POST and Sempervirens Fund acquire Little Basin Property from HP
The Little Basin property is bordered on three sides by Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Photo © 2007 Karl Kroeber
The Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) and Sempervirens Fund have acquired the historic Little Basin property in the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains near Boulder Creek. In a joint arrangement, the two nonprofit land trusts purchased the redwood-studded, 535-acre property for $4 million from the Hewlett-Packard Company (HP), which had previously used the land for private employee recreation and company picnics. Honoring this rich legacy of outdoor recreation by its own employees, HP has now chosen to enable Little Basin to be opened to the public by selling it to Sempervirens Fund and POST for permanent protection.
Rising 2,000 feet above sea level, Little Basin is bordered to the north, east and west by Big Basin Redwoods State Park. The property features scenic woodlands, an old-growth redwood forest, diverse wildlife, hiking trails that connect to Big Basin, a reservoir, and two creeks—Scott Creek and Blooms Creek—in the Santa Cruz County watershed. Thanks to HP, a portion of the property is also equipped with an impressive array of recreational facilities, including 14 rustic cabins, 36 tent sites, a picnic area, playgrounds, a recreation hall, restrooms, and an amphitheater.
POST and Sempervirens Fund hope eventually to transfer Little Basin to California State Parks for inclusion in adjacent Big Basin Redwoods State Park. "Little Basin presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save a gloriously scenic and historic property that would otherwise be built up with luxury mansions and closed off from the public for good," said POST President Audrey Rust.
Developed in 1885 as a logging operation, Little Basin served as a cattle ranch in the 1930s and as a World War II military surplus depot before HP purchased it in 1963. A consultant management team will oversee maintenance of the land temporarily until such time as it is ready to pass on to public agency ownership.
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