Ielmorini Back Ranch, located between Nicasio and Novato, will be saved from development and preserved as agricultural land. (Photo courtesy of the County of Marin)

The Marin County Board of Supervisors on June 4 approved a grant agreement between the county and the Marin Agricultural Land Trust to preserve a 758-acre ranch in the hills between Novato and Nicasio.

The $1.5 million grant will be matched with private funds to purchase an easement over the Ielmorini Back Ranch, Marin County Parks officials said in a news release.

Marin County’s funding contribution comes from Measure A, the Farmland Preservation Program, a quarter-cent sales tax on purchases made in the county.

The agreement preserves agricultural land from the construction of subdivisions and other development, and protects several species, including the northern spotted owl, California red-legged frog, the yellow-legged frog and western pond turtle.

Since 2014, the Measure A Farmland Preservation Program has helped conserve 12 working farms and ranches with more than 17 miles of streams, 1,815 acres of forest habitat, 4,886 acres of grassland/rangeland and 28 acres of wetlands in rural west Marin County.

The easement ensures economically viable agriculture will continue and natural resources will be protected at the Ielmorini Back Ranch.

The Marin Agricultural Land Trust has protected a continuous swath of approximately 14,383 acres – or 22 square miles – and more than 54,000 acres throughout west Marin County, according to Marin County Parks.