Tuolumne County Land Trust

PO Box 5362
209-532-6937

Perpetuating Tuolumne County's scenic, historical, and agricultural lands and those with sensitive biological features.

For more info and Land Trusts please visit FindaLandTrust.org

History:

The original members of the Tuolumne County Land Trust (TCLT) were concerned citizens of Tuolumne County who incorporated the TCLT as a legal non-profit organization (under Section 501, c, 3 of Title 26, the Internal Revenue Code of the United States) in 1985. This allows a federal income tax deduction for all donations.

In 1985, the local citizens were concerned that the political climate at the time did not place enough emphasis on land use policies associated with conservation, habitat, scenic, agricultural resources, and open space values. Initial meetings involved twenty to thirty people who met and filed incorporation papers with the Secretary of State; secured tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service; prepared bylaws; and elected directors and officers.

In 1994 the group became more active and since that time, the Board of Directors has met monthly. In June 1997, the TCLT sought and received a grant of $1,700 from the Trust for Public Lands to develop and produce a brochure, available today, and stationery.

In June 1998, the TCLT brought together federal, state and local agencies in order to facilitate a major acquisition of land at Yosemite Junction. The acquisition site, which included special status plants and animals, historical sites, and a scenic view shed located at a major intersection leading to Yosemite National Park, was threatened by intense subdivision and development, Yosemite Estates. The intent was to add as much land as possible to the adjacent U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Red Hills Area of Critical Environmental Concern.

In February of 1999, the TCLT received a grant of $8,700 from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to provide professional assistance for the work necessary to effect purchase of much of the Yosemite Estates land at Yosemite Junction.

Ultimately, the Packard Foundation contributed an additional $300,000, when added to a BLM contribution, allowed for 252 acres to be purchased and added to the BLM Red Hills Area of Critical Environmental Concern. The Trust for Public Lands assisted with the transaction and was successful in obtaining additional state funds to acquire approximately 80 more acres in the same area, which were also added to the BLM Red Hills Area of Critical Environmental Concern. Caltrans subsequently added another 90 acres of the Yosemite Estates land to the BLM Red Hills Area of Critical Environmental Concern, using Caltrans mitigation funds.

As a part of the effort to protect the unique and highly visible Yosemite Junction site (the northern gateway to Yosemite National Park) and to add to the Red Hills Area of Critical Environmental Concern, the TCLT sponsored three major educational programs on the acquisition site, including site tours led by professional wildlife biologists, botanists, archaeologists, historians, and geologists.

In over twenty years of TCLT history, many dedicated people have contributed time and talent to the TCLT cause. They have initiated and facilitated cooperation with federal, state, and local agencies, as well as with local conservation groups, other land trusts, foundations, and private citizens to protect lands with agricultural resources, wildlife habitat, scenic view sheds, recreational opportunities, and cultural resource values in Tuolumne County. The TCLT is recognized as a vital link, along with neighboring land trusts, in the future of the Sierra landscape.