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Land Trust acquisition Lake Berryessa

The view from the ridgetop of Land Trust of Napa County’s recently acquired 408-acre Harunk property shows where Putah Creek meets Lake Berryessa. 

Land Trust of Napa County announced the acquisition of a 408-acre property next to Lake Berryessa. The property connects other protected lands, protects scenic values as well as the watershed of Lake Berryessa and creates new opportunities for summer camp programs for children.

The property abuts federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management on its west side and by the Bureau of Reclamation on its east side, connecting protected land in an area important for wildlife corridors. The property is just above Putah Creek where it empties into Lake Berryessa. Putah Creek drains much of Lake County and northeastern Napa County and is the main source of water for Lake Berryessa.

“My daughters and I are so pleased the property will remain in its natural state and will be preserved and protected as a wildlife habitat,” The owner, Patricia Harunk, said.

“I want to thank the owners for selling the property below appraised value through a bargain sale,” said Doug Parker, CEO of the Land Trust. “It’s a beautiful location and in addition to its scenic and natural values, the property will allow new opportunities for outdoor educational experiences for kids.”

The land rises to a high point above the lake, directly across Putah Creek from Camp Berryessa, site of the Napa Open Space District’s outdoor educational programs for children.

Protection of the property will allow expansion of these programs to include paddling across the creek and hiking to the high point on the 408-acre property, providing campers with striking views back down to the camp and across Lake Berryessa to the peaks of the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument on the eastern side of the lake.

Camp Berryessa provides sleepover camps for kids and the camp is also available to youth outdoor education groups, including Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and schools.

The long-term plan is for the Land Trust to transfer ownership of the property to the Open Space District. “The Napa Open Space District is grateful that the Land Trust is able to quickly take advantage of this unique opportunity to preserve an important watershed and habitat property just to the west of our Camp Berryessa,” said Napa Open Space District General Manager John Woodbury. “We look forward to the day when we will be able to acquire the property from the Land Trust and manage it in conjunction with Camp Berryessa.”

The property’s protection will also ensure that the scenic views of its high ridge, visible from Berryessa-Knoxville Road, Pope Canyon Road and boaters on the Lake, will continue on into the future. The property is completely undeveloped and surrounded by rural land.

By connecting with other protected lands, existing corridors will be assured into the future, allowing wildlife to migrate freely and enhancing the long-term value of these corridors.

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City Editor

Kevin has been city editor since September 2010. He joined the Register in 1973 as a reporter. He covered Napa City Hall and assorted other beats over the years. Kevin has been writing his Napa Journal column on Sundays since 1989.