The Siskiyou Land Trust has worked  several years with the Whipple and Plank families in Scott Valley to place 5,680 acres of their land into five conservation easements. After years of negotiation and hard work, the easements were completed and acquired by the land trust in December, 2010.

The conservation easements for the Plank/Whipple properties were purchased by the Siskiyou Land Trust with grant funds provided by the California Wildlife Conservation Board’s (WCB) Rangeland, Grazing Land, and Grassland Protection Program and by the California Department of Conservation’s (DOC) California Farmland Conservancy Program.

The Scott Valley Conservation Easement Project is located approximately 2 miles from Etna, California, in Siskiyou County.

The Scott Valley Conservation Easement Project at the Plank and Whipple ranches includes five separate conservation easement – one per ownership.  The purpose of the conservation easements can be summarized as preserving the conservation values of the properties that include rangeland and grazing land uses, irrigated cropland uses, open space character, scenic qualities, a riparian corridor, wildlife and forest resources.

Both the Plank and Whipple ranches were historically operated as cattle ranches.  A pervious owner of the Scott Valley Ranch, Enos Young, acquired the ranch in 1893 for his sons to raise cattle for his butcher shop in the town of Etna.  Consistent with this history, the ranches are being converted back to more of a grazing based operation from predominately hay operations over the last couple of decades.

These ranches are also home to amazing wildlife.  A portion of the Scott River, which is home to Chinook and Coho salmon, runs through the easement.  This attracts eagles, osprey, owls and numerous species of hawks.  Roosevelt elk have also been seen roaming in the fields

These days the Plank’s Scott Valley ranch raises grass-fed organic beef. The animals are fed only USDA certified organic grass and hay from from their pastures.   This allows them to minimize the stress on the animal, reduce the environmental cost of transportation, and eliminate any antibiotics or growth stimulants. If you are ever in the area, they always welcome tours of the ranch. Check out their Tours page for all the details.

Explore the ranch on the web at Scott River Ranch.