In a landmark preservation deal certain to warm the Thanksgiving cockles of anyone who has walked it, the venerable 604-acre Carr Ranch will remain free of development and open to the critters who call it home as well as humans hoping for a glimpse of them.
A partnership arrangement between the Martinez-based John Muir Land Trust, the East Bay Municipal Utility District and the Carr family is expected to be formally announced Wednesday.
In it, the land’s rolling hills and waterholes will be preserved as watershed land, guaranteeing habitat for the area’s larger animals and walking trails for humans.
A Conservation Agreement, signed by both parties to protect the property, remains in effect for perpetuity. Under the terms of the agreement EBMUD will hold title to the property with John Muir Land Trust providing public access and recreational opportunities.
Agreement organizers said an “outpouring” of donations from individuals, foundations, agencies and corporations reached the $7 million benchmark needed to acquire the property from the Carr family.
“We couldn’t have hoped for an outcome that better serves the public’s need for permanent protection and access to this spectacular natural landscape,” Linus Eukel, Executive Director of John Muir Land Trust, said after inking the deal.
Thousands of individuals and organizations contributed to the Campaign to Save Carr Ranch. In particular, residents of Lamorinda mailed in donations of all sizes.
Contributions were made by the Town of Moraga, Moraga Park Foundation, Orinda Park and Recreation Foundation, Morrison & Foerster, and The San Francisco Foundation. Many residents of San Ramon Valley joined in, protecting the land in the hills above them.