PLT worked with Daryl Oest and his family to put an agricultural conservation easement on the Oest Ranch – Lake Clementine Preserve at the end of November 2009. This family ranch contains beautiful oak woodlands, grasslands used for seasonal livestock grazing, and a riparian corridor along a mile of Clipper Creek.
The Oests (pictured above) are a pioneering Placer family with over 150 years farming and ranching in the Auburn area. The Lake Clementine Preserve is an important part of Oest Ranch’s beef production, and also provides a home for bees producing PlacerGROWN honey. In the easement, the Oests reserved three acres for a homesite to help manage the ranch and deter trespassing, but protected the remaining 350 acres forever. PLT’s easement prohibits development and other harmful uses and allows for sustainable agricultural production, while the property remains privately held and managed by the Oest family.
“This project reminds us why we love Placer County,” says PLT Executive Director Jeff Darlington. “Not only does it protect critical natural resources, water quality, and local agriculture, but it protects our personal connection to the land. The Oests have been excellent caretakers of this land for generations, and our easement will help them continue that legacy for generations to come.”
Even though the State’s conservation programs have shut down and public funding has disappeared, PLT put our community partnerships to work to find private funding for this important project. Funding was provided by the Emigrant Trails Greenway Trust with support from several PLT programs, including our Small Farm Program, Oak Woodlands Program, Wetlands Mitigation Program, and American River Watershed Protection Program. Investments from the Placer County Water Agency and the California Wildlife Foundation completed the project.
Thank you to our funders and to the Oest family!