The Planned Development Permit for Grizzly Ranch was approved by Plumas County in 2000 and required formation of an independent third party entity to preserve and protect designated 0pen space within Grizzly Ranch. The Grizzly Ranch Conservancy, a non-profit 501(C) 3, was formed in 2004 to address this requirement and to provide environmental education activities for residents and local outreach. Open space areas at Grizzly Ranch comprise 236 acres of habitat, wildlife corridors, and riparian areas which the Conservancy has responsibility to preserve and protect into perpetuity.
On a broader scale of environmental protection, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers designated 55 acres of wetland habitat for protection by conservation easements which are held by the Conservancy. One of the Conservancy’s major roles is to manage and maintain resources within the easements to comply with regulatory requirements. The Conservancy also provides community services and supports environmental conservation and education on lands included within the easements.
To fund operations and outreach, a Community Enhancement Fee Agreement was created between the Grizzly Creek Development, LLC (developer) and the Conservancy in 2003 to provide a a perpetual revenue source through real estate sales to fund the program and projects.
One of the most iconic features at Grizzly Ranch is Big Grizzly Creek which crosses the development for about half a mile on the west edge of the property. The creek flows year-round, supports a healthy riparian area and provides excellent habitat for fish and wildlife. It originates at Lake Davis and drops through steep-walled canyons to reach Grizzly Ranch where flatter terrain allows easy access for recreation and enjoyment of this clear mountain steam.
To preserve the creek environment, Big Grizzly Creek and its floodplain area was designated as Open Space in the Plumas County Planned Development Permit (PDP). Open Space areas are preserved as natural areas and are therefore protected from future development. In compliance with PDP requirements, the Conservancy plans to implement low impact improvements along the creek to promote recreation, educational opportunities, and places for families to gather and enjoy nature at its finest.
Another focus of the Conservancy is to provide access to the great expanse of scenic terrain for hiking and exploring both within the community and along the eastern edge of the property that connects trail heads at Grizzly Ranch with miles of trails on public lands. The Conservancy has built over 5 miles of trails within the community and will continue to build and maintain trails to improve access to adjacent public lands.