Sonoma Land Trust purchased the conservation easement that extinguished the development rights over four parcels of land totaling 554 acres for $1.45 million. Purchase funds were provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The Parish family purchased 352 acres of the ranch and agreed to work with LandPaths to provide trail access across a part of their private land and to cooperate in the management of a shared watershed. The Swindells and the Parishes have pledged to provide $100,000 in seed funds for the management and stewardship of the preserve.
“Once again, the Sonoma Land Trust has found an innovative way to protect a very special and beautiful part of Sonoma County,” said Craig Anderson, LandPaths executive director. “We are grateful for the opportunity to both introduce — and in many cases — reintroduce people to this stunning landscape in the coming months. I have great faith that the West County community and beyond will get engaged in this effort for the long term.”
While Bohemia Ranch has long been known for its year-round waterfall, it also harbors a wealth of natural resources. A variety of habitats, including biologically diverse forestlands, riparian woodlands and rare serpentine communities, support a wide array of plant and animal species. The serpentine soils, creeks and varied terrain contribute to the presence of unusual plant species, including Pennel’s bird’s beak (which is federally listed as endangered), Baker’s manzanita, Crystal Springs lessinga and serpentine reed grass. The habitat types found on the property support a wide range of birds and wildlife, such as osprey, pileated woodpecker, northwestern pond turtle and dusky-footed wood rat. Species of special concern on the preserve are the northern spotted owl and steelhead trout, both federally threatened.
The Sonoma Land Trust will continue to monitor the conservation easement over the original ranch property as well as the new, more restrictive easement over the newly formed preserve.
About the Sonoma Land Trust
Since 1976, the Sonoma Land Trust has protected nearly 27,000 acres of scenic, natural, agricultural and open land in and around Sonoma County for future generations.
About LandPathsFounded in 1997, LandPaths provides exceptional learning experiences and inspires lifelong environmental and community stewardship by connecting people to land.