Little Sur River

Conserving a Crucial Steelhead Stream and Old-Growth Redwoods on the Big Sur Coast

On California's Big Sur coast, Western Rivers Conservancy recently launched a project to conserve a mile of the Little Sur River, pictured here where it flows into the Pacific, several miles downstream of the project area. Photo by Doug Steakley.

By acquiring a ranch along the Little Sur River, WRC will preserve a mile of a steelhead vital stream and conserve nearly 1,200 acres of important upland grasslands, oak woodlands and chaparral and madrone forest that are all crucial to the imperiled wildlife of the Big Sur coast.

Overlooking the 1,199-acre Adler Ranch, which Western Rivers Conservancy has committed to purchase in an effort to conserve the Little Sur River and improve trail connectivity between the Los Padres National Forest and the ocean.

The Little Sur River is considered the Central Coast’s most important spawning stream for threatened south-central coast steelhead, which once returned to this stretch of the California coast by the tens of thousands. Today, it is likely that fewer than 100 fish return to the Little Sur River each year. Photo by Pat Clayton.

WRC's purchase of the Adler Ranch will link protected public lands along the coast to the main body of the Los Padres National Forest, helping to ensure permanent habitat connectivity between the ocean and the crest of the Santa Lucia Mountains.

The ranch WRC is working to conserve lies at the western edge of the the Los Padres National Forest, 40 miles south of Monterey, California. Photo by Peter Colby.