Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

Innovative Sierra Foothill Conservancy expands again

The innovative Sierra Foothill Conservancy has added another 280 acres to its growing swath of protected land — the old Tallman Ranch at the edge of Clovis where you’ll find deer, quail, ducks and the occasional wild hog.

The land is now called the Ted K. Martin Wildlife Preserve. Martin. 89, a lifelong resident of the Fresno-Clovis area, provided the $1.3 million to buy and maintain the property.

Earlier this year, Martin donated $2 million to the Fresno Regional Foundation to restore and preserve the San Joaquin River.

The new property becomes part of a 25,000-acre conservancy in Fresno, Madera, Merced and Mariposa counties. The organization is known for working with landowners to maintain natural foothill conditions.

Research has shown that grazing cattle help thin out the invasive grasses introduced by European settlers more than a century ago.

Well-managed grazing prevents sensitive vernal pools from being overrun by the invasive grasses. It has helped restore an elegant ecosystem on the distinctive flattop mountains in the foothills.

But this conservancy does much more than lease land for grazing. Two years ago, it launched its own beef herd called Sierra Lands Beef. A few hundred head help bring in more money for the conservancy.

The newest property in the conservancy was once a working cattle ranch with an interesting history, according to executive director Jeannette Tuitele-Lewis. She said the property, which is about 1,400 feet in elevation, was originally bought for $10 in the mid-1930s.

There are four ponds, fed from streams in the area, she said. There are two houses, one of which will be occupied by a caretaker.

“Access will be more restrictive than other parts of the conservancy,” she said. “This is an important wildlife area.”


JJJ says:

“the old Tallman Ranch at the edge of Clovis ” tells us nothing about the actual location.

8TM says:

The McKenzie Table Mountain Preserve (2960 acres) is located between Friant and Prather, on the north side of Auberry Road. The main gate is 3.3 miles uphill from the intersection of Auberry Road and Millerton Road.

LGKelsey says:

So is this new parcel connected/adjacent to the McKenzie preserve? JJJ is right that just saying the new parcel is on the edge of Clovis doesn’t say much of anything about where it is.

JJJ says:

That doesnt match the name given in the article.

Mark Grossi says:

Apologies, JJJ, for not being very specific. You can find maps, photographs and a much fuller description on the property at this site:

lance johnson says:

1400 feet elevation is hardly “the edge of Clovis”. Clovis is roughly 150 feet elevation and Auberry is about 2,000 feet. So it is somewhere between Clovis and Auberry – probably nearer to Auberry

Mark Grossi says:

Hi Lance, I wrote “the edge of Clovis” because the conservancy says the property is technically within the city boundary. It might be closer to Auberry, though.

JKeyes says:

Yes they are very “innovative”;they and the other Conservancys are slowing taking away land that could be used to by the public,without the restrictions of the Conservancys.

Michelle Swift says:

JKeyes- You might be taken more seriously if your ignorant comments were not riddled with grammar errors.

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