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J O H N

M U I R

L A N D

T R U S T

H O R I ZO N S P rotec ting the pla ces that ma ke C o n t ra C o sta sp e c i a l

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Carr Ranch PRESERVING HISTORIC CARR RANCH Anyone who has flown into San Francisco from the east has marveled at the great sweep of wild hillsides between the I-680 corridor and the asphalt-knit cities along the bay. Either green or tawny, depending on the season, these hills cup great reservoirs that slake the thirst of millions. At night, they are conspicuous in their darkness, broken only by the clustered twinkling lights of Contra Costa communities. People who are lucky enough to live among these hills understand their importance to our quality of life. Open lands yield clean water. They provide habitat for wildlife, and offer close-to-home recreation. Just as important, these open hills and ridges provide the green backdrop for our communities, central to our sense of place. They embrace our communities—and we, in turn, embrace them. Now we have an opportunity to protect historic open space at the very doorstep of Moraga and visible to thousands of residents across the Lamorinda region—if we can raise the $7 million needed to complete the effort. Since 1914—60 years before Moraga was incorporated—604-acre Carr Ranch has been stewarded by the Carr family. The land has supported the family’s cattle, even as it has sheltered golden eagles and mountain lions and born witness to booming development nearby. MANY REASONS FOR CONSERVATION The Carr family has entered into an agreement with John Muir Land Trust ( JMLT) to sell the ranch for conservation, permanently protecting its many resources. Prominent among these is water, crucial in this period of California’s historic drought. Natural springs, seeps, and creeks on the ranch nurture wildlife and feed Upper San Leandro Reservoir, source of drinking water for hundreds of thousands. The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) is keenly interested in seeing the land protected. With its variety of habitats—including grassy hillsides, chaparral, wetlands and the shady corridor of ever-running Buckhorn Creek—the ranch is rich in wildlife, including threatened and endangered species, such as the Alameda whipsnake and the California red-legged frog. Golden eagles ride thermal updrafts. A badger den has been discovered. And earlier this year, a wildlife camera captured a mountain lion prowling for prey in the oaks along the creek.

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Lafayette

Orinda

Walnut Creek

600-ACRE 680 CARR RANCH PROPERTY Moraga

Las Trampas Regional Wilderness EBMUD Watershed Upper San Leandro Reservoir

Redwood Regional Park

Oakland

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JMLT Newsletter Fall2015  

John Muir Land Trust Horizons Fall Issue 2015

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