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Furlong Ranch, Marshall

Marin Agricultural Land Trust Protects 998-Acre Nicasio Ranch 

Marin Community Foundation grant helps secure a legacy of ranching 

For Immediate Release: October 3, 2017
Contact: Molly Miller, (415) 663-1158 ext. 311, mmiller@malt.org
High-resolution photos available upon request.

Pt. Reyes Station, Calif. – Marin Agricultural Land Trust announced today the protection of the 998-acre Evans Nicasio Ranch, also known as the Al Grossi Ranch, near Nicasio. The ranch is now part of 25,000 acres of connected farm and ranch land protected by MALT.

The protection of this ranch ensures this land will stay in agriculture. It also extends the protection of a scenic corridor linking Petaluma to the coast, preserving views and safeguarding open rangeland for wildlife migration.

Sisters Dolores Evans and Darlene Giacomini own this land, which their parents, Alfred and Florence Grossi, purchased in 1975 as an exchange for selling their land (Historic H Ranch) on the Point Reyes peninsula to the National Park Service as part of the creation of the Point Reyes National Seashore. The Grossi family has been ranching in Marin since 1892, when the sisters’ grandfather immigrated to the US from Switzerland. Today, the ranch is primarily grazed with a cow-calf beef herd.

The sisters approached MALT to permanently protect the ranch for agriculture and secure its future. They wanted to make sure their children and grandchildren weren’t put in a position where they had to sort out the fate of the ranch. Farms and ranches are particularly vulnerable to subdivision and sale to non-agricultural buyers when they change hands between generations. “If something happened to us...then you have 10 people figuring it out,” Darlene explains. “We’ve seen it happen and it’s not healthy.”

The $3,285,000 MALT easement will enable the sisters to rest assured that their family land will never be developed. A Mandatory Agricultural Use provision in the easement requires the land to stay in agriculture forever. MALT’s Stewardship Assistance Program (SAP) will provide technical and financial assistance to help restore the ranch’s numerous creeks, protecting water quality.

“By partnering with MALT, we are honoring our family’s longtime commitment of ranching in Marin,” Dolores says. “We are providing the opportunity for future generations to continue our family’s tradition of producing food on this beautiful land.”

“The Evans Nicasio Ranch joins a large block of protected farmland and wildlife habitat, helping both bolster the local agricultural community and protect an important wildlife migration corridor connecting Point Reyes National Seashore to Sonoma County west of Petaluma,” said Jamison Watts, Executive Director of Marin Agricultural Land Trust. “We are extremely grateful to the Marin Community Foundation for supporting this critical work and to Dolores and Darlene for choosing to partner with MALT to protect the ranch for future generations.”

The purchase of this easement was made possible with funds from the Gary Giacomini Land Fund at Marin Agricultural Land Trust—established with significant support from the Buck Family Fund of the Marin Community Foundation. Private contributions and matching public funding from Marin’s taxpayer-funded Farmland Preservation Program also helped fund the easement purchase.

“Marin County Parks is proud to be the steward of the Measure A-funded Farmland Preservation Program, which helped to protect nearly 2,500 acres of economically viable agricultural land in the county, while simultaneously linking and protecting wildlife habitat,” said Craig Richardson, Senior Open Space Planner for Marin County Parks. “By helping to secure an additional 998 acres of the Evans Nicasio Ranch, Measure A funds continue to be leveraged for the benefit of all of Marin County residents by protecting the natural resources and community character that make Marin the place we all enjoy.”

About MALT: Marin Agricultural Land Trust is a member-supported nonprofit organization created in 1980 to permanently preserve Marin County farmland. Some of the Bay Area's most highly acclaimed dairy and meat products and organic crops are produced on farmland protected by MALT, which totals nearly 50,000 acres on 81 family farms and ranches. To learn more about MALT, visit www.malt.org.

About the Marin County Measure A (Ordinance 3586) Farmland Preservation Program: Marin County voters widely approved Measure A, a quarter-cent sales tax, in 2012. Roughly $2 million per year is set aside through Measure A to support the Marin County Farmland Preservation Program, a grant program to preserve agricultural land in Marin. Thus far, program funds have supported the purchase of MALT conservation easements on seven ranches, totaling 3,655 acres of farmland. For more information, visit http://www.marincountyparks.org/depts/pk/about-us/main/measurea.