Noonan Ranch

Area: 190 acres contiguous with the western edge of the 20,000 acre Jepson Prairie ecosystem

 Location: Near the city of Fairfield, Solano County, CA

Date Acquired: 2009

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: Vernal Pools and California Annual and Perennial Grassland

Species of Special Interest to CNLM: Contra Costa goldfields (Lasthenia conjugens), California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense), Dwarf downingia (Downingia pusilla), Legenere (Legenere limosa)

Introduction

The Noonan Ranch Preserve, historically used as grazing lands, was established in 2008 as the Noonan Ranch Conservation Bank to preserve vernal pools and associated upland habitats.  The bank provides credits for protection of the Contra Costa Goldfields as well as breeding and upland/movement habitat for the California Tiger Salamander.   In April of 2009, the Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) accepted a conservation easement on this property. The purpose of the conservation easement is to help ensure that the land will be protected in perpetuity in open space condition and managed to support the flora and fauna that the conservation bank was established to protect. The role of CNLM is to monitor the Preserve and ensure that the terms of the conservation easement are maintained in perpetuity.

Conservation Significance

This Preserve lies near the western edge of the 20,000-acre Jepson Prairie ecosystem, a region where grazing is the primary land use and the natural topography is mostly intact and contains extensive, relatively undisturbed vernal pool complexes containing a high concentration of sensitive plant and animal species. Soil types and many of the species present on the Noonan Ranch Preserve are similar to those found in the Jepson Prairie area, with the presence of the federally endangered plant, Contra Costa goldfields (Lasthenia conjugens), being a notable exception. Approximately 11.81 acres of vernal pool and swale habitat, and 1.8 acres of seasonal wetland within streams are protected for Contra Costa goldfields. Other special-status plants present at this Preserve include dwarf downingia (Downingia pusilla) and legenere (Legenere limosa). This Preserve also provides approximately 3.3 acres of breeding habitat, and 148.59 acres of upland habitat for the federally threatened California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense). The Preserve contains 16.75 acres of seasonal wetlands, including two playa pools, and 3.54 acres of stream segments exhibiting wetland characteristics. The Preserve has been grazed since the early 1900s. A drainage channel bisects the site and diverts the flow of Union Creek across and off the Preserve in a southwesterly direction.

Our Work

This Preserve is owned and managed by Canon Station, LLC.  Management objectives are intended to retain, in perpetuity, the natural, restored or enhanced condition of the property for the benefit of listed species.  Management includes grazing and invasive plant species control and eradication. The Conservation Bank Management Plan guides management and tasks are implemented by the owner. Fencing and gates are maintained to protect the property from trespass. The owners and their consultants, conduct wetland hydrological monitoring and species monitoring as required by regulatory agencies.  CNLM’s work focuses on monitoring, enforcement and defense of the conservation easement requirements in perpetuity.

The Noonan Ranch Preserve can provide environmental mitigation for projects on similar habitat types or affecting the species protected on this preserve. For pending sales and price information, contact Anthony Russo at arusso@blproperties2.com

Public Access

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

Contact

For information and inquiries, please contact Preserve Manager, Erik Gantenbein, at 760.731.7790 extension 213 or email egantenbein@cnlm.org.