A pristine, 80-square-mile ranch within an hour's drive of San Francisco is up for sale for the first time in 85 years and California wants to acquire the property to create one of the largest state parks in decades.
When Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his $222 billion proposed state budget on Friday, he mentioned that he wants legislative leaders to dedicate $20 million from a one-time surplus to help purchase new public parkland. Newsom declined to say where the new park might be, suggesting the asking price could "go up" if he revealed the details.
For several days, 17 lawmakers in the San Francisco Bay Area have been urging Newsom to appropriate $20 million to help acquire and preserve the N3 Ranch near Livermore, the Los Angeles Times reports.
If approved, the money would help complete a purchase package which includes a $30-million commitment from The Nature Conservancy and The Trust for Public Lands.
"This is a matter of urgent concern because this irreplaceable property is for sale now,'' Democratic Sen. Steve Glazer said in a statement.
"Nonprofit conservation groups have assembled funding commitments that could finance more than half the cost. We need to move on this quickly."
Two Southern California sisters put the rarely-visited ranch on the real estate market in July 2019 with the asking price of $72 million.
Cattle still roam the property, which comes with a four-bedroom headquarters, a one-bedroom annex, a bunkhouse, shops, outbuildings, four cabins for employee housing and 14 hunting cabins. The Alameda Creek watershed runs through the property, capturing drinking water for Bay Area residents. The habitat is home to elk, deer and hundreds of species of migrating birds.
It's quite a place,'' said Todd Renfrew, broker and principal owner of Vacaville-based California Outdoor Properties. "This is a landscape that looks like it did more than a century ago.''