Andersonia West is a 523-acre property located on California’s Lost Coast in northern Mendocino County.
It is in traditional Sinkyone territory.
It is on the western flank of the coast redwood range.
The acquisition protects a critical habitat corridor.
The property is a key inholding of redwood forest in a vast network of approximately 180,000 acres of protected lands.
The land is bordered by 7,250-acre Sinkyone Wilderness State Park to the west, south, and east, and the 50,000-acre Usal Forest to the east. Usal Forest is a working forest protected by a conservation easement. Andersonia West is also a mile north of the 3,845-acre InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness.
The property features old-growth coast redwoods, as well as large second-growth trees.
The forest contains old-growth habitat throughout, including an approximately 183-acre old-growth stand.
Some of the old trees are more than 8 feet in diameter.
The second-growth trees exhibit late-seral characteristics, such as complex crowns and furrowed bark, indicating that they are developing into healthy old-growth trees.
About the flora and fauna:
Dominated by old-growth and large second-growth coast redwoods, the forest also consists of Douglas fir, tanoaks, and Pacific madrones.
The understory features huckleberry, manzanita, and ceanothus.
Anderson Creek, a Class I fish bearing stream, provides habitat for endangered coho salmon and threatened steelhead trout.
The forest is home to threatened northern spotted owls and endangered marbled murrelets.
The property also provides suitable habitat for other species such as bald eagles, northern goshawks, and foothill yellow-legged frogs.
The purchase price is $3.55 million.
The Anderson family made a land value donation of $510,000, bringing this purchase price down from the fair market value of $4.06 million.
The purchase was fully funded by a Habitat Acquisition and Management Agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric Company’s (PG&E) Habitat Mitigation Program through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The League is required to permanently protect the land with a conservation easement.
Who were the previous landowners and what is their history?
The property has been owned for more than 100 years by the Anderson family. It was acquired in 1903 by Henry Neff “Pap” Anderson, a lumber industry businessman. Pap intended for the land to be the site of a model mill town, but the project was never completed. In 2006, Pap’s great-grandson, Harold “Hap” Anderson, reached out to the League to protect Andersonia West, along with another property. At the time, the League was not able to take on the additional property, and funding was not available.
What are the conditions of the funding from PG&E?
Through the Habitat Acquisition and Management Agreement with PG&E’s Compensatory Mitigation Program, Andersonia West will be included in the company’s mitigation portfolio. The company is mitigating potential habitat loss that may result from its operations and maintenance activities within the administrative boundary according to its Multiple Region Habitat Conservation Plan. The League is obligated to protect the property with a conservation easement, also funded under the agreement. The endowment funding is conditional upon recording the easement with an approved, accredited land trust and an approved long-term land manager holding the fee title.
What does the League plan to do with the property? Will there be public access?
The League will secure the property’s permanent protection with a conservation easement. Plans to transfer this property to a permanent steward will be announced in 2021. Due to the importance of its habitat and its remote and wild location, there will not be public access.