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 74 of 99

The Dangermonds' gift is significant in two ways, the immediate and the longer term. The first effect is what it does directly to preserve habitat. The simple fact is that without this move, sooner or later this ecologically, aesthetically, and even spiritually important land would have been bulldozed away. Now that will not occur. Jack Dangermond told me that his friend E.O. Wilson, the famed biologist, had ad- vanced the idea that "we are innately all 'bio- philiacs'" — that people are drawn to nature even in unconscious ways. "It's why people keep a little philodendron in their apartment, or have an aquarium, or dogs. People want to feel some connection to nature and the natu- ral living world." The innate importance of preserving parts of the natural matched the Dangermonds' own sensibility. Jack grew up in a gardening culture — his father, an immigrant from Holland, was a gardener and ran a small nursery business, and Jack's original training was in landscape architec- ture — and he and Laura have made the property around their modest home essen- tially one big arboretum. But they argue that preservation has a larger consequence. "These natural areas, particularly pristine and intact areas like this one, are so very important, and they are disappearing like crazy," Jack told me. The Dangermonds' Esri company specializes in mapping software that, among other functions, allows long- term analysis of geographical trends. "We did a study with Clark University forecasting out 50 years and making maps with our software about natural areas in that time. And in 50 years, the areas that remain will become very fragmented. If any normal person would see that, they would get very S P R I N G 2 0 1 8 | The LandReport 73 LANDREPORT.COM "There's no place like it on Earth. It's more beautiful than Yosemite or Yellowstone. " — Joni Gray Former Santa Barbara County Supervisor

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