John Muir Land Trust and The National Park Service Announce Webcast on October 17, 2020 to Celebrate Expansion of John Muir National Historic Site and Opening of Almond Ranch

John Muir Land Trust and The National Park Service Announce Webcast on October 17, 2020 to Celebrate Expansion of John Muir National Historic Site and Opening of Almond Ranch

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October 7, 2020
Contact: Linus Eukel, Executive Director
(925) 228-1130 direct, (925) 788-7525 mobile

The Public Is Invited To Attend Entertaining And Informative Online Celebration With Distinguished Speakers

Master of Ceremonies Doug McConnell and John Muir Land Trust (JMLT, jmlt.org) Executive Director Linus Eukel will broadcast live from the John Muir National Historic Site (JMNHS) joined online by distinguished speakers to celebrate the donation of West Hills Farm to the National Park Service and the opening of Almond Ranch for the first time. The general public is invited to attend a lively webcast event from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm PST on October 17, 2020 by registering at jmlt.org/expansion2020. Featured speakers will include CA Governor Gavin Newsom, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, and NPS Superintendent Tom Leatherman.

“This event marks a huge milestone for John Muir Land Trust, and celebrates the wonderful support we receive from so many generous people across the Bay Area,” said Eukel. “This must-see program will delight, entertain, and inform. We invite everyone to join us and hear from a distinguished roster of invited guests.”

JMLT purchased West Hills Farm in 2018 and is conveying the property to the John Muir National Historic Site that is the location of John Muir’s home. The famed naturalist and conservationist frequently walked its beautifully wooded  trails with his two daughters. “Let me congratulate John Muir Land Trust and the National Park Service,” said California Senator Dianne Feinstein. “This expansion will add 44 acres to the existing 333-acre site.  It will protect these lands for generations to come.”

The bill (H.R. 1719) to authorize the acquisition by U.S. Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) passed by a vote of 401-to-15 in the U.S. House of Representatives. The companion bill (S. 729) authored by U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) unanimously passed in the Senate.

“Contra Costa’s own John Muir, the father of our National Parks, championed the revolutionary idea that America’s wild spaces ought to be preserved for all to enjoy. Through his writings and teachings, he helped to shape our appreciation of open spaces by reminding us to ‘keep close to Nature’s heart,’” said Congressman DeSaulnier in his press release. Senator Harris added, “The expansion of the John Muir Historic Site will ensure that future generations of Californians and others will have the opportunity to continue to learn about his legacy as the father of our National Parks.”

Almond Ranch is a 281-acre property that connects the John Muir National Historic Site to an expansive trail system and 18,000 acres of permanently protected open space.  JMLT purchased the ranch in 2019 after a successful campaign supported by thousands of donors. Almond Ranch preserves an important wildlife habitat corridor, connects major trails for the first time, and opens the property’s beautiful rolling hills along the Franklin Ridge for recreation.  Often called the “missing piece,” the ranch makes a vital connection for the Bay Area Ridge Trail, an ambitious 550-mile loop that is circumnavigating the entire Bay Area.

Congressman DeSaulnier added, “These collaborations that lead us back out into nature are a very important part of our legacy for you, for me, for everyone, and for future generations.”

The webcast on October 17, 2020 is meant for the entire family. Participants will:

  • Learn about John Muir’s legacy
  • Take a virtual tour of West Hills Farm & Almond Ranch
  • Hear testimonials and interviews with key partners and elected officials
  • Find out more about JMLT’s 30-year history of saving land

Distinguished speakers and invited guests include:

CA Governor Gavin Newsom
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein
U.S. Senator Kamala Harris
U.S. Congressman Mark DeSaulnier
U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson
Fmr. U.S. Congressman George Miller
CA Senator Bill Dodd
CA Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan
CA Assemblymember Tim Grayson
Contra Costa County Supervisor Federal Glover
East Bay Regional Park District Director Colin Coffey
City of Martinez Mayor Rob Schroeder
18th Director of the NPS Jon Jarvis
NPS Superintendent Tom Leatherman
NPS Chief of Interpretation Kelli English
John Muir’s great grandson Michael Muir
WCB Board Chair Chuck Bonham
WCB Executive Director John Donnelly
EBRPD General Manager Bob Doyle
SCC Executive Officer Sam Schuchat
BARTC Executive Director Janet McBride

Register: jmlt.org/expansion2020

Note: this event is webcast only.

About John Muir Land Trust

John Muir Land Trust (JMLT) protects and cares for open space, ranches, farms, parkland and shoreline in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. In a generation, John Muir Land Trust has become one of the leading forces for conservation in northern California. With 3,500 acres protected, many beautiful places in the East Bay are permanently preserved for recreation, wildlife habitat, and spectacular scenic views. JMLT believes that the vitality of our open spaces is essential to the health of our earth, air, water, native plants, and animals — and all of us. jmlt.org