Sheep, cattle ranch to remain on Marin County coast

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Supervisors in Marin have agreed to spend $1.3 million from the Marin County Farmland Preservation Program to help the Marin Agricultural Land Trust purchase an easement on 609 acres in Marshall, located on the northeast shore of Tomales Bay on the Marin County coastline.

By going the route of buying of an agricultural conservation easement on the Furlong Ranch, the end result will be that the property “will be protected from subdivision and development and will continue to be used for farming and ranching forever,” MALT stated.

Furlong Ranch borders state park land to the west and adds 609 acres to an existing 8,562-acre block of MALT-protected land at the southeast end of Tomales Bay.

A sheep and cattle ranch, the property’s future came under question, according to MALT, as the sons of owner Donna Furlong “faced putting it on the market to pay for her long-term care.” The family has owned the land since 1956.

The purchase of this easement will be made possible with funds from the Gary Giacomini Land Fund at Marin Agricultural Land Trust, established with significant support from the Buck Family Fund of the Marin Community Foundation. This and other private contributions will allow MALT to access matching public funding from Marin’s taxpayer-funded Farmland Preservation Program, created when Marin voters passed Measure A in 2012.

The organization plans a major stream restoration project at the site, with the goal of bringing steelhead trout back to the Millerton Gulch Creek watershed. The stream restoration project will be funded separately.

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