For more than a decade, Save Mount Diablo has been working with the Thomas family to protect their land from developers. In October, their work was successfully completed.
Save Mount Diablo, the Walnut Creek-based non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve the mountain, acquired the 145-acre Thomas Home Ranch property, located just south of Pittsburg in the Kirker Creek area, for $1.4 million.
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.
The land will eventually be handed over to the East Bay Regional Park District.
“The other bidder was almost certainly a developer," said Ron Brown, Save Mount Diablo’s Executive Director. "This is the second time that SMD has saved the property. Working with the Thomas family we also stopped its development in the late 1990s. A number of family members have thanked us recently for making sure the property will finally be preserved for good, but we can only do it with the continued support of our donors.”
The purchase is especially significant because it's the final link between and the Black Diamond Mines. The East Bay Regional Park District has recently acquired more than 1,000 acres of property in the area but needed Save Mount Diablo to help with Thomas Ranch purchase.
“The Park District is very grateful for Save Mount Diablo’s role in protecting this strategic property at the mouth of Nortonville Canyon,” said Nancy Wenninger, Assistant General Manager/Land Division for the district. “We were very interested in this acquisition, but we weren’t going to be able to complete the purchase. Save Mount Diablo’s ability to move quickly and be flexible really made the deal happen."
The property isn't expected to be open to the public soon, but there will be guided tours at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday Nov. 13 and on Dec. 3. More information on tours can be found at SaveMountDiablo.org.