Long Meadow Ranch and The Land Trust of Napa County
Announce 94-Acre Agricultural Conservation Easement
January 16, 2006, Rutherford, CA
Long Meadow Ranch and The Land Trust of Napa County have announced today the donation of a conservation easement over a 94-acre agricultural parcel. Located in the western hills above Rutherford, the historic parcel has been farmed since the 1870s and includes the site of the Hassenmaier Winery which operated until 1894.
The newly created easement, known as Hall III, is the third major conservation easement created by Long Meadow Ranch co-owners, Ted and Laddie Hall, which brings the total land under conservation easements created by the Halls to 332 acres. In addition to the Halls' prior easements, the new easement is contiguous with lands that have been previously protected with conservation easements by the Coppola, Atwater, and Garden families, creating one of the largest single areas of protected privately-owned lands in Napa County - totaling nearly 1588 contiguous acres of forever wild, open space, and agricultural lands.
Since its homesteading in 1870s by the Jacob Hassenmaier family, the property has seen a wide variety of agricultural uses - in addition to the historic winery - including vineyards, poultry, cattle, and horse breeding and training. Today the property is the home to one of the Halls' commerical egg-laying poultry flocks - primarily the rare Araucana breed - and to a portion of Long Meadow Ranch's herd of purebred registered 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," he added.
The language of the easement provides for continued agricultural use for crops and livestock and includes provisions for soil and water conservation projects as well as for composting, solar energy, and alternative fuel production.
Hoffnagle continued, "This is the kind of project that The Land Trust is noted for. The property that the Halls are adding enhances an extraordinary conservation area which now includes virtually all of the Bear Canyon watershed. It represents a major accomplishment by The Land Trust and is an enduring gift to Napa County made possible by a group of four far-sighted donors."
Conservation easements created under this program are made with The Land Trust of Napa County as the grantee and are held in perpetuity. The Land Trust monitors compliance with the terms of the easement while land owners continue to own and to be stewards of the their land. Substantial tax advantages can accrue to donors of conservation easements as the difference in market value between the pre-easement and post-easement property values can be deductible as a charitable contribution under the Federal and California tax code..
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Long Meadow Ranch is an innovative organic farming operation - and purveyor of fine food - located high above the Napa Valley on the picturesque slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains where it produces extraordinary red wine, extra virgin olive oil, grass-fed beef, eggs, and heirloom fruits and vegetables for Napa Valley's finest restaurants. Long Meadow Ranch produces ultra premium wines and extra virgin olive oils, under the Long Meadow Ranch Winery, Ranch House Red, Prato Lungo, and Napa Valley Select labels. Beyond the Napa Valley, America's top chefs have regularly featured Long Meadow Ranch wines and olive oils.
Long Meadow Ranch has been known as such since 1872 when it was established as an original "patent grant" ranch signed over by President Ulysses S. Grant. Having been home to a variety of uses during its long history, Long Meadow Ranch continues to grow and prosper through Ted, Laddie and Christopher Hall's stewardship.
The Halls continue to restore and preserve Napa Valley's oldest olive groves, as well as add new plantings of olive trees and vineyards. They have also brought cattle, poultry, and vegetables back into commercial production. Appaloosa horse breeding, along with an extensive composting operation, round out the integrated farming activities at the Ranch.
"Excellence through Responsible Farming" is the motto of Long Meadow Ranch, bolstered by the belief that world-class products can be produced using sustainable, organic farming methods. Long Meadow Ranch does not use herbicides or pesticides and its products are organically grown and certified by the California Certified Organic Farmers.
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The Land Trust of Napa County is a member supported, non-profit organization responsible for the protection of nearly 46,000 acres of Napa County’s finest open space and agricultural lands. It is the only organization, either public or private, whose mission is to permanently preserve open space and agricultural land in Napa County. The Land Trust of Napa County has worked with families and business entities to protect over 19,777 acres in conservation easements since The Land Trust’s founding in 1976.
For more information on The Land Trust of Napa County and its programs, call (707) 252-3270, or visit its website at www.napalandtrust.org.
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Contact: Chris Hall