Hollister Ranch Public Access

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Is Hollister Ranch open to the public?

The Hollister Ranch Owners' Association's mission is to maintain Hollister Ranch in a manner that protects the traditions and beauty of the area for those who acquire property here, while allowing access to select education, conservation, and scientific groups.

Special Comment:
In California, the State owns the coastline's tidelands, sometimes known as the “wet beach,” lying seaward of the mean high water line, and thus the public has always had access to the wet beach on the Gaviota Coast, which includes Hollister Ranch's tidelands. The eastern boundary of the Ranch is adjacent to Gaviota State Beach, which is itself adjacent to Highway 101 and open to the public. People can and sometimes do use boats to access the state-owned “wet beach” along the Ranch’s southern boundary. The Ranch does not attempt to stop this activity.

Hollister Ranch Conservancy

To help preserve and protect the Ranch environment, the Ranch created the Hollister Ranch Conservancy. Among other duties, the Conservancy administers a managed access program, begun in the mid-1970’s, which provides access to the Ranch to scientific and educational groups, including various university and private institutional researchers. The Ranch Conservancy regularly hosts tours by the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum, the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden, various historical societies, the Audubon Society, and other groups, free of charge. Each year, the Conservancy brings hundreds of Santa Barbara-area grade school children into the Ranch to participate (at no cost to the schools) in the Conservancy’s “Tidepool Classroom,” an experience that allows students to observe intertidal life forms not readily found elsewhere along the coast.

Public Access Through Partnerships

"Hollister Ranch has a long history of encouraging public access through partnerships. The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens, and the Audubon Society, are all participating partners.

"In addition, Operation Surf, which helps disabled veterans overcome everyday challenges and transform their outlook and life, holds programs at Hollister Ranch. As a result, thousands of people visit Hollister Ranch every year.

"We encourage new partnerships and urge your group to reach out to us today to see if we can provide access and further our collaborative initiatives."

Hollister Ranch Tide Pool School

"Tide pools are one of Hollister Ranch’s most cherished resources. Hollister Ranch’s Tide Pool School features biologist-led explorations of these pristine tide pools for awe-struck children ages 5 to 12. Hundreds of grade school students—many from underserved communities—from neighboring communities participate in tide pool explorations. In each class, they are introduced to a wide variety of marine life, from mussels and sea hares, to octopi, crabs and the occasional lobster or shark. For many, it’s their only opportunity to experience a rich variety of plant and animal life otherwise found in museums."

Contact the HROA for upcoming dates and availability!

Academic Research

"Fragile coastal ecosystems are easily denigrated by human contact. Species are destroyed by development and pollution and by crowds that harvest and collect animal life. As part of Southern California’s last wild coastline, Hollister Ranch provides scientists, educators, and students with the opportunity to study and observe a largely undisturbed coastal environment.

"For scientists, Hollister Ranch provides a robust laboratory for conducting wide-ranging marine, botanic and geological studies. Hollister Ranch cooperates extensively with teams of researchers from University of California campuses at Santa Barbara, Berkeley, Santa Cruz and Riverside, from the University of Florida and Occidental College, and from other academic institutions.

"The Ranch partners with UCSB, UCLA and UC Santa Cruz on inter-tidal studies of seaweed, limpets and water temperature. It partners with Channel Islands Restoration to enhance the already healthy snowy plover population through future mitigation programs. And the Hollister Ranch Conservancy operates a monitoring post at the Ranch’s Shoreline Preserve—a two-plus mile protected zone teeming with sea life.

"To protect the Ranch’s native ecosystems and natural resources, public access is carefully managed. Professional naturalists supervise group visits and group size is limited. To prevent damage to natural habitats, specific restrictions prevent foot traffic in research areas and limit the collection of samples."

Above text from: www.hollisterranch.org/research-education-programs

Contact us about these ownership Interests that may be or become available. From ~$550,000

Contact us about Hollister Ranch rental properties that are or may become available. Due to gate access, rentals are available to Hollister Ranch Owners only.