Conway and Mattly Ranches Conservation Easement

Special Values: This stretch of open space and agricultural land northwest of Mono Lake is one of the most beloved landscapes in the Eastern Sierra. Its significant wetlands, springs, and irrigated meadows are critical to supporting wildlife, including the Bi-State greater sage-grouse and a large variety of waterfowl and shorebirds. The Mono Lake mule deer herd migrates twice a year through the property on the way to and from its winter range in Nevada and summer grazing lands in the High Sierra.

Conway Ranch also represents a vital component of the Eastern Sierra’s cultural heritage. Once an important stop along Native American trade routes, in the 1870s settlers began irrigating to expand pasture for livestock grazing, a use which continues today. The Conway family bought the property in 1903 and some of the original homestead and ranch buildings still stand to this day. Commercial fish rearing has also occurred on the property in raceways and ponds for more than 30 years and has proven to be an important economic resource for Mono County. Unlike many easement properties, Conway Ranch is public land, owned by Mono County after being purchased using funds provided by the California Department of Transportation, California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks), and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

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