A windfall for Wildlife | TheUnion.com

A windfall for Wildlife

The state bought the ranch Thursday.

The California Wildlife Conservation Board agreed to pay $535,000 to buy 493 acres of Penn Valley ranch land owned by the Robinson family to add to Spenceville Wildlife Area, a popular spot for hiking, hunting and horse riding.

“It will be a fantastic public opportunity,” said Cheryl Belcher, executive director of the Nevada County Land Trust. “The goal will be to enlarge the habitat and recreational opportunities at Spenceville.”

The land trust is pitching in $150,000 toward the $685,000 purchase price for the Robinson ranch.

The wildlife conservation board allocated the $535,000 from Proposition 40, the $2.6 billion park bond proposition that state voters approved in March.

The wildlife conservation board acquires land for the California Department of Fish and Game, which manages the 11,213-acre Spenceville wildlife preserve.

The land trust got the $150,000 it’s contributing to the ranch purchase from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

It may take four to six months for the purchase to be finalized, Belcher said.

The ranch land has been on the market for a while, Belcher said. Owner Lowell Robinson couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday.

The San Francisco-based Trust For Public Land helped arrange the land purchase.

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