Clover Valley

Archaeological, Ecological, & Recreational Treasure in Rocklin

Rocklin, Calif. – Approximately 487 acres of open space might be saved forever due to recent actions taken by the Placer County Board of Supervisors, William Jessup University and Placer Land Trust.

The property commonly known as Clover Valley, located in Rocklin, is rich in historical and ecological significance and could provide educational and recreational opportunities.

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The board today unanimously voted to provide up to $1 million toward the purchase of a conservation easement on the property, which will be jointly held with Placer Land Trust. The purchase will be done in conjunction with William Jessup University’s purchase of the land. The collaboration will ensure the preservation of Clover Valley in perpetuity.

Sacred Home for 7,000 years

Clover Valley has been home to the Nisenan Maidu Tribe for over 7,000 years and was a major tribal center, according to archeologists. Archeological fieldwork has identified 34 prehistoric sites.

“It is important to remember that Clover Valley is considered sacred ground to the descendants of the more than 25 generations of native peoples,” said Placer County District 3 Supervisor Jim Holmes.

The valley features include expansive woodlands, grasslands and riparian habitats. A 20-acre wetland supports the threatened California Black Rail bird as well as the Swainson’s Hawk, salmon and steelhead.


The property also presents trail connection opportunities to the north and east and to the south in Rocklin along Clover Valley Creek.
“This land can be an important outdoor recreational resource for people to improve their overall health and wellbeing,” said Placer County Board of Supervisors Chair and District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson.

The land trust will be responsible for the easement’s ongoing maintenance, management and enforcement.

The university and land trust are also partnering to protect, preserve and restore the biological diversity of the valley, which includes hands-on learning opportunities for WJU students and other local schools and colleges.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to create an environmental study program with William Jessup University,” said Placer County District 2 Supervisor Robert Weygandt. “This area is rich in biodiversity and it deserves to be protected in perpetuity.”

Common Good

“Clover Valley is a beautiful, unaltered landscape and it is our hope that we can help preserve it for future generations to study and to experience the profound wonders given to us to enjoy by a loving and gracious Creator,” said William Jessup University President Dr. John Jackson. “Jessup University is also pleased to be able to receive a significant donation from the sellers and to partner with the Placer Land Trust and Placer County, who will co-manage the conservation easement for the preserve. We are hopeful for future partnerships with the surrounding cities, the state of California, the federal government, and private individuals and foundations including the United Auburn Indian Community. I personally believe this is a model public-private partnership that will benefit the common good of our region for generations to come.”

Preserving Clover Valley is consistent with the county’s habitat and restoration efforts within the western region of the county.

The county has a long-term partnership with the Placer Land Trust through the Placer Legacy program, which has conserved Oest Ranch, Harvego Bear River Preserve, Side-Hill Citrus, Beard Ranch and other significant agricultural and open spaces throughout the county.

A research collaboration agreement between William Jessup University and the county was approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2017.
Under the agreement, Jessup students gained practical field and research experience while helping the county collect and analyze data needed to assess and plan land and habitat conservation projects as part of the Placer County Conservation Program.

Learn more about William Jessup University’s vision for Clover Valley, here.

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