Land Trust of Napa County is pleased to announce the acquisition of 77 acres of undeveloped land above Lake Hennessey, off of Greenfield Road. Protection of the property ensures ongoing scenic views from the valley as well as significant habitat that is part of an important wildlife corridor.

The property is adjacent to other conservation easements held by the Land Trust, connecting with Moore Creek Park and the City of Napa’s land surrounding Lake Hennessey, in total, over 4,000 contiguous protected acres.

“We’re excited about acquiring this important property,” said Doug Parker, CEO of the Land Trust. “This project protects an important part of the watershed of Lake Hennessey, the City of Napa’s main local source of water, and adds to an important wildlife corridor at the same time. This is part of our larger-scale objective of creating a continuous corridor of protected land through the hills along the east side of the Valley. In this section of that corridor, we are working to connect protected lands around Lake Hennessey with Las Posadas State Forest and the land we worked with Pacific Union College to protect in Angwin.”

“This was an outright gift of land and I want to thank the landowners, Richard Howarth and Victoria Slaker, for their generous gift,” added Parker.

“We’re pleased to be able to permanently protect the natural values of this property,” said Victoria. “We’ve owned the land for several years and had originally thought of building there, but after much consideration, we decided to work with the Land Trust to permanently protect it for its forest, meadows and wildlife.”

The donated property contains mixed conifer and hardwood forests with patches of grasslands.  As part of the larger wildlife corridor, a wide range of wildlife use the property, including bobcats, coyote, deer, mountain lions and bears.

The property used to be part of a larger land holding owned by Bo Goldman and the late Mab Ashforth, who lived here for many years. Bo was an award-winning writer for Broadway, television and movies. He wrote the screenplay for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which won five Oscars, including the Best Screenplay Award for Goldman. He went on to win Golden Globes and Writers Guild Awards as well as another Academy Award for screenwriting.

Mab Ashforth passed away in 2017 and in her obituary, Bo Goldman wrote, “We lived in the natural splendor of those hills above St. Helena for over thirty years. And the community held out its hand to enable us to maintain a professional life, but more important, a loving cherishing atmosphere in which we could grow.” Before they sold their property, Bo and Mab permanently protected much of their land by donating conservation easements to the Land Trust, conserving over 200 acres adjacent to the newly acquired property.