Eric Hvolbøll’s great-grandparents purchased La Paloma Ranch in 1866, and his mother lived there her entire life. Over the decades, the ranch in Venadito Canyon has been a sheep and cattle operation and farmed for walnuts, tomatoes, lima beans, and most recently, avocados and agave. Their love of the land led the Hvolbølls to sell a conservation easement to the Land Trust, protecting the ranch in 2003.
The Land Trust secured grant funding from the State Coastal Conservancy and County of Santa Barbara and State Resources Agency to have this land permanently restricted to agriculture. The family retained the right to build some family homes and employee dwellings while preventing further subdivision or development on the property except for agricultural use. Ecologically valuable communities of coastal sage scrub, chaparral and riparian habitat are protected under the easement as well.