With one last 50-acre transaction, the Land Trust of Napa County after almost a generation owns the entire 380-acre Archer Taylor Preserve in the mountains west of Napa.
The Taylor family has transfered parcel after parcel of the property to the Land Trust over 23 years. The latest 50 acres represents the last two parcels of the preserve.
“It’s really an amazing, long-standing relationship with the landowners who obviously believed in protecting this property,” said Kimberly Barrett, development manager for the Land Trust.
The property in the Mayacamas Mountains includes a redwood forest and Redwood Creek. Trails lead to a series of waterfalls known as Devil’s Well or Trinity Falls.
The Land Trust of Napa County has had access to the 380 acres even as donations have occurred and allows guided hikes there. Now access for the entire property is assured in perpetuity.
The preserve is named for Archer Taylor, a scholar who lived from 1890 to 1973. Daughters Constance Taylor and Ann Taylor worked with the Land Trust to preserve the property.
“Our parents bought the land in late 1944, so my sister and I grew up on the preserve and became determined to protect it forever,” Ann Taylor Schwing said in a press release.
Water availability and the beauty of the land would have made the 380 acres an ideal site for estate homes, she said. But the sisters didn’t want to see that happen.
“What could we have purchased with developer money that could have provided any pleasure, knowing that the sale opened the land to development?” she said.
The last transaction involved two parcels totaling 50 acres with an assessed value of $1.3 million. The Taylors donated one parcel and sold the other for $200,000, Barrett said.
Land Trust of Napa County received funding for the deal from The San Francisco Foundation, the Joseph and Vera Long Foundation and the Trustees of Peter and Vernice Gasser Foundation.
“We are so thankful to the two Taylor sisters for their long-term commitment to conservation of this beautiful site,” Land Trust CEO Doug Parker said.
In 1992, the Land Trust celebrated the formation of the Archer Taylor Preserve and other endeavors with a concert at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. A newspaper report from the time said the Land Trust would lease the 380 acres, with ownership eventually planned.
The Taylor sisters made the initial donation of 80 acres in 1993. Now they have completed what they set out to do 23 years ago.
Go to http://www.napalandtrust.org to learn more about the Archer Taylor Preserve and how to visit it. The Land Trust of Napa County is marking its 40th year and has protected 56,000 acres, more than 10 percent of the county.