The Land Report

2018.1

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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"There are lots of wealthy people in the tech industry in California and elsewhere," he said. "America's wealthy people are flush with money. They're wondering where to put it"— and the favored emphases of this era's tech leaders include education and public health. "Those are great! But we haven't yet seen that kind of commitment to nonpolitical conser- vation issues." He gave the example of the Rockefellers, who preserved land in New York, in Maine, in Wyoming, in many other places that eventually adjoined or became part of national or state parks. He is aware of the complications of this private-philanthropy model for conservation: the baronial overtones, the theoretical superi- ority of having the government take the lead with truly national parks, like the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone. But to put it mildly, that's not what the federal government is doing these days. In the weeks before the Point Conception announcement, Donald Trump ordered the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase–Escalante national monuments reduced in size. When I asked Michael Sweeney why the state or the federal govern- ment hadn't bought the ranch long ago — including through the defense budget, since Vandenberg Air Force Base is next door — he said, "Because it just would never happen. The price is an obstacle. There are too many agencies to coordinate." Jack Dangermond makes a more positive case. "If you look back historically, the national parks were of course a public undertaking. But families like the Rockefellers played a direct or indirect part for many years. America has a long history of private philanthropy for public causes that some- times gets overlooked." Much as the Rockefellers' example is remembered now — or Carnegie's with his libraries, or the Mellons' and Fricks' with their museums — the Dangermonds hope 76 The LandReport | S P R I N G 2 0 1 8 LANDREPORT.COM "I like to say it's where Northern California and Southern California meet. " — Michael Sweeney The Nature Conservancy California Chapter

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