Many of the raptors seen throughout the developed parts of Orange County were likely born and raised on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. With plenty of quiet places to nest, and an abundance of food in the springtime, it’s no wonder many raptors decide to raise their young here. However, nesting season can be a stressful time for raptor families, and they are easily spooked by human activity.
If you happened to be passing by Bommer Meadow in the month of May, you might have noticed something unexpected – a herd of goats! The goats were assisting with the beginning stages of a multi-year restoration project being conducted by the Irvine Ranch Conservancy in partnership with the City of Irvine in Bommer Meadow, which was historically part of a working cattle camp. Livestock grazing and the introduction of non-native plants and weeds degraded the natural habitat over time, reducing available food, water and shelter for native plants and wildlife. Invasive plants do not provide the resources necessary to support healthy native wildlife populations, and they also increase wildfire risk, so it is crucial to restore degraded areas with native vegetation to provide wildlife with a functioning habitat and to reduce wildfire.
Within the bounds of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks lives an exceedingly rare plant called Nolina cismontana. This plant, commonly known as chaparral beargrass, is so rare that it is only known to grow within four counties in Southern California. There are thought to be no more than 20,000 chaparral beargrass specimens in the world!
Red-tailed hawks are some of the most stunning wildlife sights on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. Widespread throughout North America, these raptors are frequently spotted throughout Orange County, perched atop telephone poles, tall buildings, trees or circling the skies.
Irvine Ranch Conservancy has your summer guide to outdoor adventures
It’s starting to feel like summer all across the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks! Summer vacation is the perfect time of year to get outdoors, soak up the sun and enjoy the natural beauty of Orange County. Gather your family and friends and don’t miss out on these summer destinations!
The Sinks in Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve are a must-see destination for your summer vacation. This picturesque natural geological formation, composed of dramatically exposed and layered sandstone cliffs, is often called a “mini Grand Canyon” and has become a popular destination among the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. Limestone Canyon also stuns visitors with its lush natural habitat, from thick oak woodlands to the rich diversity of plants and animals, all of which can be experienced on a hike or bike ride.
Welcome to the Irvine Ranch Conservancy "News from the Field" blog. These articles are written by Conservancy staff about activities and projects in and near the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks.