Land Trust of Napa County is pleased to announce the acquisition of a property on the ridgeline west of the City of Napa. The property adds to one of the Land Trust’s most popular preserves, the Archer Taylor Preserve at the end of Redwood Road near the Sonoma County line. This addition will make the preserve 399 acres.
The preserve is located within a critical wildlife corridor running the length of the Mayacamas range along the ridge between Sonoma and Napa counties. The new addition also connects the preserve to other protected land along this corridor, further ensuring the viability of the corridor over the long term.
“I want to thank the landowners, the Kubler family, for their interest in protecting their property through this important addition to the Archer Taylor Preserve,” said Doug Parker, CEO of the Land Trust. “This preserve is one of our key holdings and we’re proud to have worked with both families – first the Taylors, Connie, Ann and Ann’s husband Charlie Schwing, who donated land to create the preserve, and now the Kublers – to permanently protect this land and all of its natural values.”
“Our family moved to the end of Redwood in 1957,” said Alice Jane Kubler. “My parents, Pat and Warren Kubler, both middle school teachers, were seeking a place where they could raise a family, have some farm animals, and plant a garden. At the time, I don’t think they imagined how fortuitous a decision it was to live ‘next door’ to Archer and Hasseltine Taylor’s property, a sanctuary from their urban Berkeley lives as faculty at UC Berkeley. Within two years, the Taylor’s invited our family to become permanent neighbors and offered to sell my parents 30 acres, the house and cottage.”
“Warren and Pat were tenants initially, but my parents always said they took care of the property like owners,” said Ann Taylor Schwing, daughter of Archer Taylor. “When Warren and Pat wanted to buy their home and the nearby orchard, it was an easy decision.” The Kubler family has now owned the property for over 60 years.
Warren moved to the Meadows senior residence at the age of 91 in 2012 and two of his daughters, Alice Jane and Ann, began actively managing the property and considering its future with the family. “We wanted to honor our parents’ legacy within our upper Redwood Road community,” said Alice. “We wanted to honor the Kubler-Taylor-Schwing rich history, and we wanted our family, neighbors, wildlife and redwoods to be able to continue to enjoy the land as we had known it. So, working with the Land Trust was the logical solution. Consummating the sale was a perfect early birthday present for Warren’s March 3rd 100th birthday.”
The property not only lies within an important wildlife corridor but is also an important natural area. It includes an impressive redwood grove – the largest stand of redwoods in the county – that is open for use as a picnic area. The forest provides habitat for Northern Spotted Owls. The preserve includes the upper reaches of Redwood Creek, one of the longest tributaries of the Napa River that descends down from Mt. Veeder and runs through the City of Napa before entering the river. This year-round stream provides habitat for Steelhead, a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act, which has been found in the creek as high in the hills as the preserve.
“Growing up among such beauty was a privilege we did not take for granted,” said Margaret Kubler. “It was instructive as a child to watch my father’s and Dr. Taylor’s careful nurturing of the redwood groves. We Kublers worked hard to grow our food and to protect the beautiful orchards from fire. As we took care of the land, it took care of us.”
“I would also like to thank the donors who made this acquisition possible,” said Parker. “All of the funding was contributed by private individuals and we could not have done this without their generous support.”
Beginning over 20 years ago, through a number of transactions, the Taylor family began donating parcel after parcel of their property to create Archer Taylor Preserve.
“My sister and I have long been committed to permanent protection of this beautiful land and its redwoods, now protected forever as the Archer Taylor Preserve,” said Taylor Schwing. “We are pleased as can be that the Kublers have rejoined their land with the preserve. The Land Trust of Napa County has cared well for the original preserve, and I am confident that all the land will be loved and protected into the future. My husband Charlie and I enjoy working at the preserve several days a week, and we welcome others who might like to be outdoors.”