In 2010, the Feather River Land Trust purchased a conservation easement on the Pearce Family Ranch, the oldest family-owned working cattle ranch in Plumas County, going back six generations. The conservation easement enabled the 318-acre ranch to remain in Pearce family ownership, where they continue their ranching operation.

Forest and grazing land on Pearce Family Ranch

The Pearce Family Ranch is located in Indian Valley, near the town of Taylorsville. The Pearce Ranch largely retains its unique, unaltered topography and diversity of habitat types, including montane meadow, grassland, cottonwood-willow riparian and riverine, emergent wetland, and mixed conifer. It includes approximately 1.5 miles of Indian Creek and 1.5 miles of remnant creek channel, both of which contain extensive riparian habitat interspersed with slough and emergent wetlands. The property’s significant water rights help support and maintain the riparian and wetland habitats, as well as the working cattle ranch.

Conservation of the Pearce Family Ranch

The conservation easement protects the watershed and working landscape by preventing development and by requiring management for conservation goals. Funding for this easement came from a variety of sources, including the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, the Northern Sierra Partnership, and several generous individual donors.

The Pearce Ranch conservation easement serves as a demonstration project for other properties in Plumas County, preserving outstanding ecological, cultural, historical, scenic, and sustainable agricultural resources in perpetuity.

Riparian area view of Pearce Family Ranch

The Pearce Ranch supports an array of important ecological values, including extensive cottonwood-willow riparian, wetland, and montane meadow habitats. These habitats, in turn, support nesting sandhill cranes, willow flycatchers, yellow-headed blackbirds, Sierra Nevada mountain beavers, golden eagles, bank swallows, yellow warblers, yellow-breasted chats, six native fish species, western pond turtles, river otters, and a host of other unique wildlife species, many with special status.

The purchase of a conservation easement from the Pearce family simultaneously achieved several important goals: it supported the continued land ownership and stewardship by the Pearce family while protecting scenic open space, wildlife habitat, and an outdoor classroom for local schoolchildren.

PLEASE NOTE: The Pearce Ranch remains in private ownership and is not open to the public.

Read the Feather River Bulletin article about conserving the Pearce Family Ranch

See more pictures of the Pearce Family Ranch