Land conservancy protects 7,628 acres near Lake Nacimiento
Project is the largest in the organization’s history
– On Dec. 21, 2021, The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County completed three contiguous conservation easements on the Attiyeh Ranch near Lake Nacimiento. The easements permanently protect 7,682 acres of oak woodland, annual grasslands, and chaparral, as well as significant freshwater resources and wildlife habitat.
The journey to this point began in the late 1990s when the Attiyeh family approached LCSLO with an interest in conservation on their property. “People come to us almost daily looking to conserve property,” says Deputy Director Daniel Bohlman. “There are many reasons someone might want to enter into a conservation easement. The owners of the Attiyeh Ranch recognize the importance of their property and its role in protecting freshwater resources for wildlife and for our community.”
A conservation easement is a legally binding agreement between a landowner and a land trust that protects land by placing certain restrictions on the future uses of the property. This voluntary agreement is permanent and runs with the land. The easement remains in effect if the property is later sold or passed down to future generations. In this case, the conservation easement does not provide for public access to the Attiyeh Ranch.
The easements protecting the Attiyeh Ranch will maintain the character of this largely undeveloped property forever. The property serves as an important corridor for wildlife moving between Big Sur and southern San Luis Obispo County. Keeping this large tract of land intact will help bear, mountain lion, coyote, red-tailed hawk, and many other species to move freely through the region. The Attiyeh Ranch also straddles the Nacimiento River and an upper portion of Lake Nacimiento, including the Narrows. Protecting the property from significant future development will help maintain the water supply in Lake Nacimiento and ensure clean water can flow downstream into the reservoir.
Executive Director Kaila Dettman has been with LCSLO for 16 years and knows these things take time, but are always worth the effort. “Making a decision to conserve your own property takes incredible foresight,” she said, “Although most of the work on this easement took place just in the last 10 years, it was the vision the family had that allowed our staff to bring this to the finish line more than 20 years after that first meeting.”
The Attiyeh Ranch conservation easements were funded in part by the Wildlife Conservation Board using California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access For All Act of 2018 (Proposition 68) funds, the California Strategic Growth Council’s Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) Program using California Climate Investments funds, and the California State Coastal Conservancy using Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1) funds. The SALC program is administered on behalf of the SGC by the Department of Conservation. This conservation easement would not have been possible without a significant charitable contribution from the Attiyeh family.
The SALC program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing GHG emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment– particularly in disadvantaged communities. The Cap-and-Trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling, and much more. At least 35-percent of these investments are located within and benefit residents of disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, and low-income households across California.
The Attiyeh Ranch is a privately owned property and is not open to the public.
For more information, visit the California Climate Investments website at: www.caclimateinvestments.ca.gov.