Ag + Open Space and Regional Parks Partner to Conserve 378-Acre Chanslor Ranch near Bodega Bay

May 31, 2023

Posted in: Press Releases

Ranch boasts significant ecological, recreational, and scenic values; builds climate resilience.

SANTA ROSA, CA (May 25, 2023) – Sonoma County Ag + Open Space and Sonoma County Regional Parks are pleased to announce the upcoming conservation of Chanslor Ranch – a 378-acre property along Highway One near Bodega Bay. Though the conservation deal is still in the works, Ag + Open Space has entered into contract with Chuan “Jonathan” Wang, the current landowner, to purchase the property and will transfer ownership to Regional Parks within one year to eventually open as a public park and open space preserve.

“I take great joy and pride in seeing this land conserved forever,” said Supervisor Lynda Hopkins. “This dream started a year ago when I met with Jonathan over tea at the ranch. Today, we can now see that dream becoming a reality – for West County residents, and for the entire county, who will get to enjoy these open spaces for many, many years to come.”

The ranch, which has been eyed for conservation for decades, is rich in natural resources prioritized in the Vital Lands Initiative – a community-driven plan for Ag + Open Space’s work over the next decade and beyond. Salmon Creek, which runs from just west of Occidental all the way to the Pacific Ocean, borders the ranch to the north. The creek is part of the Salmon Creek Watershed, which is home to several threatened, endangered species, or special status species including: California freshwater shrimp, tidewater goby, steelhead trout, California red-legged frog, and western pond turtle. The watershed is also host to several rare plants, including Western leatherwood and yellow larkspur.

The ranch is also home to wetlands and riparian forests that provide critical habitat for many plants and animals. An estuary found on the ranch is also an important habitat and migration point for birds. Grasslands and pastures sweep across the land, providing room for wildlife to roam and hunt. The ranch’s viewsheds, including the well-known Coleman Hill, also contribute to our county’s rugged and stunning scenic character, something highly valued by residents and visitors alike.

“Building connections is an integral part of our work to conserve Sonoma County’s natural and working lands,” said Ag + Open Space General Manager Misti Arias. “We strive to conserve lands that connect habitats for wildlife, to ensure waterways and groundwater remain intact and cared for, to keep forests and grasslands healthy so they can provide us with clean air, and so we all can experience the beauty and wonder of the natural world.”

Located across Highway One from Sonoma Coast State Park, and next to the Ag + Open Space-conserved Carrington Coast Ranch Regional Park and Open Space Preserve, this ranch will be a wonderful addition to a series of publicly accessible lands along our breathtaking coastline. Its location farther inland also means that as sea levels rise, coastline parks will remain accessible, and plants and wildlife will have room to adapt. With this project, Ag + Open Space will have helped create or expanded 24,365 acres of land for public recreation.

“Chanslor Ranch is a beloved destination for the community and we’re looking forward to partnering with Ag + Open Space to protect and expand that public access, as well as the amazing natural resource values of the property,” said Sonoma County Regional Parks Director Bert Whitaker.

About Sonoma County Ag + Open Space
Sonoma County Ag + Open Space permanently protects the diverse agricultural, natural resource and scenic open space lands of Sonoma County for future generations. The agency is responsible for the perpetual protection of over 118,000 acres of land throughout our region. These agricultural and open space lands are protected through a quarter-cent sales tax approved by voters in 1990 and reauthorized in 2006. For more information, please visit

About Sonoma County Regional Parks
Sonoma County Regional Parks provides essential opportunities for people to connect with nature. We contribute to the vibrancy and well-being of our community by expanding access to recreation experiences, serving as responsible stewards of cultural and natural resources, and ensuring that our parks are clean, safe and welcoming. Learn more at