Caspar Headlands on Mendocino Coast (CA) Protected

December 22, 2000
California

Caspar, CA - The Mendocino Land Trust (MLT) and the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national land conservation organization, announced today the purchase of the historic 71-acre Caspar Headland property along the Mendocino Coast. In a $3.5 million deal, TPL purchased the property on Tuesday from a private landowner and conveyed it to MLT. MLT will provide interim stewardship until the California Department of Parks and Recreation is prepared to accept the property for public recreation and education. Governor Gray Davis supported this conservation effort by allocating funds in the state budget using Proposition 12. State Senator Wes Chesbro and Assemblymember Virginia Strom-Martin were also critical to securing these funds.

"The acquisition of the Caspar Headlands for public use and enjoyment exemplifies the Governor's commitment to preserving California's coast and natural heritage and is a worthy use of the Proposition 12 funds," says State Secretary for Resources Mary Nichols.

"This is a very important acquisition that will increase public access to the Mendocino coast and protect valuable viewsheds from the adjoining Caspar Beach and Highway One," says Senator Wes Chesbro who is also a Member of the California Coastal Conservancy.

"We are so proud to have protected this magnificent piece of the Mendocino coastline and to have made this property available for the enjoyment of Mendocino residents and visitors alike," says Assemblymember Virginia Strom-Martin.

The Caspar Community worked for more than three years to protect the property. In 1999, TPL negotiated an option agreement with the landowner, which took the property off the market to protect it from development. MLT and the Caspar Community then worked with TPL to secure funding for the purchase.

Located on the rugged Mendocino County coast and visible from Highway One, the purchase of the Caspar Headlands will provide a significant addition to the California Coastal Trail. The Caspar Headlands property is adjacent to the heavily used Caspar Beach, which MLT acquired in 1999.

With this purchase, an expansive area of panoramic open headlands has been permanently conserved for public access and scenic protection. In addition, one-half mile of ocean frontage and over one-half mile of Caspar Creek, a significant riparian area, have been protected. Caspar Creek contains one of the few native Coho salmon fisheries remaining in California.

"We are delighted to have acquired the Caspar Headlands," said MLT Board President Jim McCummings. "Now the estuary and an extensive section of both sides of Caspar Creek are protected since the MLT purchased the southern portion of Caspar Creek as part of the acquisition of Caspar Beach last year."

"Without the support of the Caspar Community, the Coastal Conservancy, the Governor, Senator Chesbro and Assemblymember Virginia Strom-Martin, and the help and patience of the landowner, this magnificent stretch of the Mendocino coastline would not be preserved today," said Sonia Jacques, Project Manager at TPL. "The voters of California should feel pleased that their Proposition 12 funds are being put to such an appropriate use."

Funding for the purchase included $1.5 million from the California State Coastal Conservancy, $500,000 from Proposition 12, and a $1.5 million Transportation Enhancement Act (TEA) grant from the California Transportation Commission. In addition, MLT received a grant for managing the property from TPL.

Caspar Headlands will eventually be transferred to the California Department of Parks and Recreation. It should be noted that the property will need to remain closed to the public until necessary coastal permits are obtained and plans are made for public access.

The Mendocino Land Trust is a non-profit organization founded in 1976 and is dedicated to conserving lands throughout Mendocino County.

The Trust for Public Land is a nonprofit land conservation organization that works to conserve land for people as parks, gardens, playgrounds, and wilderness. Founded in 1972, TPL has protected more than 1.2 million acres nationwide.