In the driest desert in North America, Palisades Ranch is one of the few locations along the Mojave River where water flows aboveground year-round. Once slated for development, this 1,647-acre property was acquired by the Mojave Desert Land Trust in 2018. Its high biodiversity made it one of US Fish and Wildlife Service’s highest priority acquisition for all of Southern California.
The eastern half of the property occurs within the Mojave River floodplain. Its 3.7 miles of perennial surface flow support 440 acres of riparian habitats. The western half is composed of 800 acres of uplands, including steep desiccated cliffs (“palisades”), bluffs, and flat alluvial areas. The many habitats and topographic features of Palisades Ranch attract 40 federal and state listed special status species, including Mojave fish-hook cactus, desert tortoise, least Bell’s vireo, western yellow-billed cuckoo, and San Emigdio blue butterfly.
Although the Mojave River supports rich habitat, Palisades Ranch has been impacted by illegal off-highway vehicle (OHV) activity, invasive plants, human development, and agriculture. MDLT is working to restore and protect the rich habitats and resources at Palisades Ranch.
Watch this video to learn more about our restoration plans.