The Nature Conservancy’s Mount Hamilton project is not just another pretty space. The 1.5-million-acre conservation project safeguards threatened wildlife habitats while helping to assure the flow of clean water to the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, protecting these lands from unchecked development preserves the historic way of life of California ranchers.
Irreplaceable, invaluable, beautiful, Mount Hamilton beckons us to experience the last major stretch of wilderness between Silicon Valley and the Central Valley.
Urban development menaces Mount Hamilton, which is sandwiched between densely populated areas. Conservation efforts here provide a refuge for endangered species such as the San Joaquin kit fox and the bay checkerspot butterfly. Bobcats, mountain lions, tule elk, red-legged frogs and countless birds all make their home in its diverse environments.
Mount Hamilton contains some of the most scenic and also the most vulnerable natural settings in California. It supports majestic oaks, rare native grasses and fields teeming with wildflowers. Streamside forests, woodlands and grasslands form a critical part of the watershed that guarantees a healthy water supply to Bay Area residents.
In 1998, The Nature Conservancy began acquiring parcels of land that collectively would maintain the integrity of the ecosystem of Mount Hamilton. We partnered with other organizations and individuals to knit together public and private lands across a landscape that spans six counties.
Recent additions include a generous donation by the Hewlett and Packard families of a crucial link between these lands—a conservation easement on the 28,359-acre San Felipe Ranch—as well as the Willson Ranch, 1,557 acres between the Department of Fish and Game’s Rancho Canada de los Osos Reserve and Henry W. Coe State Park, which was purchased in two phases in 2009 and 2010.
The Nature Conservancy has made great strides in protecting this essential resource by implementing innovative strategies, and we continue to pursue conservation opportunities in the area, as well as to monitor threats to Mount Hamilton and the people and wildlife it serves.
The Nature Conservancy relies on the generosity of contributors like you to continue its work on Mount Hamilton. By becoming a member of The Nature Conservancy or by making a donation to the California Program, you will be part of keeping this wilderness alive for generations to come.