Burton and Mazzoni Help Protect Scenic Land on Tomales Bay (CA)

MILLERTON POINT, Marin County –State Senate President Pro Tempore John Burton (D-San Francisco), Assemblywoman Kerry Mazzoni (D-Marin), and the Trust for Public Land today announced the protection of two threatened properties totaling 88 acres of beautiful scenic viewshed lands valued at $890,000 near Tomales Bay’s Millerton Point in Marin County. The picturesque lands were acquired by the Trust for Public Land and then conveyed to the California Department of Parks and Recreation as an addition to Tomales Bay State Park. The purchase of these parcels completes the Millerton Point phase of TPL’s Tomales Bay Preservation Program which has protected 233 acres since 1996.

“Acquiring these two Millerton Point properties completes the protection of ten threatened parcels we’ve been working on for years,” commented Senate President Pro-Tem John Burton (D-San Francisco). “Environmentally, completing this set of particularly scenic and sensitive properties is like getting Boardwalk and Park Place–but there sure won’t be any hotels built.”

The purchase completes the protection of ten highly threatened properties adjacent to Tomales Bay State Park at Millerton Point preventing development next to the park. Located in western Marin County and overlooking Tomales Bay and Inverness Ridge, the ten threatened parcels have been the focal point of the Trust for Public Land’s Tomales Bay Preservation Program since 1993 when TPL secured interim protection of the parcels using private funds from TPL’s Bay Area Land Fund and the Dorothy Erskine Open Space Fund.

TPL created a private-public partnership with the help of the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Senator Burton, Assemblymember Mazzoni, Marin County Supervisor Steve Kinsey, the Marin County Open Space District, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and other private donors to secure funding to purchase these properties as an addition to Tomales Bay State Park.

At the request of Senator Burton and Assemblywoman Mazzoni, the Legislature last year added funding to the state budge for this acquisition. The funds were approved by Governor Davis who has demonstrated a strong commitment to protecting threatened coastal resources.

TPL acquired the first of the ten threatened properties in 1996. TPL acquired four additional properties in 1988 and three additional properties in 1999. The purchase of the last two parcels completes this phase of the Tomales Bay Protection Program.

“Tomales Bay is one of California’s most beautiful places. I am thrilled to help protect it,” commented Assemblywoman Kerry Mazzoni (D-Marin).

“The purchase of this magnificent property not only protects breathtaking views of Point Reyes National Seashore and Tomales Bay, it also protect the bay’s water quality,” says Ken Leigh, District Superintendent, Marin County, California State Parks.

“We are very grateful for the support and help this purchase has received from Governor Davis, Senator Burton and Assemblymember Mazzoni, and from all our other partners and supporters,” says Pamela Iguchi, Project Manager for the Trust for Public Land. “Now that we have completed our program at Millerton Point, we are exploring other land protection priorities along Tomales Bay.”

The Trust for Public Land is a national non-profit land conservation organization that works to preserve important open-space through willing seller acquisitions. Over the past twenty-eight years, TPL has protected more than 1,000,000 acres of land for people nationwide. Projects include preserving more than 5,000 acres of scenic lands in western Marin County that now are part of the Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area. TPL also facilitated the acquisition of the land which now constitutes the Marin Islands National Wildlife Refuge just off the San Rafael shoreline.