Land Trust of Napa County is pleased to announce the acquisition of 482 acres of undeveloped land that will become part of the University of California’s Natural Reserve System.

The property, located next to Markley Cove on Lake Berryessa, is almost completely surrounded by protected land. It connects to the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, the Bureau of Reclamation land surrounding Lake Berryessa and the U.C. Natural Reserve System’s 638-acre Stebbins Cold Canyon Natural Reserve.

“We’re pleased to work with the UC Davis Natural Reserves to protect this land,” said Doug Parker, CEO of the Land Trust. “Connecting protected properties together, as we’re doing here, enhances previous investments in conservation, ensures broad corridors for wildlife movement over the long-term and in this case, will provide additional opportunities for scientific research and teaching.”

“We’re excited to see the Land Trust of Napa County protecting more natural lands for landscape conservation, scientific research, wildlife habitat, and watershed management,” said Jeffrey Clary, Associate Director, UC Davis Natural Reserves.

The property includes extensive oak woodlands, dominated by interior live oak, as well as montane chaparral and chamise chaparral. It provides scenic values from Highway 128.

While the Land Trust will hold the property in the short-term, it will turn ownership of the land over to UC Natural Reserves for long-term ownership and management. The UC Natural Reserve System consists of 41 reserves totaling more than 750,000 acres across the state. These reserves provide locations for faculty and students to conduct long-term research and teaching. The Reserve System will own and manage the property as part of their mission to “contribute to the understanding and wise stewardship of the Earth and its natural systems by supporting university-level teaching, research, and public service at protected natural areas throughout California.”

The Land Trust will be working with the UC Davis Natural Reserve staff to transfer the property to their Reserve System. The property will be added to the Stebbins Cold Canyon Natural Reserve, named in honor of U.C. Davis Professor G. Ledyard Stebbins, who was instrumental in establishing the university’s Department of Genetics. The Land Trust will retain a conservation easement over the property, to create a double layer of protection, further ensuring that it remains undeveloped over the long-term.

“This is another strategic conservation acquisition by the Land Trust of Napa County,” said Dan Winterson, manager of the Bay Area Conservation Program at the Gordon and Berry Moore Foundation. “We are very happy to see this important property added to the protected lands of Napa County.”

“The Land Trust has completed several land protection projects in partnership with UC Davis Natural Reserves to protect land at their Quail Ridge Reserve nearby,” said Parker. “This property is immediately across the cove from UC’s 2,000-acre Quail Ridge Natural Reserve, where the Land Trust holds nine conservation easements on 880 acres.”

“The multi-partner network of protected lands near Lake Berryessa and Putah Creek is a real conservation success story. Through the years, additional pieces of the landscape puzzle have been protected for future generations,” said Jeffrey Clary.

View looking down across the Land Trust’s newest acquisition to Markley Cove and Lake Berryessa.