Land-preservation group acquires 145 acres of ranchland
By Paul Burgarino
Contra Costa Times


November 4, 2011

In a move aimed at stopping possible development, a local land preservation group has acquired 145 acres of ranchland in the hills south of Pittsburg.

Save Mount Diablo purchased the Thomas ranch property at auction recently for about $1.38 million, stepping in after the East Bay Regional Park District ran into a number of hurdles in purchasing it.

The property, located about a half-mile south of Pittsburg, includes a farmhouse and barns dating back 146 years, an old mining cabin and two long creek segments.

The property is a critical link in a wildlife and recreational corridor between Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve and a new regional park proposed at the Concord Naval Weapons Station, group officials said.

The other bidder on the property was "almost certainly" a developer, Save Mount Diablo Executive Director Ron Brown said in a news release.

Save Mount Diablo plans to transfer the property to the East Bay Regional Park District.

The acquired property includes an area where Pittsburg is considering a pair of projects: a two-mile road extension of James Donlon Boulevard and the 161-acre Montreux property where homes could one day be built.

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