LAS FLORES RANCH MANAGEMENT AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROJECT
The Mojave Desert RCD is in its third year working in partnership with the Crestline Sanitation District on the Management and Technical Assistance program for the Las Flores Ranch, located on Summit Valley Road in Summit Valley. This historic ranch leases over 600 acres of pasture to raise grass fed cattle. This pasture is flood watered by a gravity fed water source, through the Crestline Sanitation Facility and dissipating in the pastures of Las Flores. The Districts scope of work has included the use of the Global Positioning System to mark boundaries, water ways and pertinent landscape. The points have been used to create a shape file for use in Geographic Information System to allow the overlaying of data layers such as existing soil types within the boundaries. The soil quality and moisture holding ability and plant variety and quantity is being identified, inventoried, and disseminated into data for use in prescribing future pasture production and agricultural quality. Other partners for this project include Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Victor Valley College.
A land sale including this ranch acreage has been brokered and a Settlement was reached for the removal of cattle from this property due to the existence of the endangered Arroyo Toad. Several meetings have been attended with VCS Environmental Development, Center for Bio-Diversity and other interested entities, to determine the viability of a Mitigation Bank for the Las Flores acreage. While the RCD agreement with Crestline Sanitation will still include the monitoring of surface water flow and nitrate levels, infrastructure upgrade and future ranch management will no longer be done.