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Mazzucchi Ranch in Valley Ford protected by Marin Agricultural Land Trust

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 8, 2010

CONTACT: DEBORAH WHITE, Marin Agricultural Land Trust, 415-663-1158, ext. 312 dwhite(at)malt.org

Point Reyes Station—Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) has purchased an agricultural conservation easement on the 215-acre Mazzucchi Ranch in Valley Ford. Owners Stan Mazzucchi and his sister Loretta Bidaurreta currently live on the property, which has been in their family for generations. Located just south of Valley Ford near the border of the Estero Americano, the property has been a family-run sheep ranch as long as Stan can remember.

MALT paid $424,000 for the easement based on an independent appraisal, with all of the funds raised from MALT supporters. The sale of an agricultural conservation easement to MALT will enable Stan, his wife Sally, daughters Emily and Jodie, and nephew Casey Mazzucchi to continue to run 300 head of sheep on the ranch, and to make improvements to expand the operation and maintain the high quality of the ranch infrastructure.

The ridge tops of the ranch afford exemplary views of the Estero Americano, with reports of visions of Mt. St. Helena on clear days. The significant scenic value of the property might have made the ranch a prime target for a developer for subdivision into estate ranchettes. Under the Marin Agricultural Land Trust conservation easement, the development rights have been extinguished, and the land can never be subdivided; the ranch is permanently protected for agricultural use.

“This well cared for ranch is a perfect example of how MALT works with ranchers and farmers to help them keep the land that has been in their family for generations,” said MALT Executive Director Robert Berner. “Keeping this land in well-managed, small scale agriculture will help protect the water and soil quality of the fragile Estero Americano.”

Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) is a member-supported, nonprofit organization created in 1980 by a coalition of ranchers and environmentalists to permanently preserve Marin County farmland. Some of the Bay Area's most highly acclaimed dairy products and organic crops are produced on farmland protected by MALT conservation easements, which total more than 41,800 acres on 66 family farms and ranches. To learn more about Marin’s family farms and the food they produce, visit www.malt.org

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