Trail Closure

At Kirby Park, the accessible trail remains closed due to storm damage.

Triple M pano

Photo by Evan Peers

Triple M Ranch

Triple M Ranch

Conserving agriculture and the environment

Overview

Bordering several other ESF-owned properties, the Triple M Ranch is ESF’s only agricultural conservation easement. Conservation easements can be a way to protect the environment while also supporting local farms and farmers. In this case, ESF’s easement protects the rich oak woodlands, freshwater wetlands, and riparian forest on the Triple M Ranch, while also allowing critical organic farmland to stay in production. Restricting development on the property means lower tax liability for the farm, helping keep their costs down in a region with extremely high land values.

80acres of organic farmland
¾miles of Carneros Creek
3endangered amphibians

With support from the California State Coastal Conservancy, Packard Foundation, and Agricultural Land-Based Training Association.

Acres

194

Year Acquired

2000

Owner

Javier Zamora via El Rancho Triple M LLC

Special Habitats

maritime chaparral, freshwater wetland, farmland

Species

Santa cruz long-toed salamander, California tiger salamander, California red-legged frog

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Before: A Training Grounds

Working with partners at the Agricultural and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA), the Triple M Ranch was acquired to provide a training ground for small-scale, organic farmers to get their start in the industry.

As part of the transaction, a conservation easement, purchased by ESF, was placed on the property to protect sensitive habit while also supporting farming operations. While ESF does not own the land itself, the conservation easement designated which areas of Triple M can be farmed and which areas are protected forever in their natural state.

The property was a priority for ESF due to its high-quality natural habitat and proximity to Carneros Creek, the main freshwater source to upper Elkhorn Slough. Triple M Ranch also hosts a rare breeding population of the highly endangered Santa Cruz long-toed salamanders.

Triple m before 1
Triple m before 2
Triple m before 3

After: An Agricultural Success Story

When ALBA decided to sell Triple M Ranch and consolidate its operation outside Salinas, an ALBA-trained farmer, Javier Zamora (JSM Organics), was ready to step in and acquire the property. This serendipitous transition allowed Javier to jumpstart his farming operation that now grows a wide range of organic crops for schools, restaurants, and local markets. 

ESF works closely with Javier and JSM Organics to ensure compliance with the rules of the easement, with yearly monitoring and open communication. Meanwhile, Triple M Ranch has become a showcase for local sustainable agriculture, and Javier hosts school groups, farmers, scientists, and many other special events at his farm.

Triple M view
Farm hoop house at Triple M
Berries growing at Triple M
Picked flowers at Triple M
Elkhorn highlands reserve CTA

Photo by J.R. Sosky

Keep Elkhorn Wild

Give today to preserve the lands and waters of Elkhorn Slough for future generations.

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