Joseph Galvin Ranch

Acreage 62 acres
Watershed Marsh Creek
Vegetation habitats Oak woodland, riparian, chaparral, and grassland
Ownership Protected since 2003 by Save Mount Diablo and transferred to the East Bay Regional Park District.


In 2003, Save Mount Diablo partnered with the Galvin family to preserve 62 acres of the Joseph Galvin Ranch on Morgan Territory Road. The Joseph Galvin Ranch includes a heavily wooded canyon draining west between two ridgelines to a long stretch of Marsh Creek below.

riparian plants at the Joseph Galvan Ranch

The property’s northwestern corner starts at a relatively new bridge over the creek. The western boundary follows the road and creek south to include two of the distinctive one-lane white bridges built over Marsh Creek.

One ridgeline is covered in chaparral, with a fire road threading its way up through fragrant brush. The other ridge includes oak woodland with rock outcrops cresting to grassland and expansive views of Windy Point and Mount Diablo. The spectacular property rises east to a square mile recently protected with a conservation easement.

The property is habitat for a variety of wildlife including the rare Mount Diablo sunflower (Helianthella castanea), Mount Diablo globe lily (Calochortus pulchellus), and the threatened California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii). It almost certainly serves as habitat for the threatened Alameda whipsnake (Masticophis lateralis).

“Acquisition of the Joseph Galvin Ranch helps accomplish several of Save Mount Diablo’s goals, including helping to establish a better corridor between Morgan Territory Regional Preserve and Mount Diablo State Park, while protecting part of the Marsh Creek riparian corridor and significant biological resources.

“The property is a piece in a puzzle designed to conserve the resources of Morgan Territory. By contrast, the mansion next door shows what might easily have happened instead,” said Malcolm Sproul, Save Mount Diablo’s former Board President.

In January 2012, Joseph Galvin Ranch and Moss Rock were transferred to the East Bay Regional Park District for long-term management and public access. The properties will be added to Morgan Territory Regional Preserve.

Save Mount Diablo’s properties are closed to the public except by guided tour.


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