Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District Acquires Conservation Easement and Trail Easement
On 500-acre Bordessa Ranch
SANTA ROSA, CA (March 27, 2012) –The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, serving as the Board of Directors of the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District (District), approved the purchase of a conservation easement and a trail easement over the 500 acre Bordessa ranch for the benefit of future generations.
Efren Carrillo, Fifth District Supervisor stated, “Opportunities like this, which will keep this 500 acre property intact while allowing public view of the incredible natural features of the Estero Americano and its surrounding greenbelt, are rare. This investment will pay forward and provide incredible benefits to the residents of Sonoma County. It will ensure this land will forever be in agriculture, protect the legacy of the Valley Ford area, secure critical wildlife and bird habitat, and allowing public access for hiking, nature study, bird watching, and other low intensity recreational and educational uses that are appropriate.”
Sonoma County Director of Regional Parks Caryl Hart commented, “Regional Parks looks forward to working under the lead of Supervisor Carrillo, with land owners and the community to determine appropriate public access to this amazing property,”
The rolling hills and open pasture lands of the ranch are visible from scenic Highway 1, North of Valley Ford. The conservation easement and trail easement on the property protects its open space and scenic values, natural resources and wildlife connectivity, and agricultural resources, while allowing for low-intensity public outdoor recreational enjoyment of the land.
The property possesses sensitive natural resources and provides habitat for numerous wildlife species. The Bordessa Ranch borders on the Estero Americano, a tidal estuary which contains high quality salt marsh wetlands and is located in the Pacific Flyway which provides foraging habitat for migratory water fowl and shorebirds. The conservation easement protects habitat for sensitive species, including Burrowing Owls, Short-eared Owls and American Badgers within a 140-acre Forever Wild area of the property.
The purchase of the conservation easement and trail easement is $1,500,000. The California State Coastal Conservancy has agreed to contribute $650,000 to the District’s acquisition of a conservation easement and a $50,000 grant to the Sonoma County Regional Parks Department to plan trails on the property.
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About the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District
The Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District permanently protects the diverse agricultural, natural resource and scenic open space lands of Sonoma County for future generations. Since 1990, the District has protected more than 85,000 acres. Agricultural and open space lands have been protected through a 1/4-cent sales tax approved by voters in 1990 and reauthorized in 2006. For more information, please visit www.sonomaopenspace.org