Las Cumbres Ranch, owned by James and Patricia Selbert, was the largest conservation easement of 2017: 950 acres in the Purisima hills near Los Alamos. About the experience, Patricia Selbert said, “Working with the Land Trust was very rewarding. We have no interest in developing our property and the Land Trust helped us ensure the property would forever remain open while still allowing us to ranch the way we want to and to receive financial benefits for the development we gave up.”
This conservation safeguards a large, contiguous block of open range land that provides for wildlife migration between Los Padres National Forest, La Purisima State Park, and Burton Mesa Ecological Reserve. Its grassland, scrub, maritime chaparral, and oak woodland communities provide a mosaic of diverse habitat that is home to a diversity of special plants and animals. The Selberts enjoy sightings of eagles, hawks, bobcats, mountain lions, and many deer.