A century after they died, a conservation group is buying 44 acres of Swett's hilly oak forests, olive orchards, and rugged grasslands to expand the adjacent national historic park site with Muir's home.
The old farm estates of two prominent Californians from
"We feel this is a critical purchase that expands and protects this national park historic site," said
A plan to develop six to eight homes on the property adjacent to the national park site faltered last year when a Central County sewer board balked at including the property in an area to be considered for annexation.
The owners of the property agreed last week to sell it to the land trust for
Now the conservation group must raise the purchase funds, plus other money to care for land along the
Eukel said his group plans to turn the property over to the
Before the addition can happen, though,
Swett owned and farmed grapes and fruit on 185 acres next to Muir's farm estate, and the two men visited each other when Muir wasn't off hiking in
Thick stands of oak and bay trees cover much of the land and a deer bounded into the forest when it saw Eukel and land trust ranger
Eukel considers the 44 acres an expansion of the 320-acre
"We want this to be the southern flank of the national park," he said.
Purchase of the Swett land also will help connect the
The Muir land trust owns or manages about 3,000 acres of open space and hiking areas in the hills between
(c)2014 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)
Visit the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.) at www.contracostatimes.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services