by Eric Simons : bay nature – excerpt
You get almost as much a sense of the ecological value of the N3 Ranch property, 50,000 East Bay acres listed for sale for $72 million in early July, from looking at a map as you do from the spectacular drone footage the owners released with the listing.
In a regional conservation era defined by linkages and corridors, N3 connects huge swaths of protected lands. The largest property currently for sale in the state, it runs east-west from Corral Hollow near Tracy to the East Bay Regional Park District’s Del Valle reservoir. It runs north-south past the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s Calaveras and San Antonio reservoirs, and the EBRPD’s Sunol and Ohlone Regional Wilderness. It wraps up past the east side of Mission Peak. It nearly connects the unique habitats of Mount Diablo State Park to the unique habitats of Henry Coe State Park. It fills in a major chunk of a greenbelt stretching from the Delta to Gilroy…
N3 likely won’t be developed, everyone agrees. The terrain is too steep, there’s no water, and the owners and realtor say they don’t want to sell to a developer. The ranch is enrolled in the Williamson Act, meaning it receives tax breaks for keeping it agricultural. But the owners and realtor do say they want to sell it as a single property, not in pieces. They’re willing to wait, Renfrew said, for the right offer. Land sales can take months if not years…. (more)