) and  Cliff spurge (Euphorbia misera).


The Kelly Ranch Preserve (or Habitat Conservation Area) was established to fulfill mitigation obligations for the Heron Bay & Spyglass Hills housing development. The Kelly Land Company protected the site via the recordation of a Conservation Easement in favor of the Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) in March of 2002.


Conservation Significance

The Preserve supports Coastal Sage Scrub and Mixed chaparral habitats. Threatened or endangered species occur on the Preserve, including the Del Mar manzanita (Arctostaphylos glandulosa crassifolia), Orcutt’s hazardia (Hazardia orcuttii) and the Coastal California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica).

Our Work

Our primary goals for Kelly Ranch Preserve include monitoring of sensitive habitat and species, and the protection from negative human factors, including illegal encroachment and unwanted trespass which is common in urbanized preserves.

This site is in a highly urban-suburban setting and presents unique challenges in our stewardship activities, including identifying the best and most effective techniques to reduce the risk of extirpation of Del Mar manzanita, Orcutt’s hazardia, and California gnatcatcher on the Preserve.

Public Access

Due to the vulnerability of the species and habitats that exist on this Preserve, it is not open to the public. The Preserve is mostly inaccessible due to its steep terrain or lack of access points. However, a short trail and viewpoint are located in the middle of the Preserve. 


For information  about Kelly Ranch or the Center for Natural Land Management, please contact Brooke Prentice-Dekker, Preserve Manager at or 760.731.7790 extension 221