Hilltop property in Bear River watershed to be named after Skip Outman
Placer Land Trust recently acquired 80 acres of oak woodlands in the Big Hill area northwest of Auburn, coming one step closer to linking the 1,181-acre Hidden Falls Regional Park to thousands of other acres of PLT-protected land in the area.
“We’re very pleased to have worked with the landowners on a bargain sale of this beautiful land,” said Executive Director Jeff Darlington. “This property expands the protected landscape in the Bear River watershed, and it’s also another piece of the puzzle for our long-term goal of a public trail from Coon Creek to the Bear River.”
The newly acquired property lies directly west of the 321-acre Liberty Ranch Big Hill Preserve, protected by PLT via conservation easement in 2007. Placer Land Trust has now protected nearly 3,700 acres of oak woodlands and ranch lands in the Big Hill and Garden Bar areas of Placer County. Oak woodlands are iconic of Placer County, and they provide homes for around 330 species of flora and fauna in addition to thousands of insects – one of the highest diversities of species in the world.
PLT is working with Placer County and area landowners to create a wilderness trail system from Hidden Falls Regional Park north through the PLT’s properties on Big Hill and to the Bear River, offering incomparable recreational and scenic values to the community and region.
Placer Land Trust is naming the property in honor of Skip Outman, who passed away earlier this year.
“Skip worked tirelessly to help us protect land in this area, including this particular property,” said Darlington. “As much as anything, this beautiful property, which is now protected for current and future generations, is Skip’s legacy.”
Funding for the land acquisition was made possible in large part by grants from the Caltrans Environmental Enhancement & Mitigation Program and from Placer County.
The remainder of the project costs – including long-term land stewardship – was funded by PLT membership donations, the California Wildlife Foundation, and the former landowners, Bill & Vera Johnston and John & Lugene Boyd.