preservation

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Couple donates $165 million to preserve 24,000 acres at Point Conception

Published: 
Fri, 12/22/2017 (All day)

A conservation group on Thursday purchased a sprawling stretch of Santa Barbara County coastline — a prized acquisition made possible by a $165-million gift from a couple who had long sought to protect the pristine ranchland from development.

The nonprofit Nature Conservancy acquired the Cojo-Jalama Ranches, which comprise roughly 24,000 acres and eight miles of coastline south of Vandenberg Air Force Base, from a New England investment firm, said Michael Bell, director of the conservancy’s California ocean program.

Valued for its sacred sites by the Chumash and operated for more than 100 years as a cattle ranch, the twin parcels straddling Point Conception are a time capsule of oak woodlands, coastal prairies and beaches whose breaks are revered by surfers.