Once scheduled for sale as nine development parcels, the ranch was purchased by TPL in 2002 for addition to Los Padres National Forest. The project created an 11-mile stretch of permanently protected coastline between the bridge and Andrew Molera State Park.
Since 1942, Midland School students have enjoyed the open classrooms of the school's fields, forests, and gardens. But in 2006, the school became concerned about encroaching development and contact TPL.
Cowell Ranch, the 4,000 acres of oak-studded hills flanking Mount Diablo,a fast-growing region of the state, were earmarked for urban development before TPL completed the $13-million deal to purchase and preserve the land in 2002.
The Trust for Public Land's Central Coast Program works to protect the irreplaceable resources of the California Coast in Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties, encompassing almost 400 miles of coastline.
In December 2010, TPL was able to pull a bright conservation success story out of the bleak economic downturn, and purchase Bruin Ranch, now known as the Harvego Bear River Preserve, which will eventually underpin a regional wilderness trail and park.