The Land Trust of Napa County has closed a conservation easement donated by Larry Turley and Suzanne Chambers Turley on Highway 29 between St. Helena and Calistoga.
The conservation easement will protect the Olive House property, just south of the Bale Grist Mill. By partnering with the Land Trust in creating the conservation easement, the Turleys preserve the property forever, limiting future development while maintaining the land in private ownership and protecting its agricultural and natural values over the long-term.
“We think it’s important to protect these beautiful places in Napa,” said Suzanne Chambers Turley. “Places that have long been important to us.”
The property includes a 100-year-old olive grove as well as zinfandel and petite syrah vineyards.
“We very much appreciate the generosity of Larry and Suzanne in donating this easement to permanently protect their land,” said Land Trust CEO Doug Parker. “This is the third time they have donated an easement in Napa, protecting vineyards, natural areas and now this olive grove as well.”
The Turleys previously donated a conservation easement over an adjacent property. And in 2007, they donated a conservation easement over 35 acres on Howell Mountain, within the watershed of Conn Creek, one of the key streams supplying water to Lake Hennessey, the main water source for the city of Napa.
“The steps involved in creating the easement with the Land Trust are not difficult,” said Larry Turley, “and the knowledge that these few steps lead to permanent protection of the land makes it very rewarding. After doing our first easement in Napa, we decided to do the same thing in Paso Robles, where we have land as well. And I am now looking into doing another easement in Amador County.”
The property has some significant history in Napa County. It was formerly owned by W.W. Lyman, who at one point also owned the Bale Grist Mill. He came to California in 1871 and was involved in winemaking, farming and milling. He helped found Grace Episcopal Church and the IOOF Hall in St. Helena and was secretary of the Napa Valley Wine Co., one of the largest companies engaged in the wine business in the state at that time.