Conservation Easement: Dark Horse Ranch

In 2013, the Mendocino Land Trust began working with Ukiah area farmer Paul Dolan to ensure his 156 acres of vineyard and farm would never be developed.

Paul Dolan uses a “dry farming” method which clears away dirt and roots from under the vines, making them send their roots deeper into the ground in search of moisture and nutrients. While the lack of water results in a smaller crop and shorter grape cluster, Paul is appreciative that at least there is a crop.

“My family believes that agriculture is part of our local community — and we want to ensure it stays that way for generations to come,” remarked Paul. “Conserving the land was part of our strategy to do just that.”

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