‘Missing piece’ of historic Bay Area land to open to public

MARTINEZ, Calif. (AP) — The National Park Service has acquired an historic farm in the San Francisco Bay Area that will allow public access to thousands of acres of land crucial to saving wildlife such as the red-legged frog and the golden eagle, according to a newspaper report Monday.

Often referred to as the “missing piece,” Almond Ranch in Martinez connects the Contra Costa County section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail, a 550 miles (885 kilometer) loop with stunning views that circumnavigates the entire Bay Area, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The John Muir Land Trust bought Almond Ranch in Martinez after a massive $4 million fundraising effort, the newspaper said.

“It’s a massive wildlife corridor and now that corridor will remain unfragmented in perpetuity so wildlife can roam free,” said Linus Eukel, Executive Director of the John Muir Land Trust, in a statement.

California Governor Gavin Newsom and Senator Dianne Feinstein took part in a live webcast this weekend celebrating the announcement.

The property will in part become an expansion of the John Muir National Historic Site where the “Father of the National Parks’” 14-room Italianate Victorian mansion is located.