Flying O Ranch
Where the sky is bluer and the grass is greener
Bulldozer, spare that tree!build gently On February 15, 1989, under the auspices of California’s Williamson Act, the Flying O Ranch's developers entered into an agreement with Madera County that created 34 contiguous, 40-acre agricultural preserves on about 1,400 acres of grazing land in the Sierra Nevada Foothills between the old California townships of Coarsegold and O’Neals. That's a mighty long sentence and a whole lot of numbers. What's unique about this agreement is its eco-friendly design and careful execution. These landowners could have hacked their property into seven-acre, three-acre, or even one-acre “ranchettes,” set up a system of paved roads and community utilities, and raked in substantial profits—as have countless other rural developers. But these were well established ranchers with strong ties to the area. They had the means to do as they wished with their Eastern Madera County holdings. They respected the unspoiled Sierra Nevada Foothills and the ranching way of life, and they sought a way to preserve these treasures while allowing limited development.  
And so the Flying O Ranch was born.  
About The Ranch
The Facts
Topo Parcel Map
Williamson Act
Moo-ve over, Rover; let bossy take over. Owners of the individual agricultural preserves that make up the Flying O Ranch are not allowed to subdivide. The amount of fencing one can put up is restricted, ensuring that development on each parcel remains incidental to the purpose of the ranch—which is just that: to stay a ranch. A real ranch. A working ranch. A flies-in-your face, pies-on-your lawn, trample-your-daffodils cattle operation—where bulls roam free and the cows are anything but nervous.
Rattlesnakes robust and woods that combust. As you might have gathered, life on the Flying O Ranch isn’t for everyone. Want water? You'll have to drill a well. Want power? Go solar. Or go in with your neighbors on a grid hookup agreement. Want to get to work—but a tree seems to have fallen across your quarter-mile driveway in the middle of the night? Go get your chain saw. What do you do when a four-foot diamondback rattler is under your deck, fang-to-fang with your cat? You don't wait to see which one blinks. You go get your gun.
But the landscape is gorgeous; the air is clean. And the variety of wildlife astounds. Owners collectively lease out the land for cattle ranching and share the profit. In effect, we are one, big 1,400-acre cattle ranch, whose 34 owners are united by a love of wide-open spaces (and by a non-profit association, which, for a nominal fee, takes care of such mundane tasks as road maintenance, trash removal, and the upkeep of two stubborn and rickety automatic gates). When you come home to your home on the range, you are alone. Even with friends and family. No glaring lights to obscure the stars. No booming bass amps to drown out the coyotes and frogs. No leaf blowers or lawn mowers. No engines racing or crackheads spacing.  
The only barking dog you'll wake up to is your own.