Home » Vineyards » Preservation Ranch » CalPERS vows to push giant Preservation Ranch vineyard project – February, 2012, Santa Rosa Press Democrat

CalPERS vows to push giant Preservation Ranch vineyard project – February, 2012, Santa Rosa Press Democrat

CalPERS vows to push giant
Preservation Ranch
vineyard project

by Brett Wilkison
February 6, 2012
Santa Rosa Press Democrat

[excerpt:]
CalPERS, the giant state workers pension fund, has ended several months of uncertainty by signaling to Sonoma County that it intends to move forward with a huge, controversial timber-to-vineyard conversion project near Annapolis.

Called Preservation Ranch, the project would clear up to 1,769 acres of forest for wine grapes on nearly 20,000 acres in northwestern Sonoma County.

It is said to be the largest forest conversion project for agriculture in California in generations. Currently in the study stage, it has drawn nationwide opposition from environmentalists and others concerned about impacts on water resources and wildlife, including struggling salmon and steelhead populations in the Gualala River watershed.

. . .

CalPERS officials, meanwhile, have quietly reached out to a national group that specializes in forest conservation deals.

Chris Kelly, California program director for The Conservation Fund, said he was called last month by Judy Alexander, the CalPERS portfolio manager, and that he has had several conversations with CalPERS officials in recent weeks.

Kelly said he indicated the group would be interested in talking further about purchasing a conservation easement over the ranch or working with other groups and backers on an outright purchase of the property.

. . .


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CalPERS vows to push giant
Preservation Ranch vineyard project
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