About fifteen miles east of Nipomo are a series of vast ranches nestled against the rugged terrain of the Los Padres National Forest. In this little visited pocket of San Luis Obispo County, cows outnumber inhabitants and enjoy grazing amidst lush oak woodlands, freshwater creeks, and large swaths of rich soil being farmed for food. One of these private properties is the Lieff Alamo Creek Ranch, a rugged and beautiful 2,017-acre ranch that the Land Conservancy has permanently preserved for wildlife and agriculture.
Immediately adjacent to Los Padres National Forest, the Lieff Alamo Creek Ranch sits in the shadows of Stanley Mountain (elevation 2,500 feet) where the land drains to Alamo Creek and the Cuyama River below. These waterways feed a reservoir that serves as a source of drinking water for nearby communities. The property contains nearly forty acres of prime soils that support organically grown wine grapes, and a modest herd of cattle grow fat on the land each year.
With fantastic oak woodland, including coast live oak, blue oak, and valley oak, as well as areas of coastal scrub, chaparral, and serpentine soils, the Lieff Alamo Creek Ranch exhibits rich habitat diversity that supports abundant wildlife. Especially important are the areas of the ranch that offer prime habitat for the critically endangered California condor. At one time only 22 California condors were known to exist in the world. With the ability to soar to heights of up to 15,000 feet, condors use keen eyesight to spot prey in open fields and uncovered areas far below. The ranch’s vast meadows and rocky outcroppings that serve as suitable nesting sites make it one of the places that could prove essential to the recovery of this special animal.
Lieff Alamo Creek Ranch Project Highlights
- Conserves 2,017 acres of ranchland, productive agricultural land, and wildlife habitat
- Provides habitat for the recovery of the endangered California condor
- Safeguards three major freshwater drainages that serve as drinking water for nearby communities
- Preserves healthy habitat for wildlife including large mammals such as mountain lion, black bear, and elk
- Keeps agricultural grazing lands and a working vineyard in production
Project Funding Partner
- California Wildlife Conservation Board
This is just one of many private properties in our County that shelter rare and endangered wildlife. To protect more places like this, make a donation to our Conservation Impact Fund.