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Madrone Coast Farm First in California to Achieve Certified Wildlife Friendly Status

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Madrone Coast Farm First in California to Achieve Certified Wildlife Friendly® Status for coexistence with Mountain Lions

Madrone Coast Farm of Felton, CA Provides Habitat for Pumas

FELTON, CA (October 28 2014) Madrone Coast Farm is the first farm in California to achieve Certified Wildlife Friendly® status in recognition of its wildlife stewardship practices, following an ISO-compliant third-party audit process. “We feel that coexistence with wildlife, including mountain lions, is very important to the health of the local ecosystem.  Farmers and ranchers can successfully use proactive practices to coexist with predators,” says farmer Alison Charter-Smith.


Alison Charter-Smith of Madrone Coast Farm, holding an heritage breed piglet

Charter-Smith and her husband, Tony Jaehnichen, raise heritage chickens, ducks, goats, sheep, and pigs, and offer pasture-raised chicken and duck-eggs, pork and wool at 4 farmer’s markets throughout the Santa Cruz area. The vast majority of their farm is wooded and accessible to wildlife, including 3 juvenile mountain lions seen on the farm this past summer. In addition to maintaining ponds to provide water, Charter-Smith and Jaehnichen are working to increase the habitat value of their land for terrestrial and avian visitors alike. The farm has nesting boxes for swallows, bats, owls and bees. Black-tailed deer, coyotes and bobcats are also in the vicinity.

To keep stock safe, Madrone Coast Farm keeps a close eye on its animals, especially at vulnerable periods, such as lambing, corrals stock at night, and engages the help of a pair of Maremma livestock guardian dogs. “I feel great knowing my food purchases support wildlife,” says Madrone Coast customer Bonnie Doran. “It’s important to me to know the food I’m eating is not adversely impacting the ecosystem. I was raised to respect the wildlife that have always been here and belong. We need to coexist with native species, not to kill them off.”

“The Certified Wildlife Friendly® label helps consumers to vote with their pocketbooks. Consumers can now support free-ranging wildlife as they buy from local farms,” says Julie Stein, Executive Director of the global Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network. Certified Wildlife Friendly® farms and ranches support wildlife, biodiversity, and a host of ecosystem services.

Madrone Coast Farm is now also certified by the Animal Welfare Approved program, the most highly regarded food label for animal welfare and pasture-based farming.  Ackowledged by Consumer Reports as a “highly meaningful” food label for farm animal welfare and sustainability, AWA certification lets consumers know the animals at Madrone Coast Farm are managed under high welfare practices. The farm’s Animal Welfare Approved and Certified Wildlife Friendly® audits were carried out concurrently, through an agreement of the programs.

A mountain lion (Puma concolor)   © David Dohnal/

A mountain lion © David Dohnal /

“Pumas need 50-150 sq. miles to make a living in our area,” says researcher Veronica Yovovich of the Santa Cruz Puma Project. Private land corridors–such as the one Madrone Coast Farm provides–are an important to their success.

By being proactive about protecting livestock and contributing to habitat, Certified Wildlife Friendly® farms help predators remain in areas where they can carry out their living as they have for centuries, quietly, behind-the-scenes, and for the most part undetected across the patchwork of wild, rural and developed areas of the Santa Cruz mountains. Through education and personal actions” says Yovovich, “people can live safely with mountain lions”.


About Madrone Coast Farm

Founded in 2010, Madrone Coast Farm is a diversified family farm that offers fresh vegetables & herbs, fruits, pasture-raised chicken and duck-eggs, pork and wool at 4 farmer’s markets throughout the Santa Cruz area. The farm specializes in heritage breeds including Babydoll Southdown sheep, Large Black pigs, Oberhasli dairy goats, and Welsh Harlequin ducks. Its pasture-raised eggs are exceptionally nutrient rich.

About Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network

WFEN and its Certified Wildlife Friendly® and Predator Friendly® certification programs represent farmers, ranchers, artisans and conservation heroes from around the world. Participating farms in North America maintain and enhance wildlife habitats and employ a mix of careful observation and proactive practices to allow wildlife and livestock to coexist. Certified Wildlife Friendly® products contribute to the conservation of over twelve million hectares of diverse wetlands, forests, and grasslands; protect keystone endangered species in Asia, Africa, and Latin and North America, including the Snow Leopard, Elephant, Cheetah, Spectacled Bear, and Wolf; and benefit over 200,000 people through increased food security, income and employment. For more information visit:

About Animal Welfare Approved

Animal Welfare Approved audits, certifies and supports farmers raising their animals according to the highest welfare standards, outdoors on pasture or range. Called a “badge of honor for farmers” and the “gold standard,” AWA is the most highly regarded food label in North America when it comes to animal welfare, pasture-based farming, and sustainability. All AWA standards, policies and procedures are available on the AWA website, making it the most transparent certification available. Animal Welfare Approved’s Online Directory of AWA farms, restaurants and products enables the public to search for AWA farms, restaurants and products by zip code, keywords, products and type of establishment. In addition, AWA has published Food Labeling for Dummies, a regularly updated guide to commonly used food claims and terms, available free for download at

Contact: Julie Stein:

Julie Stein:

Phone: 615.521.2128