BYLT Protects 128-Acre Wildflower Ridge Preserve in Grass Valley

Bear Yuba Land Trust announces the permanent protection of Wildflower Ridge Preserve, a 128-acre property located at Rough & Ready Highway and Ridge Road in Grass Valley. This acquisition of scenic open space and important wildlife habitat joins BYLT’s 25,000+ acres of land permanently protected in the Bear and Yuba River watersheds.

Wildflower Ridge Preserve lies within the historic Kenny Ranch, also known as part of Hell’s Half Acre. Long at risk for subdivision, the site held potential for a 340-home development. BYLT has monitored the property’s development risk status for decades because of BYLT-held trail easements on the property: BYLT’s Wildflower Ridge Trail and Rough & Ready Ditch Trail, totaling two miles that encircle the property, have been popular public trails for 20 years.  

BYLT has purchased the property with support from Sierra Nevada Conservancy and through the generosity of a dedicated conservation donor. 

BYLT prioritized acquiring Wildflower Ridge Preserve because of its unique natural features. The upper portion of the property has lava cap soils, which are known to provide habitat for a rare concentration of native plants and beautiful wildflowers. Heritage groves of black oaks also occur on the property and 25 landmark black oaks have been identified, with one black oak measuring 60 inches diameter at breast height (dbh). The mixed hardwood and conifer forest provides spotted owl habitat and the riparian areas along the canals and spillways provide additional wildlife refuge and habitat. 

Now protected forever, Wildflower Ridge Preserve will be a destination for local residents and visitors to connect with the benefits of nature. BYLT intends to expand trails and outdoor recreation, including developing outdoor living classrooms, native pollinator gardens, and additional universally accessible trails. 

Protection of this land also creates the opportunity for BYLT to collaborate with the Nevada City Nisenan Rancheria in the establishment of a cultural conservation easement that grants permanent land rights and access to the Tribe. BYLT intends to work closely with the Tribe and other community partners on further enhancements of the land and trails for the benefit of the community.

BYLT invites the community to join in celebration of our newest Preserve. Gather with BYLT Board and staff, friends, and neighbors for a toast to the land and a Preserve-inspired reading by Nevada County Poet Laureate Kirsten Casey. 

Date: Thursday, September 14, 2023

Time: 5:30pm – 7:00pm

Place: Wildflower Ridge Preserve, 13167 Ridge Road, Grass Valley

Parking: Twin Cities Church Parking lot, 11726 Rough and Ready Hwy, Grass Valley, CA 

This is a FREE event, open to all, though we do ask that you RSVP at the button below.