Big Sur Land Trust (BSLT) was founded in 1978 when fewer than a dozen families came together to ensure that Big Sur's beauty and quality of life would be preserved for later generations. Around kitchen tables and over potluck dinners, they decided that a land trust should be established to preserve the unique culture and environment of their community.

Those founders were Zad and Laela Leavy, Sherna and Kipp Stewart, Roger and Beverly Newell, Nancy Hopkins, Lloyd and Pat Addleman, Martin and Suzanne Forster, and Peter Harding. The Land Trust's first president was Nancy Hopkins. Zad Leavy later served as its first executive director, devoting 25 years to the cause of conservation.

In March 2018, Big Sur Land Trust had the pleasure of sitting down with Zad and Laela Leavy for a discussion about their roles as members of the group of founders who started Big Sur Land Trust 40 years ago. Click here to read their full interview.

2023 marks our 45th anniversary, celebrating a conservation story our founders could not have imagined.  Our generous donors and supporters have conserved over 40,000 acres throughout Monterey County. BSLT works in coastal, inland, remote and urban open spaces – increasing access to public parklands and ensuring the long-term viability of working landscapes and significant habitats throughout Monterey County. As an accredited land trust, we provide places where people and nature thrive – creating more possibilities for lasting prosperity and health.