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Open space deal near Cloverdale gets OK from supes

Map of the Klesko property


Sonoma County’s Board of Supervisors Tuesday gave a green-light to a large conservation deal in the central Mayacamas Mountains east of Cloverdale and south of Geysers Road.

Up to $1.6 million in county open space funds, nearly $180,000 from The Nature Conservancy, the national land trust, and $250,000 in pending state grant funds will go toward securing a conservation easement on 2,715 acres owned by former Major League baseball player Ryan Klesko and Richard Scott Casarotti. The total estimated easement purchase price is $1.76 million.

The deal does not acquire the property for the public but requires the owners to keep it in open space and not divide it.

The property is a rugged and sensitive chunk of wildlife habitat and watershed lands overlooking Alexander Valley. Oak woodlands and Big and Little Sulfur creeks, which offer habitat for threatened steelhead populations, are on the property. It currently is used as ranchland and for recreation, including hunting, by the owners.

The deal is to close escrow in one or two phases depending on the state grant application. It is the open space district’s largest project in the Mayacamas range, which stretches along the eastern border of the county.

“It’s wonderful that this is going to be protected forever,” said Supervisor Mike McGuire, who represents the north county and the area where the newly protected property sits.

2 Responses to “Open space deal near Cloverdale gets OK from supes”

  1. The Hammer says:

    This one is just plain B.S. Money given away and nothing for the people. Somebody needs to lose their job.

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  2. CSM says:

    Nice to see its not only farmers who must sell out to developers that get to milk taxpayers through the open space district. I feel really good that millionaire athletes now have a publicly subsidized hunting ranch. That is exactly what I voted for when I supported the open space tax.

    I am quite sure there were a ton of developers kicking down the door to develop this site. Really, it would probably be easy and not all that expensive to extend roads and other basic infrastructure to support new development.

    In any case, anyone interested in forming an investment group to buy some threatened ranch land? I know a government entity that will buy the development rights at premium, then we can sell mitigation credits against the property to local developers, and when the mitigation credits are sold out we can then donate the property to a non-profit conservation entity and reap a massive tax deduction.

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