The Stunt Ranch Santa Monica Mountains Reserve is one of 41 reserves operated by the University of California Natural Reserve System (UCNRS). The UCNRS network comprises 756,000 acres, encompassing nearly all California ecosystem types. It is the most extensive university-administered reserve system in the world, and its sites provide unique research opportunities for teaching, research, and public service. Stunt Ranch Reserve is one of two UC NRS reserves managed by the University of California: Los Angeles.
What is Unique About Stunt Ranch Reserve
Only a 30-minute drive from UCLA’s main campus, Stunt Ranch Reserve comprises 310 acres of biologically diverse land. Within the reserve are multiple public trails that guide users through a variety of ecosystems, such as chaparral, coastal live oak woodland, annual grassland, and riparian habitat. Furthermore, this region of the Santa Monica Mountains was known to have early human inhabitants from various backgrounds, including two tribes of native Californians: The Gabrielino-Tongva and the Chumash. Evidence of extensive early human habitation has been recovered at Stunt Ranch, and the reserve is recognized as archeologically significant land. Thus, the convenient location, rich biodiversity, and archeological significance of the land has attracted naturalists to Stunt Ranch for decades and ultimately inspired the UC NRS to take ownership in 1995 (visit history to learn more).
The Stunt Ranch Reserve Field Station
Stunt Ranch Reserve’s multifunctional biological field station offers a unique setting for outdoor education, field research, and outreach events. However, while surrounding trails are open to the public, Stunt Ranch Reserve only permits qualified users to access the field station. To gain entry to the reserve and utilize the field station, users must first apply for approval from a reserve manager (see Reservations for more details). Guests may use the reserve daily (overnight stay is not permitted) to conduct field projects, collect data, and teach courses.
Various scientific fields of study use the reserve. For instance, researchers have visited the site to study ecophysiology, fire ecology, vegetation management, habitat restoration, endangered species protection/management, watershed management, geology, geomorphic stability, and archaeology. However, all academic fields are welcome to the reserve, and any university students and educators are encouraged to apply to utilize the space.
In addition to university students, faculty, and researchers, we also encourage K-12 educational programs and local environmental-oriented outreach events to consider using the reserve.
Please contact reserve management if you have further questions about Stunt Ranch Reserve.