California’s Large N3 Ranch May Become State Park

The N3 Ranch near Livermore, CA ( N3 )

The state of California is reportedly interested in buying the historic N3 Ranch, an 80-square-mile ranch within an hour’s drive of San Francisco.

California Gov. Gavin Newsome announced his $222 billion proposed state budget on Friday, and suggested legislative leaders dedicate $20 million from a one-time surplus to help purchase new public parkland. Newsome declined to say where that park might be, suggesting the price could go up if he revealed details.

However, the Los Angeles Times reported 17 lawmakers in the San Francisco Bay Area have urged Newsome to appropriate $20 million to help acquire and preserve the N3 Ranch near Livermore.

The N3 Ranch went on the market in July of last year with an asking price of $72 million. Todd Renfrew, broker and principal owner of Vacaville-based California Outdoor Properties said the ranch is 50,500 acres, spread across parts of four counties.

The ranch’s principle owners, members of the Vickers / Naftzger family, which has owned and operated the property for 85 years, are hopeful the next owners do not decide to develop the land.

“The family wants to sell it whole and keep it together,” Renfrew said. “It’s quite a place. This is a landscape that looks like it did more than a century ago.”

If the state of California approves $20 million, the money could be coupled with a $30-million commitment from the Nature Conservancy and The Trust for Public Lands to help complete the purchase package.

“This is a matter of urgent concern because this irreplaceable property is for sale now,” Democratic Sen. Steve Glazer said in a statement. “Nonprofit conservation groups have assembled funding commitments that could finance more than half the cost. We need to move on this quickly.”

Cattle still roam the property, which comes with a four-bedroom headquarters, a one-bedroom annex, a bunkhouse, shops, outbuildings, four cabins for employee housing and 14 hunting cabins. The Alameda Creek watershed runs through the property, capturing drinking water for Bay Area residents. The habitat is home to elk, deer and hundreds of species of migrating birds.

Related stories:

California's Iconic N3 Ranch For Sale

Boone Pickens' Ranch Listed For $250 Million