Dear Friends of Big Sur Land Trust,
Since you may have heard of the large River Fire that is raging in Salinas after a lightning strike early Sunday morning, I wanted to update you on our conserved lands at Marks Ranch.
Big Sur Land Trust has closed our solo hiking program at the ranch in order for Cal Fire to stage firefighting equipment there to battle the River Fire. The property will remain closed to hikers until it is no longer needed to support firefighting efforts and the area is determined to be safe.
We are honored that Marks Ranch can be of service to Cal Fire as they work tirelessly to protect all the neighborhoods that are threatened. We had several staff members out preparing the ranch for Cal Fire’s arrival on Monday.
As a reminder, the ranch was once a major egg production enterprise, and home of Benjamin and Nisene Marks, who settled there in 1890. Big Sur Land Trust purchased the ranch in 2007, protecting important habitats and wildlife corridors and continuing to care for its beautiful rolling hills, woodlands, meadows, grazing lands and 90 species of wildflowers.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the River Fire is near the back country of Marks Ranch and the Carmel Fire is spreading through Cachagua in Carmel Valley. We are deeply grateful for all the efforts of the firefighters and support crews, and Big Sur Land Trust properties are standing ready to serve. We also want to thank our dedicated donors who continue to make it possible for our stewardship crew to maintain properties like Marks Ranch so that the lands we all love can be called into service for the community at these critical times.
I will keep in touch when we have more information.