February 15, 2013–Stinson Beach, CA Audubon Canyon Ranch (ACR), a leader in conservation science, habitat protection and restoration, and nature education, announced today that ownership of the 1,750-acre Modini Ingalls Ecological Preserve in the Mayacamas Mountains above Healdsburg has now officially transferred to Audubon Canyon Ranch, per the terms of Jim and Shirley Modini’s trust.

The property is part of a protected area in the Central Mayacamas Mountains and plays an important role in regional conservation because of its connection to other natural areas. The property features a rich blend of biologically diverse habitats, including oak woodlands, pine forests, grasslands, chaparral, riparian forests, natural springs, wild streams and serpentine outcrops that support several rare plants. The area is home to abundant and diverse wildlife, including deer, black bears, bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes and nesting golden eagles.

The focus of ACR’s work at the Modini Ingalls Ecological Preserve will be conservation science and habitat restoration to protect the native wildlife and plant species.

“I am thrilled to witness the official transfer of Jim and Shirley Modini’s beloved property to Audubon Canyon Ranch,” said Jesse Grantham, former biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and long-time friend of the Modinis. “It is clear from ACR’s 50-year track record and proven success in conservation science, habitat restoration and land preservation, that Jim and Shirley’s commitment to environmental stewardship and the protection of the resident plants and animals will live on with ACR as the new owner of the Modini Ingalls Ecological Preserve.”

In 2009, Jim and Shirley Modini bequeathed the land to ACR. The Modini property, combined with the Mayacamas Mountains Sanctuary (MMS), which ACR acquired in 2012, empowers ACR to permanently protect 3,370 acres of important natural habitat in the Mayacamas Mountains for native wildlife and plant species.

"It is an honor for Audubon Canyon Ranch to include the Modini land as part of our network of preserves, which extends across Sonoma and Marin counties,” said Scott Feierabend, Executive Director of Audubon Canyon Ranch. “Under Audubon Canyon Ranch’s ownership, we will ensure that the natural systems of both the Modini and Mayacamas preserves will be protected in perpetuity for the benefit of the area’s local communities and neighbors who rely on the clean water, healthy soils and pure air that these landscapes provide.”

Although there is no public access to the Modini Ingalls Ecological Preserve, ACR’s adjacent 1,620-acre Mayacamas Mountains Sanctuary offers a variety of opportunities to explore and enjoy the natural habitat of the area. 

ACR’s on-the-ground conservation and ecological service work spans the region from Bolinas Lagoon and Tomales Bay along the Pacific Coast, to the inland areas in the Sonoma Valley and southern Mayacamas, to the wild and untrammeled reaches of the central Mayacamas Mountains in northern Sonoma and Lake Counties.

About Audubon Canyon Ranch

Audubon Canyon Ranch (ACR) protects nature through land preservation, nature education and conservation science.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, ACR’s preserves include the Cypress Grove Research Center on Tomales Bay, the 535-acre Bouverie Preserve in Sonoma’s Valley of the Moon near Glen Ellen, the 1,000-acre Martin Griffin Preserve on Bolinas Lagoon near Stinson Beach, and the 1,620-acre Mayacamas Mountains Sanctuary above Healdsburg.

ACR is an independent non-profit organization with 501(c)3 status and is not affiliated with the National Audubon Society. ACR’s programs are made possible thanks to the contribution of thousands of hours of volunteer service, and donations from caring individuals, foundations and businesses. For more information, call 415-868-9244, email acr@egret.org or visit www.egret.org.