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Land Trust of Napa County Announces Acquisition of Sutro Ranch

Date: 06/10/14

Land Trust's largest gift of land in its 38-year history
by Press Release

The Land Trust of Napa County has acquired 1,380 acres of the Sutro Ranch, a gift from the estate of Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Sutro. John and Betty Sutro purchased Sutro Ranch in 1950 and enjoyed it as a weekend and summer retreat until her passing in 2012. This is the largest land gift the Land Trust has received in its 38-year history, and will become its second largest preserve, second only to the Dunn-Wildlake Ranch Preserve.

Sutro Ranch is located at the end of Atlas Peak Road on the east side of Napa Valley. The property consists of largely undeveloped ridgeline including Atlas Peak, at 2,663 feet, and a total of 4 miles of ridgeline, visible from many points in Napa County.

“We’re very thankful to Betty Sutro for her farsighted commitment to the property and its long-term protection,” said Doug Parker, CEO of the Land Trust. “She was a long time friend and supporter of The Land Trust and we look forward to a long relationship with her entire family.”

“For decades, my grandparents were stewards of the Ranch on Atlas Peak, sharing their love of the land with not only their family but many, many others”, said a grandchild of Betty and John Sutro. “I’m glad that by working with the Land Trust, their legacy will never be forgotten and the land will be protected forever”.

The property contains several distinct forest, shrub, grassland and riparian plant communities and, from a biodiversity perspective, ranks as one of the highest priority properties in Napa County. Varying topography and elevation, a combination of riparian and wetland areas, and mixed soil types and geology, contribute to the property’s high biodiversity ranking.

Over the next few years the Land Trust will focus on habitat restoration, including invasive species removal and native plant restoration projects. “Because of the importance of the natural values, we will be focusing significant time and effort on this”, said Parker, “and because the access we were granted limits recreational use, we will also be working to improve that access. In the near term, we expect to organize volunteer groups to help with restoration efforts and hope that volunteers will be interested in participating in these efforts on the property.”

“The protection of this property helps fill in the largest gap of unprotected ridgeline on the east side of Napa Valley,” said Doug Parker, “ensuring the preservation of undeveloped mountainside views from sites across Napa Valley as well as from Foss Valley and Lake Berryessa.” Recently, Visit Napa Valley published the results of a survey conducted of visitors to Napa, asking them what they enjoyed most about their stay. The number one choice was “scenic views”. “This acquisition will certainly contribute toward the preservation of those views over the long-term”, said Parker.

About Land Trust of Napa County

The Land Trust of Napa County is a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the character of Napa by permanently protecting land. Established in 1976, today the Land Trust has 1,700 active members and supporters. In its 38-year history, the Land Trust has completed over 150 real estate projects, including 130 easements, protecting more than 55,000 acres of land.

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