The Land Report


The Magazine of the American Landowner is an essential guide for investors, landowners, and those interested in buying or selling land. The award-winning quarterly is known for its annual survey of America's largest landowners, The Land Report 100.

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Page 71 of 99

G ood news for the environment comes from California today, and from a part of the state very near the hillsides that have suffered the economic and environmental devastation of the recent wildfires. A renowned tract of undeveloped California coastal land totaling more than 24,000 acres, or about 38 square miles, has been purchased by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) for permanent preservation, thanks to a $165 million donation by a wealthy tech- industry couple. The donation, the largest single gift TNC has ever received, is signifi- cant in its immediate effects, and it has the potential to matter even more through the longer-term example it aspires to set. The tract includes hills and canyons, grasslands and brush, 2,000 acres of coastal live-oak stands containing perhaps 1 million trees, a creek, parts of the Santa Ynez Moun- tains — and a full eight miles of the bluffs and beaches that make up the coastline around Point Conception, west of Santa Barbara. The benefactors are Jack and Laura Dangermond, who founded and still run the Esri mapping company in the small southern California town of Redlands where they both grew up. (For the record: I have known the Danger- monds for many years, having grown up in the same town at about the same time.) The tract will be called the Jack and Laura Dangermond Preserve. It has been informally known as the Bixby Ranch, after the family that owned it and a lot more of Southern California starting in the late 1800s. (More recently the land has been known as the Cojo and Jalama ranches.) Cattle have grazed here since the ranch's founding, but the land still 70 The LandReport | S P R I N G 2 0 1 8 LANDREPORT.COM "We're very intentionally setting out a model that we hope other people with money will follow. We'd like people to think, 'Let's do what the Dangermonds did. ' We'd like them to copy us. " — Jack Dangermond Fifty years ago, Jack and Laura Dangermond car camped during their honeymoon on the very land they would donate to The Nature Conservancy. "We were just kids, and that was our first connection to realizing it was a special place," Jack says.

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