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Huge Central Coast ranch permanently protected from development

Land Conservancy of SLO County
The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County has reached a deal to preserve more than 27,000 acres of ranchland in the northeastern part of the county.

Ranch in eastern San Luis Obispo County is roughly the size of the City of San Francisco.

A conservation group has announced completion of a project to permanently preserve more than 27,000 acres of land on the Central Coast from development.

The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County wrapped up a five-year project to create what’s known as a conservation easement on the Camatta Ranch. The huge ranch is east of Highway 101, between Santa Margarita and Atascadero. It’s nearly triple the size of the City of San Luis Obispo.

The conservation easement compensates the ranch’s owners for what they might make if they sold it off for development. As part of the deal, the deed is worded so it will permanently remain as ranchland. It’s home to a number of unique animals, like the San Joaquin kit fox.

The preservation effort cost $18.4 million dollars, with the funding coming from a number of state agencies and private donations.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.