From atop a knobby ridge west of the community of Crowley Lake, you can see for miles and miles. It’s a quick walk out to a grassy meadow — a nice place for a picnic — and those feeling adventurous can hike cross-country up the back of the hillside to a rocky summit. You’ll be following in the tracks of wildlife that have lived here for time beyond measure, and it’s worth the effort: what a lovely place to take in the view.
Welcome to Karen’s Preserve. For mule deer and mountain lions, songbirds and eagles, this special place offers a true refuge. It is now protected for generations to come — and you can visit today.
But in the mid-2000’s, this area was slated for development. Thankfully, when this property came up for sale, our conservation community was poised to take action.
Protecting Karen’s Preserve
When the area was for sale in 2006, this hillside was identified as a conservation priority by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife due to the important wildlife habitat that it offers. That was good news, because it meant that Eastern Sierra Land Trust could apply to the California Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) for grant funding to purchase the land before developers could.
The WCB agreed: protecting that parcel from development was crucial — particularly for migrating mule deer, who cross this hillside as they†move from Round Valley to higher altitudes and back again every year.
So with support from our community and funding provided by the WCB, Eastern Sierra Land Trust took ownership of this 33-acre parcel in 2008. Now Karen’s Preserve will remain a scenic refuge for humans and wildlife alike for generations to come.
In Honor of Karen Ferrell-Ingram
Formerly known as Crowley Hilltop Preserve, this property was renamed Karen’s Preserve in 2013 to honor the inspiring and influential woman who helped conserve it: Karen Ferrell-Ingram.
Karen, pictured at right, played a central role in founding Eastern Sierra Land Trust in 2001. She has worn many hats over the years, including former Lands Director and Executive Director of ESLT. Without her dedication and purposefulness, Eastern Sierra Land Trust — and so many of our conservation successes — would not be here today.
A Home For Wildlife
In addition to the migrating mule deer that use Karen’s Preserve each spring and fall, a multitude of other mammals, birds, reptiles, and more can be found here. These include mountain lion, songbirds, and raptors such as the peregrine falcon, prairie falcon, and golden eagle.
Karen’s Preserve also falls within the Audubon Society’s Crowley Lake Important Bird Area, which identifies the property as a haven for a wide range of birds.
Click here to learn more about the Round Valley mule deer herd and the migration corridor that brings them through Karen’s Preserve each year.
Plan Your Visit
Karen’s Preserve is owned by Eastern Sierra Land Trust, and it is open to the public. If you choose to visit Karen’s Preserve on your own, please help protect the rich diversity of plant and animal life found here by following these simple rules:
- Enjoy your visit on foot: motor vehicles and bicycles are prohibited
- Pets are allowed only on leash
- Horseback riding is prohibited
- Do not harass wildlife
- Camping, stoves, and fires are prohibited
- Leave no trace, and pack out all trash
- No hunting or shooting
Local artist Lynn Marit Peterson painting in the meadow at Karen’s Preserve. What a lovely way to spend the morning!