FAIRFIELD, Calif., April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Solano Land Trust has been granted an extension in its campaign to complete its purchase of Rockville Trails, 1500 acres of sensitive habitat that forms the southwest gateway to the Western Hills of the Blue Ridge Berryessa Natural Area. The Land Trust secured an option to buy the property for $13.5 million as a result of a legal settlement. To date, $8.5 million of the purchase price has been secured. The Land Trust anticipates receiving an additional $2 million in July.
The settlement that made the purchase possible brought an end to a decades-long conflict over the property, which is located between San Francisco and Sacramento.
"We are calling on all Bay Area residents to support this effort. This is the kind of opportunity that we may not see again for decades, particularly once land prices start increasing in the future," said Nicole Byrd, Executive Director of Solano Land Trust.
If Solano Land Trust secures the funds to purchase the property, it will be preserved as a park and a working ranch and add a significant swath of protected contiguous native habitat to the region. Trails will be open to equestrians, hikers, and bikers. The property will ultimately connect trails from Fairfield to the Napa Valley as part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail.
Rockville Trails is home to a wide variety of native flora and fauna, including 800-year-old oak trees, bobcats, and coyotes. The site features steep hills and plateaus and is rich in biological resources. The property also falls within watershed lands that drain into Suisun Marsh and creeks that host endangered steelhead trout.
Susan Syar, President of the Syar Foundation, which recently pledged $75,000 to the fundraising effort said, "We hope that other local businesses and philanthropies will join us in supporting this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Numerous public agencies, private philanthropies, businesses, and individuals have contributed toward the Rockville Trails purchase. Solano Land Trust Executive Director Byrd feels hopeful that $2 million will be approved by the Wildlife Conservation Board in May 2012.
To learn more about Rockville Trails or to make a donation to help secure its future as public trails and habitat, see http://www.solanolandtrust.org/SaveRTE.aspx.
SOURCE Solano Land Trust