Save Mount Diablo has purchased a property it's describing as its "top priority acquisition," the 1,080 acre Curry Canyon Ranch which lies between Danville and the Morgan Territory.
It took the group three years to raise the $7.2 million needed to buy the land, which will now be free from the potential of development.
"Curry Canyon Ranch is Save Mount Diablo's top priority acquisition," said. "It is the single most important, spectacular, resource property remaining in Contra Costa County," Executive Director Ron Brown said. "Curry Canyon Ranch was on our very first acquisition list 43 years ago and has been an important goal for more than 25 years. It has also been a highly desirable addition for both Mt. Diablo State Park and for the East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy."
Seth Adams, Save Mount Diablo's Land Programs Director, called the property a "Shangri-La," with sycamore-lined creeks and canyons studded with house-sized boulders.
The three-mile-wide, 1,080-acre property can be reached from Clayton, but is less than a mile away from Blackhawk and three miles from Danville. Mt. Diablo State Park surrounds the Ranch on three sides.
Brown described the land as the "missing link in four major trail connections between Rock City and Diablo's main peak, across Curry Canyon, to Highland Ridge and Riggs Canyon."
Save Mount Diablo has typically acquired properties and transferred them to park agencies. The group will own and manage the ranch until it can be transferred to the state, most likely in phases over several of years.
Over the years, Save Mount Diablo talked extensively with Ettore Bertagnolli about acquisition of his property. When he died, representatives of his estate approached Save Mount Diablo, which purchased the ranch with a loan that must be repaid within three years.
Fundraising is ongoing, but public tours will begin next year.