The Land Trust of Napa County and the Hall family are pleased to announce an agreement whereby the Land Trust will acquire the entire 2,300-acre Walt Ranch property in the eastern hills above Napa Valley. The property will then be owned and managed through a partnership between the Land Trust and the Napa Open Space District.
“We’re excited to enter into this agreement to protect this wonderful property,” said Doug Parker, CEO of the Land Trust. “And I want to thank the landowners, Craig and Kathryn Hall, for agreeing to donate a significant portion of the value of the property. Their gift will be a great boost toward the fundraising effort that will be needed to close this transaction. This 2,300-acre acquisition will be one of the largest the Land Trust has completed in its 46-year history.”
“We have been in conversations with the Land Trust since we acquired the property in 2005 as conservation easements were always a critical part of our vineyard development plans,” said Hall Wines President, Mike Reynolds. “Our recent discussions with the Land Trust about establishing a 1,000+ acre conservation easement led to this acquisition and donation. We have long supported the Land Trust of Napa County and look forward to seeing how they protect this beautiful property.”
“The property meets all of our criteria for conservation,” said Parker. “It abuts other protected land, including Milliken Reservoir and other land previously protected by the Land Trust and it fits right into our plans to ensure the protection of ongoing wildlife corridors across the area.”
While the property has been approved for vineyard planting, “If the Land Trust can close this transaction,” said Parker, “that development will not take place. The property would become one of the Land Trust’s preserves and we would work with the Napa Open Space District to manage the property.”
Now that the agreement has been signed, the Land Trust and the Open Space District will begin the effort to raise the funding needed for the purchase. “We plan to reach out to both public and private donors to make sure that we can close this purchase, hopefully within the next six months,” said Parker.