Lincoln Ranch

Area: 190 acres

Location: City of Murrieta, Riverside County, California

Date Acquired: 2001

Acquisition Type: CNLM holds a conservation easement as well as a long-term agreement to protect the imperiled species and their habitats on the preserve. The preserve is owned by third party.

Key Habitats: Coastal Sage Scrub, Annual and Perennial Grasslands and Chamise-Redshank Chaparral

Species of Special Interest to CNLM: Coastal California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica)Quino checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha quino and Rufous-crowned sparrow (Aimophila ruficeps canescens)


The Lincoln Ranch Preserve consists of approximately 190 acres in the City of Murrieta, Riverside County, California. The Preserve is located adjacent to Vista Murrieta High School, in the Los Alamos area of Murrieta. The Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) holds conservation easements over the Preserve and manages the site according to the requirements of the Assessment District 161 Multiple Species Subarea Habitat Conservation Plan (Conservation Plan). The Conservation Plan is the basis for the establishment of this Preserve. Under this Conservation Plan, the school district and a residential developer purchased the Preserve lands and established an endowment to fund CNLM’s preserve management activities.

Conservation Significance

The objectives of the Conservation Plan are to protect the federally threatened California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica) and the federally endangered Quino checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha quino), as well as several other species of birds, plant, reptiles, and amphibians. In total, protection of 16 species is required under the Conservation Plan. The Preserve contributes to the protection of a portion of these species primarily through supporting coastal sage scrub and chamise chaparral habitat types. A narrow ephemeral creek bed also supports some willow scrub, and a larger channel that parallels Interstate 215 provides a modestly sized but healthy representation of coast live oak woodland.

Our Work

CNLM is responsible for management of the Lincoln Ranch Preserve in accordance with the Conservation Plan. 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. Fields formerly cultivated with winter grains are being converted to sage scrub through a combination of weed control techniques and seeding with native plants.  The native vegetation community is monitored annually to assess efficacy of management actions.

Public Access

Please contact the preserve manager for information about public access.


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