Rancho Ventura Conservation Trust is located in the beautiful Channel Islands region of California on a foot of a coastal stretch of the Santa Ynez Mountain system in-between the Ventura and Santa Clara River. The biological, agricultural, visual and cultural resources on this land are very significant, and intrinsically valuable in many different ways. Through the efforts of the trust founders, fully 1612 acres of the Ventura Foothills are now permanently protected, in perpetuity, for the benefit of the land and for the appreciation and enjoyment of the public.
The Trust land includes several types of highly functioning ecosystems while remaining productive agricultural land. Habitat types found within the Trust are part of a Mediterranean-style biome and are included in an ecoregion known as coastal sage & chaparral. The two dominant habitat types found on the trust are known as the “coastal sage scrub & chaparral” and “California coastal prairie.” The plants represented in the trust area are typical of the general area, and other physical determinates including soil type, slope and climate. These include lovely coast live oak forest, majestic sycamores and mulefat near the barrancas (drainage areas) and the rugged coastal sage scrub plant community and wildflower filled grassland.These habitat types, to the average Californian may seem common or even unremarkable; however they are highly important and increasingly rare and impacted. These they are under a very high threat of development in Southern California with only about 15% of the original habitat remaining according to the World Wildlife Fund.
The land is made up of one contiguous open space creating an uninterrupted wildlife corridor connecting all the way to the Los Padres National Forest. Low disturbance, lack of development, continuous maintenance of the wildlife corridor and proper land management and enhancement has allowed wildlife to thrive. This is highly significant because these habitats can support a very high amount of biodiversity as well as provides refuge for many threatened and endangered plant and animal species. State and Federally listed plants such as the Catalina Mariposa Lily, Plummer’s Baccharis have been documented on site. State and Federally Listed animals, especially birds have been documented on site. Western Burrowing Owls, Southern California Rufous-Crowned Sparrow, Northern Harrier as well as numerous other rare birds have all been documented or have a high probability of occurrence. Rare mammals such as Long-Eared Myotis, Pallid Bat and San Diego Desert Woodrat and reptiles such as San Diego and California Horned Lizards and Coastal Western Whiptail are present or have a high potential to occur. Although very close to a metropolitan area, the wildlife and plants in the Ventura Foothills remain relatively isolated and protected. Ongoing efforts will be made to maintain and improve the land, increase and restore valuable habitat document and study the wildlife and eventually acquire more land in the Ventura Hillsides for permanent preservation.