Innovative Partnership Conserves Large Expanse of Coastal Redwoods
When the five partners of the Living Landscape Initiative learned that thousands of acres of the Santa Cruz Mountains would soon be sold, they mobilized to purchase the largest expanse of unprotected redwoods and wildlife habitat in Santa Cruz County.
The $30 million, 8,532-acre acquisition is one of the largest land conservation deals in a decade in the Bay Area. An acquisition of this size and scope was possible only because the organizations worked together, capitalized on their individual strengths, and leveraged funds.The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation collaborated closely with the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Resources Legacy Fund to provide a cornerstone investment of over $8 million.
Immediate and long-term benefits range from preventing land development and protecting local water quality to conserving habitat for wildlife that includes mountain lions, peregrine falcons, and endangered Coho salmon. The project also envisions helping to sustain the local economy and providing outdoor enthusiasts with public access to what many consider to be one of the most scenic coastal areas in the country.
And the best part is that this CEMEX Redwoods acquisition is just the beginning. The Living Landscape Initiative has set a goal of preserving 80,000 acres over the next 20 years in priority landscapes extending through San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, and Alameda counties.