Project: North Bay Marsh Haire Acquisition 2013
On December 13, 2013, a large puzzle piece in the patchwork of North Bay marsh restoration sites fell into place with the long sought-after acquisition of the 1,092 acre Haire Ranch - a hay farm located at the northern end of Skaggs Island, along Highway 37, traversing the North Bay.
Thanks to a history of salt making and hay farming, much of the land surrounding the Bay in the North and South was diked over a century ago with large patches of this land recently becoming available for purchase over time. This deal in particular shows how successful local and federal partnerships can be, with Sonoma Land Trust, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the SF Bay Joint Venture, California State Coastal Conservancy and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation all playing an important role in the acquisition.
Immediately upon close of escrow, the Land Trust transferred the ranch to USFWS, which already owns the remaining 3,300 acres of Skaggs Island. Both are now part of the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge, expanding the region to over 20,000 acres, and will be restored over time to marsh habitat.