The Nature Education Center
at the Rodman Preserve
A nesting Great Blue Heron
Enjoying a guided hike at the
Rodman Preserve and Nature Education Center
The Rodman Ranch and
Preserve acquisition was the first project to be undertaken by the
Lake County Land Trust. In 1999, the Trust purchased an option on
the 442 acre property, located on the north end of Clear Lake, in
Lake County, CA. The wetland areas of Rodman Preserve and the
surrounding oak woodlands, are the home to a wide variety of
wildlife, and at the time, included a large Great Blue Heron rookery, or nesting
site. Clear Lake is the largest natural lake completely in
California, and Rodman Preserve comprises a major portion of the Clear
Lake basin watershed, collecting drainages from several creeks
before it pours into the north end of Clear Lake.
The main purpose of
the acquisition project was to preserve the natural habitat of the
Rodman Ranch and Preserve and to facilitate the continued health and
existence of the many nesting,
breeding, and feeding areas for wildlife. The Trust organized the
"Adopt-A-Nest" fundraiser which raised close to $40,000 from mostly
Wetlands at Rodman
This enabled the
Trust to pay for the option and
provided a timeline of one year to accomplish the acquisition.
The Land Trust was
able to pull together funding from a variety of sources to purchase
this important wildlife area. Grants were received from the
California Department of Fish and Game through the Wildlife
Conservation Board, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the
National Fish and Wildlife Service, the County of Lake, and the
State Department of Parks and Recreation. The Conservation
national conservation organization, also assisted the Trust by
providing bridge financing until the the project could be completed.
Private owners, long-time Lake County residents and farmers, bought
a portion of the property for vineyard development, which was
completed in an environmentally sensitive manner, leaving majestic
valley oaks and other habitat in place.
Oak and wetland
habitat at Rodman Preserve
the project in the Fall of 1999. The acquisition was celebrated at
the Trust's first annual dinner held in October of 1999.
As a result of
the acquisition project, the Lake County Land Trust holds
title to 132 acres of property, the California Department of Fish and Game owns
108 acres, the County of Lake owns 40 acres (the area at the mouth
of Rodman Slough) and Rodman Ranch Vineyard owns 162 acres.
The Trust manages the
property for wildlife values and has a standing committee involved
with trail development, signage, and management. Field trips are held every
Saturday, and special field trips can be arranged by contacting the
Lake County Land Trust. The property is not open to the public on an
unrestricted basis because of the sensitivity of wildlife habitat, but the Trust attempts to provide public access when
requested and during special events. The goal is to develop appropriate
trails, signage, and public access areas that are compatible with
the needs of wildlife.
Preserve Nature Education Center
Preserve Nature Education Center was completed in 2007.
The center was originally a small ranch house but was quite
run-down after many years of abandonment. After purchasing the
Rodman property, with funding from the Wildlife Conservation
Board (Department of Fish and Game), the National Fish and
Wildlife Foundation, the National Fish and Wildlife Service,
the County of Lake, the State Department of Parks and
Recreation and local donations, the Land Trust moved forward
with the development of the Nature Education Center.
local donations, the center is the focal point of the Rodman
Preserve. Nature walks are held every Saturday,
starting at the center, and interpretive displays of local
wildlife are on view. The center holds quarterly events
presented by experts on topics ranging from the oak trees of
Lake County, to migrating and resident birds, to the insects
and other fauna that occupy the wetlands on the property. As
funding and volunteer participation becomes available the
hours of the center will be expanded.
at the Rodman Preserve ...)
News and Nature
News and Nature at Rodman Preserve,
Preserve is located at 6350 Westlake Road, Upper Lake, CA
From California State Highway 29, turn east onto the Nice-Lucerne
Cutoff; then left onto Westlake Road. The entrance to the
Preserve is just past the corner of Westlake Road and the Cutoff.
The Preserve is open on Saturday mornings for guided walks, starting
at 9 a.m., September through May, and 8 a.m., June through August.
See our home page for directions.
Because of the need
to preserve sensitive wildlife habitat and nesting areas, the
Preserve is open for guided hikes only at this time. For
information about the walks, please call Gaye Allen at (707)
928-4590 or Roberta Lyons at (707) 994-2024.
For information about
the Rodman Ranch and Preserve, or to
volunteer to work with the Rodman
Preserve committee on improvement projects, call the Lake County Land
Trust at (707) 262-0707.
List of Capital Campaign donors