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California Rangeland Trust Conserves Historic 14,000 Acre Ranch Near Gaviota Coast


Friday, March 1, 2013
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The Rangeland Trust has successfully placed an agricultural conservation easement on Louise Hanson’s 14,000 acre ranch, forever protecting the scenic beauty, wildlife habitat and local food production provided by the expansive property. The Rangeland Trust is honored to have worked with Mrs. Hanson and her family for the last several years to help her fulfill her wish that the property never be subdivided and continue as a working cattle ranch. This conservation easement is the legal instrument ensuring the fulfillment of her desire to protect the property and the ranch’s legacy.

The ranch is located on the Gaviota Coast region of Santa Barbara County and is visible from both Hwy 1 and Hwy 101. This magnificent property is located in close proximity to the Gaviota State Park, the Las Padres National Forest, the Nojoqui Falls Park and the Gaviota Pass.

Mrs. Hanson, a progressive and strong willed woman, set the stage for women to become successful landowners and ranchers throughout the state. At one time, Mrs. Hanson ran the entire cattle operation herself. More recently, various portions of the land have been leased, ensuring the property continues as a working cattle ranch. Stewardship is a priority for Hanson and has been her entire life.

I think almost all ranchers are actually part of the environment, we live along with the environment,” Hanson said in an interview of oral history conducted by the Orange County Pioneer Council. “I mean that is part of our life, to preserve it and take care of it and be part of it.”

Mrs. Hanson’s desire to keep the property whole and in cattle ranching completely aligns with the Rangeland Trust’s mission to protect private ownership of working ranches, open landscapes, wildlife habitat, clean air and water, local food supplies and California’s ranching heritage.

Louise Hanson is an inspiration to us all,” said Nita Vail CEO of the Rangeland Trust. “It is such an honor to support her long time goal of preserving the incredible ranches she has put together and the gift she has given Santa Barbara County and all of California.”

Along with the property’s ranching past, the ranch possesses rich historical significance. Some of the buildings on the property include residences and outbuildings that date back to the early 1900’s. In addition, the area in and around the ranch is known to be the location of many encounters with Native Americans and outlaws in the 1800’s. One such story is of a famous incident involving J.C. Fremont in the 1840’s.

The ranch is home to a tremendous amount of flora and fauna including chaparral, oak woodlands, willow riparian and open range type landscapes. Several special status species call the ranch home too, including the California red-legged frog.

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Great news!!

blackpoodles (anonymous profile)
March 1, 2013 at 3:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank you Mrs. Hanson for your generosity and hard work.

whosecityisthis2012 (anonymous profile)
March 1, 2013 at 9:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mahalo Madame Hanson

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 1, 2013 at 9:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Such great news! We owe Mrs. Hanson a collective nod of our Stetsons.

If you've ever driven up through Gaviota Pass, you've seen Las Cruces Ranch. Here's a map of ranchos in SB County:

www.countyofsb.org/pwd/surveyor/downl...

The smaller Rancho Las Cruces is also owned by Mrs. Hanson and is under a conservation easement to the SB Land Trust:

http://www.sblandtrust.org/open-space...

Here's a nice article with photos c. 2008 about Mrs. Hanson, who was 92 at the time:

http://www.rangemagazine.com/features...

I bet she's got some great stories to tell.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
March 2, 2013 at 10:07 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Thanks to Louise Hanson for her vision of the future of her land. EastBeach , thanks for the great links. Still not quite sure of the boundaries of the Hanson conservation area. Is it the historic boundary of Rancho Las Cruces?
For all interested in the preservation of the Gaviota area ranches, keep a keen eye on the Cojo Ranch. The ownership group has made a number of under the radar moves suggesting their intent to subdivide.

geeber (anonymous profile)
March 4, 2013 at 4:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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