“The footprint of man is very light out here. It’s where you understand what California was all about before people ruined it.” 

Two tech billionaires recently made the largest private donation to The Nature Conservancy in history, enabling the non-profit to preserve 25,000 acres of wild and rugged land along the California coast.

Jack and Laura Dangermond, two long-time tech industry legends, gave $165 million to the Nature Conservancy in order to purchase a stretch of undeveloped coastline in Southern California. The land, coveted by the couple since they stumbled across it during their honeymoon, was nearly developed in 2007 when it sold to developers.

The couple made their fortune developing digital maps in the late 1960’s. They have always held conservation near and dear to their hearts, often giving away their maps for free to nongovernment organizations, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in order to support efforts such as preventing the spread of deadly disease in Africa.

Bixby Ranch is a Diverse Stretch of the California Coast

Bixby Ranch california coast

Image from The Dyrt camper Megan B.

“The footprint of man is very light out here,” Bill Etling, a Santa Ynez Valley Realtor told the LA Times. “It’s where you understand what California was all about before people ruined it.”

The land parcel, also known as Bixby Ranch, is located in Santa Barbara County, California. Home to several species of birds, whales, porpoises, mountain lions and a strong colony of Monarch butterflies. In total, the land contains two major terrestrial biomes as well as two marine biomes, or crucial plant and animal communities.

The Nature Conservancy designated the area a wildlife refuge and nature preserve upon acquiring the piece of the California Coast. Its neighbors include Los Padres National Forest and other protected areas, making the entire region one large wildlife corridor.

In the future, students and researchers from the nearby University of California Santa Barbara plan to study the area in order to conduct field surveys of the region. This pristine natural laboratory will help ecologists study the effects of climate change on natural habitats.

Camp the Coast: Jalama Campground

Jalama Beach california coast

Image from The Dyrt camper Megan B.

Jalama Beach is part of this stretch of rugged California coast, and you can go camping there to experience it for yourself!

Camp Here

Reviews of Jalama Beach Campground

From the sound of the reviews, the campground could use some work. Perhaps it will receive some more upkeep once it becomes part of the Jack and Laura Dangermond Preserve. For now, we’re grateful that the surrounding area is going to protected for future generations to enjoy.

“One of my all time favorites – started camping there in the 4th grade… cough cough 35 years ago… still one of my favorites.” — The Dyrt camper Crystal M. 

california coast beach

Image from The Dyrt camper Megan B.

“Beautiful location right below Pt.Conception in Santa Barbara County. Scenic drive in that drops you right onto the beach. Great kite surfing and wind surfing.” — The Dyrt camper Michael K. 

california coast

Image from The Dyrt camper Michael K.

“Amazing fields of poppy flowers and then boom, right on the coast. This is a very windy location, with offshores howling in the early morning and then offshores howling during the day. That is not really the problem. The problem is the run down campground… In need of a major overhaul!” — The Dyrt camper Megan B.

california coast

Image from The Dyrt camper Megan B.

We’ll continue to follow this story as Jalama Beach and Bixby Ranch become the newly protected Jack and Laura Dangermond Preserve. In order to continue to protect beautiful, wild places like this one, remember to always #campresponsibly.

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