» Mill Creek Areas of interest

Dye Creek Preserve

Located in the foothills below Lassen Peak, the 37,540-acre Dye Creek Preserve is an expansive landscape of blue oak woodlands, volcanic buttes, and rolling wildflower fields.  Mill Creek flows near the southern boundary of the preserve. The Nature Conservancy of California has been managing the Dye Creek Preserve since 1988.

The Nature ConservancyMore than 600 plant species are found on the preserve. Approximately 80% of these plant species are native, and 14 species are rare.  The property also features a rich diversity of birds, from neo-tropical migrants to bald eagles. Several songbird species whose populations have been severely reduced in the Sacramento Valley - the yellow-billed cuckoo, the yellow-breasted chat, and the blue grosbeak – have been recently observed along lower Dye Creek.  The preserve is large enough to support bears and mountain lions, and it also provides winter habitat for the largest migratory deer herd in California.

Dye Creek lies in the heart of the Lassen Foothills region, a largely un-fragmented 900,000-acre landscape, where The Nature Conservancy, the Mill Creek Conservancy and other partners are actively engaged in community-based conservation efforts. The Nature Conservancy operates Dye Creek Preserve as a working ranch, leasing grazing rights to a private rancher who manages his cattle with an eye to the health of the environment. The ranch was named one of the 25 best-managed ranches in the U.S. by a leading livestock publication. The land also functions as a nature preserve, an outdoor classroom and laboratory, promoting cooperative conservation, restoration, academic research and community outreach activities.

Because Dye Creek Preserve is a working cattle ranch with an active hunting program, public access is limited.  Individuals or organized groups may participate in scheduled docent-led hikes in the fall and spring. To obtain information about these tours, or if you have other questions about Dye Creek Preserve, contact the preserve manager at 530-527-4261.

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