Windemere Ranch Preserve

Area: 1,160 acres as part of the 2320-acre Windemere development

Location: City of San Ramon, Contra Costa County, California

Date Acquired: 2000

Acquisition Type: CNLM does not own the preserve, but we do hold a conservation easement to protect imperiled species and habitats that exist on the preserve in perpetuity.

Key Habitats:  Annual grasslands; Wetlands (natural ponds and freshwater springs and seeps, Wetland basins, Perennial & ephemeral streams); Riparian woodlands.

Species of Special Interest to CNLM: San Joaquin Kit FoxCalifornia tiger salamander and California red-legged frog (US Fish & Wildlife Service).

Conservation Significance

The Preserve consists of preserved, created and restored features, including stock ponds, grassland, riparian woodland and seasonal wetlands.  The Preserve was established to provide habitat for the Federally Endangered San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica), Federally Threatened California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense) and the Federally Threatened California red-legged frog (Rana aurora).  In addition, burrowing owl, American badger, golden eagle, northern harrier, prairie falcon, loggerhead shrike, and tri-colored blackbird are known to inhabit the preserve.

Our Work

Our goal for the Windemere Ranch Preserve is to protect the habitats and the species that depend upon the Preserve for survival.  We use a variety of strategies to accomplish our goals, which include cattle grazing in an effort to maintain short grassland habitats essential for the California red-legged frog and California tiger salamander.

Public Access

Because of the vulnerability of the species and habitats that exist on this Preserve, the majority of the Preserve is not open to the public.  However, there is limited public access and use of the trail system, which is owned and maintained by the City of San Ramon’s Parks and Community Services Department.  Tassajara Ridge Trail and Upper Hidden Valley Ridge Trail, along with several small spurs, run primarily along the east and north boundary of the Preserve and allow for hiking, biking and equestrian use.  Windemere Ridge Trail is primarily asphalt with a small gravel segment with connectors to city sidewalks.  There are several access points with trailheads at Windemere Parkway and Longleaf Circle.  There is no off-trail use allowed.  The Preserve has an active grazing operation in place and cattle may be present at all times.  Signs are located on boundaries and access points providing contact information, accepted and prohibited activities and any public use restrictions.   Gates are designed to allow for passage but must be secured after use.  There are limited trash receptacles so be prepared to haul off refuse after visiting.

To view San Ramon Trails Map click, here.

Contact

For information about Windemere Ranch or Center for Natural Lands Management, please contact Erik Gantenbein, Preserve Manager at egantenbein@cnlm.org or 760.731.7790 extension 213.