Hollister Ranch Conservancy
The Hollister Ranch Board of Directors has
delegated the responsibility for preservation of the Ranch environment
to the Hollister Ranch Conservancy. The Conservancy administers
a managed access program, started in the mid 1970s, which provides
access to scientific and educational groups as well as various university
and institute researchers. Tours by the Santa Barbara Natural
History Museum, the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden, various historical
societies, the Audubon Society, and other groups, have been welcomed
at the Ranch. Hundreds of school children come each year to
study the tide pools at the Shoreline Preserve. There is no
charge for access and, docents are provided and remunerated by the
The Conservancy also monitors the Shoreline Preserve, publishes
informational materials such as the Botanical Resources of Hollister
Ranch, which was funded by the conservancy and done in cooperation
with the University of California at Santa Barbara. Other
materials published include: Hollister Ranch, Its History,
Preservation and People; pamphlets on botanical resources,
the Shoreline Preserve, and Hollister Ranch geology; an intertidal
species list; and a recently updated Checklist to the Wildlife
of The Hollister Ranch done in cooperation with the Santa Barbara
Museum of Natural History. Furthermore, the HR Cattle Cooperative
and the conservancy cooperate on mutually beneficial programs, including
preservation of riparian habitats and rangeland resources.
The Ranch is one of the largest natural areas remaining along the
southern California coast and this private resource is maintained
at no cost to the public. The flora and fauna are thriving,
and the unusually large expanse of connected wild lands and unfragmented
habitats help to preserve wide-ranging species such as black bear,
mountain lion, deer, bobcats and raptors.
The Conservancy receives no funding from the Hollister Ranch Owners’
Association. All moneys received from donations and conservancy
fund raising events go into a separate account and are used only
for authorized Conservancy projects.
For more information, visit the Conservancy website at: www.hollisterranch.org
Ranch is located between Gaviota and Point Conception and covers
approximately 14,400 acres, including eight and one half miles of
south-facing coastline. It is divided into 133 parcels owned
by individuals, plus three parcels owned by all the owners in common—two
beach parcels running the length of the Ranch and a parcel with
the historic Hollister House, barns and employee housing. The
ranch roads are contained in 200-foot-wide pass and repass easements
over private parcels. The Ranch lies at the juxtaposition
of the northern and southern California ecosystems, with unusual
overlapping of flora and fauna, including rare and endangered species. It
embraces a Shoreline Preserve, a 2.2 mile protected intertidal area
with pristine tide pools. Marine mammals regularly haul out
at Ranch beaches, and migrating birds use the beaches and ponds
to rest and feed. There are extensive CC&Rs and Ranch
rules with the primary purpose of preserving the unspoiled character
of the land. Hunting is not allowed, nor are personal watercraft,
motorcycles or similar vehicles. Access to private parcels
is limited to twelve owners and twelve guests at any one time. Owners
regard the Ranch as a natural preserve.
Ranch, as part of the original Rancho Nuestra Señora del Refugio,
has been a working cattle ranch since the original grazing permit
was awarded to José Francisco de Ortega in 1791. The Hollisters
purchased the land in 1866 and held it until 1966 when it was sold
and eventually developed, in 1971, as Hollister Ranch—a unique development
concept that was designed to keep the Ranch an unspoiled natural
resource. It continues to operate as a working cattle ranch
by virtue of management by the Hollister Ranch Cattle Cooperative.
What Is Hollister Ranch?
Ranch is a 14,400-acre rural community located just east of Point Conception. It
is an area where southern and northern plants and wildlife meet, and its varied
topography and geology create an area of high biodiversity. The Ranch
contains nine major native habitats, which support over 800 plant and wildlife
forms, including numerous rare or endangered species. The diverse native
habitats found on the Ranch remain relatively intact because of the large size
of the Ranch, its remote location, and the CC&Rs, which are structured
to preserve the natural environment.
What Is The Hollister Ranch Conservancy?
HR Conservancy operates under a charter from the Hollister Ranch
Owners’ Association as follows:
and enhance the natural environment at the Ranch
Goals: 1. study,
management and conservation of the Ranch environment
a program of access to the Ranch for scientific and educational
Conservancy Activities and Accomplishments:
an access program (since the mid 1970’s) for scientific and educational
purposes, such as tours by the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum,
the Audubon Society, historical societies school study groups
(K - 12, and college), and scientific research projects by a number
of and institutes.
a protected Shoreline Preserve (2.2 miles of tide pool area),
with information pamphlets and intertidal species lists available
to groups accessing the area.
a wildlife species inventory and check list.
access to the Wildlife Care Network for the release of animals.
the Shoreline Preserve and other sensitive areas.
the Botanical Resources of the Hollister Ranch, which
includes plant species, management recommendations, and vegetation,
geological and soils maps. This
project was funded by the Conservancy and done in cooperation
with the UCSB Herbarium.
rangeland enhancement projects in cooperation with the Hollister
a photo CD of Ranch habitats and vegetation types.
pamphlets about Hollister Ranch geology and botanic resources,
available for tour groups.
Conservancy activities and research projects, and published,
in cooperation with Tenera Environmental Services and HROA,
the report Managed
Access on Hollister Ranch for Scientific Studies and
the history of Hollister Ranch and established historical archives,
including oral histories; funded and published Hollister Ranch,
Its History, Preservation, and People (2004).
Hollister Ranch owners with educational materials about the
in the National Marine Debris Monitoring Program, and the annual
international beach cleanup.