Conservation Easement: Yorkville Family Lands

Here’s the story behind 746 acres of conserved family lands located near Yorkville as told by the landowner who sought the conservation easement in 2001.

Diane* was living in the Central Valley when she first saw her Mendocino County property just after a storm cleared. “You could see all the way to Mt. Shasta — it was spectacular,” said Diane, sitting in the house she eventually built on the property. Diane knew she was home, and was “never gonna leave.”

Diane enjoys quiet and the peace of solitude, knowing she will not be disturbed, other than to enjoy a pack of coyotes who howl regularly, twice a night, or to listen to the birds from her deck in the morning. Diane owns the property with several friends. One day, after many decades, they realized that they wanted the property to stay the way it is, as a simple homestead. Diane has no children of her own, but her land partners do. They wondered how they could maintain their homesteaders’ vision of a quiet, simple place off the grid, where joy can be shared with a community away from it all. How could they ensure this when they wouldn’t always be the ones in charge?

The answer was to conserve the property so when the next generation comes of age they will be able to carry forth the same vision. Diane said that the Mendocino Land Trust helped them to meet that goal. She smiles as she reflects on the impact of her decision: “We now sleep a bit better knowing that if any one of us, or our heirs, need to sell their share, there will never be development, subdivision or commercial enterprise on the property — just a bit of wildness, a place that will forever be home.”

*Name changed to respect privacy

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