Inspiring Gift Ends 2017 With a Bang

By Mike Stevens, Washington State Director

Growing up on the coast of central California, the mountains and beaches west and north of Santa Barbara were very special to me and my family. We loved the sense of old California along that uncrowded coast, and I loved the excellent surf.

Now comes news of a blockbuster conservation deal that will preserve a sprawling stretch of coastline and pristine ranchland, an area some call one of the world’s last perfect places. The Nature Conservancy has received its largest gift ever, $165 million, to preserve and protect 24,000 acres including eight miles of coastline.

Cold water currents of the northern Pacific collide with warmer waters of the Santa Barbara Channel to create a rich and diverse habitat unlike any other in California. © Ian Boyle

This gift inspires me for so many reasons: first, the vision of Jack and Laura Dangermond, entrepreneurs and longtime environmental advocates who sought to leave an enormous legacy for people and nature; second the incredible work by our colleagues in California who worked with the Dangermonds to conceive a plan to protect this area — a plan that expands access for people while protecting the natural assets of the land and ocean. In making their gift, the Dangermonds said they hope to inspire others to do the same.

While few of us have millions of dollars to give, we can all play a role in protecting and restoring wild places, in supporting farmers and businesses who rely on nature, in tackling climate change and in connecting our rapidly growing cities to nature. Together we can make a difference. As the new year begins, this gift inspires me and I hope it inspires you, too.

Read more about this remarkable announcement:

  • The Nature Conservancy Preserves 24,000-acre Coastal Ranch at Point Conception with $165 Million Gift from Esri Founders
  • The Nature Conservancy in California: Saving The Last Perfect Place In California
  • Associated Press: Nature Conservancy acquires California coastal ranchland
  • L.A. Times: Couple donates $165 million to preserve 24,000 acres at Point Conception
  • Forbes: In Largest Ever Gift To Nature Conservancy, Tech CEO Preserves Pristine Stretch Of California Coast