Project Description

Flying M Ranch

This historic working cattle ranch includes one of the largest and most intact vernal pool grassland ecosystems in the world. The property’s healthy grasslands support numerous special-status species including CA tiger salamander, vernal pool fairy shrimp, San Joaquin kit fox and succulent owl’s clover.


Eastern Merced County between the farmlands of the San Joaquin Valley and the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.


15,500 acres


A conservation easement with California Rangeland Trust was recorded over 846 acres during 2020. Funding was provided by the Sacramento District In-Lieu Fee Program managed by the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation. Conservation easements over 5,000 acres of the ranch were donated to The Nature Conservancy in the 1980’s and 1990’s and additional conservation easements are planned.