McEwen Creek

McEwen Creek/McCleary Ranch

The McEwen/McCleary parcel is nestled in the southwest corner of Washoe Valley in northwestern Nevada. Located in the transition zone between the Great Basin and the Sierra Nevada ecoregions, the property is rich in species diversity. Surrounded on three sides by U.S. Forest Service, Nevada State Park and Carson City Open Space lands, conserving this tract of land will help create a durable wildlife corridor that will retain unfragmented acreage of prime wildlife habitat from the Lake Tahoe Basin, through Washoe Valley and on into Nevada’s portion of the Great Basin.

The property is classified as a high-quality winter range for mule deer, a U.S. Forest Service management indicator species. Due to its unique location between the Great Basin and Sierra Nevada, plants and animals thrive throughout McEwen/McCleary. Biologists have identified the property as providing important habitat for numerous species including black bear, bobcat, mountain lion, Sierra snowshoe hare, bald eagle, sooty grouse, and many other avian species.

Jeffrey and Ponderosa Pines dominate this Sierra Nevada forest land. Its conservation will preserve the upland vegetation and maintain the associated water quality and erosion control functions. McEwen Creek is an intermittent stream that flows through the property during spring runoff. It is a crucial source of water to Washoe Valley’s wetlands, Washoe Lake, and Little Washoe Lake. The valley is an important flyover area for migratory birds and offers year-round habitat for ducks and raptors.

Protecting this property will also help enhance both passive and active recreational opportunities in Washoe Valley and the Sierra Nevada. Maintaining the rural forest characteristics and backdrop will enhance the overall recreational experience for multiple user groups throughout the valley. A portion of Hobart Rd., a popular non-motorized hiking, biking, and equestrian trail that runs through the parcel, provides backcountry access into the recreational lands of the Lake Tahoe Basin.