Rush Ranch Open Space is a 2,070-acre site located on the northern margin of Suisun Marsh in Solano County. The Open Space consists of approximately 1,050 acres of brackish tidal wetlands (old high-elevation marsh), 950 acres of grassland (including the Ranch headquarters), seasonal systems, springs and ponds, and a 70-acre managed wetland.
Rush Ranch protects the largest and least disturbed remnant of historic mid-brackish tidal marshlands in the Estuary. The marshes at Rush Ranch are part of the larger Suisun Marsh that encompasses some 85,000 acres of tidal marsh, managed wetlands, and waterways. It is the largest remaining wetland in San Francisco Bay and includes more than ten percent of California’s remaining wetland acres. Because of its special character, the marsh is protected by the Suisun Marsh Preservation Act, the Suisun Marsh Protection Plan, and the Suisun Marsh Local Protection Program.
The Rush Ranch property is bordered by private lands and State wildlife areas. On the north and west lie the Hill Slough Wildlife Area (1,112 acres) and the Peytonia Slough Ecological Reserve (1,887 acres) and on the south and southeast is the Joice Island Wildlife Area (1,887 acres); all of these other properties are managed by the CDFW.
Plants and Animals
The Suisun Bay, in general, supports a great diversity and large numbers of waterfowl and shorebirds, as well as migratory passerines, due to the position of the Suisun Bay and the Pacific Flyway and also due to the conversion of the historical tidal marshlands to diked and intensively managed seasonal wetlands. The brackish tidal marsh at Rush Ranch is exceptionally rich in vegetation as well.
Numerous sensitive species inhabit the Suisun Bay area, many more than are listed here. Threatened, endangered or rare animals include Delta Smelt, Sacramento Splittail, California Black Rail, Salt Marsh Song Sparrow, Suisun Shrew, and California Tiger Salamander. Threatened, endangered or rare plants include Suisun Thistle, Soft Bird’s Beak, Contra Costa Goldfields, and Suisun Marsh Aster.
History and Land Stewardship
Rush Ranch Open Space is part of the land where the Patwin, a southern group of the Wintun people, lived for thousands of years. Throughout the 20th century, the ranch was operated by the Rush family. Rush Ranch was purchased in 1988 by the Solano Land Trust (SLT) through funding provided by the California State Coastal Conservancy. An Enhancement and Management Plan for this area was completed in 1989. In 2014, SLT approved the current Rush Ranch Management Plan.
Learn more about our Reserve, China Camp and Rush Ranch in our management plan. This pdf document includes information about reserve history, science and social science, ecological characteristics, regional threats and stressors, geographic boundaries, and resource, usage and restoration plans.