The Land Trust of Napa County is pleased to announce the purchase of four neighboring properties, protecting 1,066 acres.
“It’s important for wildlife that we connect protected land together at a large-scale,” said Doug Parker, CEO of the Land Trust. “In order to achieve that here, we purchased properties from four different adjacent landowners. These properties not only abut each other, but their protection connected with thousands of acres of existing protected lands as well.”
The properties connect with lands owned by the State of California and managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) as well as federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR).
The properties include varied habitats, such as Blue Oaks, mixed hardwoods and grasslands. The area includes extensive serpentine soils with rare plant species, such as Jepson’s Leptosiphon and Two-carpellate Western Flax. These two native wildflowers exist only in Napa and three other counties in California. Serpentine soils have the highest concentration of rare species statewide.
“I want to thank the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for helping with the funding to permanently protect these properties,” said Parker. “These acquisitions would not have been possible without their support.”
“The Land Trust’s ability to move so quickly to protect these properties represents a significant accomplishment for conservation in a priority geography,” said Dan Winterson, who manages the Bay Area Conservation Program at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. “We’re very pleased to be able to help protect over 1,000 acres here, conserving important habitat and enhancing the value of the surrounding wildlife corridor.”
The properties also contain notable water resources, including ponds, springs and a significant length of Pope Creek, a priority stream that provides habitat for declining species such as Western Pond Turtle and Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog, a candidate for listing as a state-endangered species.
“These projects complete the protection of lower Pope Creek,” said Parker, “connecting lands managed by CDFW, BLM and BOR in an area that has long been a conservation priority for both the Land Trust and Fish and Wildlife. In addition, at a much larger scale, this project creates a connection between 8,500 protected acres to the south, including the Cedar Roughs Wilderness Area, and 7,500 protected acres on the north of these properties, including land owned by the Napa Open Space District, BLM and the Land Trust. We don’t often get an opportunity to join protected areas together at this scale. But putting together these four transactions was a great opportunity to assemble something that could close a gap between protected lands. And now, there is a contiguous landscape of 17,000 protected acres.”