The Foundation was incorporated as a non-profit public benefit corporation in 2007. Our mission is to provide support and enhancement to the 30,000 acre former cattle ranch now known as the Chimineas Ranch Units of the Carrizo Plains Ecological Reserve.
The Chimineas Ranch was acquired by the State of California, Department of Fish and Game with the assistance of The Nature Conservancy and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. The ranch is being developed as a center for ecological learning and the enjoyment of natural resources. The ranch has profound ecological significance at several scales. It links the 250,000 acre Carrizo Plain National Monument with the 2,000,000 acre Los Padres National Forest and hosts an extraordinary mosaic of habitat types and biological diversity.
The Chimineas also has a rich history. The Chumash used the ranch for centuries for hunting and gathering. A Spanish land grant formed its southern most range. Early Californios drove cattle through its canyons and passes. American speculators and homesteaders began the building of the ranch in the 1880's. By the mid-twentieth century the ranch consisted of over 50,000 deeded and leased acres and supported over 8,000 head of cattle. The Arnold family brought the ranch to its greatest prominence in a period of ownership spanning four decades. Today the ranch is transitioning into yet another phase; one of public stewardship, ecological education, habitat conservation, protection for threatened and endangered species as well as opportunities for public recreation that are compatible those goals.
The historic 1880's adobe ranch house remains as the foundation of the current ecological research and education facility located on this 30,000 acre ecological reserve located in southern San Luis Obispo County, California.
This web site still a "work in progress"!
Chimineas Ranch Foundation
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7870 Fairchild Ave Winnetka, California 91306