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St. Helena Star

Long Meadow Ranch donates third easement to Land Trust

Ted and Laddie Hall, the co-owners of Long Meadow Ranch, have donated a 94-acre agricultural parcel to The Land Trust of Napa County as an easement. The parcel is in the western hills above Rutherford. Thanks to two previous easements, the Halls have now created easements on 332 acres.

The Halls still will be able to use the land for crops and livestock, but the easement will prevent the land from being developed. The new easement is adjacent to other parcels, owned by the Coppola, Atwater and Garden families, that previously have been protected as conservation easements. With the addition of the Halls' latest arcel, the area comprises 1,588 acres of protected land.

"This is the kind of project that The Land Trust is noted for," said Land Trust executive director John Hoffnagle. "The property that the Halls are adding enhances an extraordinary conservation area which now includes virtually all of the Bear Canyon watershed."

The land includes the site of the Hassenmeier Winery, which closed in 1894. The Jacob Hassenmeier family homesteaded the land in the 1870s, and since then the parcel has been used for vineyards, poultry, cattle, and horse breeding and training. Today, the Halls use the land for a commercial egg-laying poultry flock and a herd of Highland cattle.

"We are deeply committed to the preservation of agriculture in Napa County and this easement will restrict future development of this property to purely agricultural uses, which will also ensure that this portion of the Western hillside viewshed remains uncluttered by new residential development," said Ted Hall. "We have relinquished rights to all further residential and commercial development -- including a winery site -- and have laid the groundwork for continued productive agricultural use of this land."

February 2, 2006