January 22, 2024

The Conservation Fund Leads Successful Effort to Acquire and Protect Bay Area’s Richmond Ranch

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The Conservation Fund, a leading nonprofit in U.S. land and water protection, has acquired Richmond Ranch near San Jose, California, ensuring that the property will be permanently protected from development. As one of the last remaining unprotected ranches along ecologically sensitive Coyote Ridge, Richmond Ranch has long been a conservation priority. Many nonprofit organizations and government agencies have tried to acquire it over the last 20 years.

TCF acquired the ranch’s 3,654 acres for $16 million from the China-based company Z&L Properties, which has owned the property since 2016. To assist with Richmond Ranch’s conservation, Z&L agreed to offer a deep discount from the appraised value of nearly $35 million. TCF structured the purchase with financial support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Wildlife Conservation Network, and will hold the ranch until public agencies assemble the financing and complete planning to take ownership.

“We’re thrilled that The Conservation Fund was able to bring together the partners and financing to finally achieve the goal of protecting Richmond Ranch permanently,” said Dan Medeiros, The Conservation Fund’s conservation project manager. “The ranch is exactly the kind of property we focus on in our work. Protecting it has the potential to change the region’s landscape, connecting fragmented parkland and habitats and delivering so many benefits — to wildlife and nature and to people in surrounding communities.”

Protecting Richmond Ranch enhances wildlife habitat conservation, connectivity and public recreation. The land is home to several endangered and threatened species, including puma, American badger, Tule elk, bobcat, gray fox and coyote. By linking with a number of state parks and existing protected areas, the property maintains vital habitat connectivity that allows wildlife to move and migrate between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Diablo Range. It is also a critical link in the proposed Bay Area Ridge Trail, offering a trailhead bordering San Jose.

Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency is considering acquiring multiple tracts of the Richmond Ranch from TCF in the future. The Habitat Agency is pursuing supportive public and private funding options.

“We all recognize the Coyote Ridge corridor as critical to state-wide wildlife connectivity, and protecting Richmond Ranch represents a major step forward,” said Dan Winterson, who manages the conservation portfolio at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. “And thanks to the great work of The Conservation Fund and generosity of Z&L Properties, we are able to get a tremendous return on investment for everyone who cares about conservation.”

“The acquisition of Richmond Ranch is a vital addition to the region’s network of protected areas, supporting resident and wide-ranging wildlife while also providing landscape-scale habitat connectivity that is essential for long-term adaptation in a changing environment,” said Neal Sharma, who manages Wildlife Conservation Network’s California wildlife program. “We appreciate the creative and spirited collaboration that made this possible.”

About The Conservation Fund
The Conservation Fund protects the land that sustains us all. We are in the business of conservation, creating innovative solutions that drive nature-based action in all 50 states for climate protection, vibrant communities and sustainable economies. We apply effective strategies, efficient financing approaches, and enduring government, community and private partnerships to protect millions of acres of America’s natural land, cultural sites, recreation areas and working forests and farms. To learn more, visit www.conservationfund.org.