Easement Protects Fenwood Ranch (CA)

REDDING, CA, 5/21/02 -Shasta County Supervisor Trish Clarke, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the California Resources Agency, and local residents joined the local Shasta Land Trust (SLT) and the national Trust for Public Land (TPL) to celebrate the successful completion of a conservation easement on the Fenwood Partners property. This 2,242-acre landscape of natural habitat and grazing land along two and half miles of the Sacramento River will now be protected from future subdivision and development, and preserved in perpetuity as agricultural open space, while remaining in private ownership.

The day’s festivities began with bird watching at 8 AM with local expert Barbara Peck; a natural history presentation at 10 AM with retired Shasta College instructor Dave Dubose; and kite-flying throughout the morning. After the dedication ceremony the 120 guests were treated to a barbeque luncheon that included hamburgers made with beef from the certified organic cattle that graze the property. The weather was perfect, and the guests relaxed to jazz on the river provided by “Sax Therapy”, or took a stroll along the Sacramento River.

“Fenwood Ranch is a true gem of Shasta County, and SLT is thrilled to be protecting this land for its valuable wildlife habitat, while maintaining it as a working landscape,” said Kathleen Gilman, Executive Director of Shasta Land Trust. The Redding-based land trust will manage the terms of the conservation easement on this remarkable local land preservation effort.

The Trust for Public Land’s expertise in real estate transactions and land conservation financing guided Shasta Land Trust through their first on-the-ground project. “By purchasing a conservation easement to an agricultural property, we are essentially buying the development rights to the property. This removes any pressure to sell the property outright, allowing the landowner to continuing farming or ranching while ensuring that the property remains an open landscape for future generations,” said Mike Reeves, project manager for the Trust for Public Land.

The Fenwood Ranch project was funded by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, the California Department of Transportation, California Resources Agency, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Shasta Land Trust was formed in 1998 to conserve the beauty, character, and diversity of significant lands in far Northern California. The Trust protects lands that have natural, recreational, scenic, historic or productive value. The Shasta Land Trust assists willing landowners in preserving their property intact in perpetuity. By conserving large tracts of valuable wildlife habitat, agricultural lands, and open space, the Trust serves the general public by providing open space for generations to come. Shasta Land Trust also works to demonstrate and encourage best practices in open space planning and resource management, as well as provide educational experiences for the local public. For more information, visit SLT on the web at www.shastalandtrust.org.

The Trust for Public Land is a nonprofit land conservation organization, specializing in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law to protect land for public use and enjoyment. Founded in 1972, TPL is dedicated to conserving land for people as parks, greenways, wilderness areas and natural, historic and cultural resources for future generations. Dedicated to ensuring public access and improving water quality and wildlife habitat, TPL’s Western Rivers Program works to reestablish and protect the natural function of watersheds, estuaries, and coastal areas.

Photos are available upon request.