Hands-on experience at Heart K
From the Olsen Barn Meadow in the north to the Sierra Valley Preserve in the east, our Land Stewardship Program is responsible for the care and upkeep of beloved places within our local communities. FRLT owns and manages five preserves totaling 3,647 acres. All of them require hands-on hard work during “field season” to maintain their unique cultural and ecological values and to keep the properties safe, secure, operational, and open to the public year-round.
This summer, FRLT partnered with Feather River College once again to hire seasonal interns to assist with property management and land stewardship activities. The Heart K Ranch benefited greatly from the care and expertise of Bailey Graham, a third year Equine Science and Ranch Management student.
Bailey is from Sonora, CA and grew up adventuring and horse packing with her family who work at the Kennedy Meadows pack station. Bailey has 10+ years of experience taking people into the backcountry of Yosemite and loves the great outdoors. As a youngster, Bailey was involved in 4-H and FFA and raised turkeys and lambs.
Bailey is applying her early livestock and agricultural experiences towards a bachelor’s of science degree in the Equine and Ranch Management program at Feather River College. She recently completed her coursework for an Associates Degree in Ag Science and is particularly interested in soil science. Her favorite project working with FRLT this summer was setting up vegetation and soil sampling plots at Heart K along with rangeland experts from the Jefferson Center for Holistic Management. Bailey also performs daily property patrols, mows and weeds to prevent fire danger, and makes sure fences and water troughs are in good shape to keep the cows healthy and happy.
It has been a great learning experience here at the Land Trust. I feel very much at home with the beauty of the Heart K Ranch and in Genesee Valley.
—Bailey Graham, Feather River College intern with FRLT
This fall, Bailey is working on a Heart K Ranch assessment as a group project for the Pasture and Forage Management class taught by JP Tanner. She will be applying her academic work on the ground by assessing the current grazing tactics, vegetation availability, and ranch infrastructure to look for areas of improvement and increased production.
When Bailey graduates from FRC in about a year, she looks forward to exploring other parts of the American West and plans to look for other land management jobs, preferably with a land trust. While this internship is Bailey’s first experience in the “land trust world,” she sees it as a promising career path where she can apply her interest in science, agriculture, and recreation to a career that makes a difference. Thank you, Bailey, for making a difference at the Heart K!
The historic 903-acre Heart K Ranch boasts scenic mountain beauty, diverse woodland types, montane meadow habitats, and historic and cultural resources.
Olsen Barn Meadow, conserved in 2015, is 107 acres of meadow and wetlands with a 130+ year old historic barn next to Lake Almanor near Chester, CA.
Nature photographers contributed their images to help conserve the Feather River region. We're grateful.
FRLT is working to permanently protect PG&E owned lands at Lake Almanor for the benefit of current and future generations. Lake Almanor is one of northern California's most beloved gems.
Sierra Valley Preserve is an ecologically rich 2,586-acre preserve protected for its unique wetland habitats and Feather River headwaters. On the Pacific Flyway, the Preserve offers spectacular birding.
Get the Sierra Valley Birder's Guidebook, and start exploring the Sierra Nevada's biggest birding hotspot.
Workshop Video: Birds of the Feather River region and where to see them with wildlife biologist and FRLT founder Paul Hardy.
Help improve the Leonhardt Ranch Trail, a beautiful nature trail located in downtown Quincy.
FRLT played a key role in helping to expand two California State Wildlife Areas in Sierra Valley.
People & Land Program Coordinator
Vanessa Vasquez coordinates FRLT’s People and Land Program to restore and enhance human connections to the Sierra’s largest watershed. Vanessa implements nature-based education projects and collaborates with the FRLT Stewardship Department to improve our Preserves for public enjoyment. She is also an integral part of our communications team.