Has year to raise $500,000 to close deal
Save Mount Diablo has secured an option agreement to purchase the Krane Pond property, a 6.69-acre parcel directly adjacent to Clayton and Mount Diablo State Park. The property is part of the “Missing Mile,” a square mile of private land on the slopes of North Peak and Save Mount Diablo’s fourth acquisition project there. The Krane Pond property has been a priority for 50 years, includes a large spring-fed pond that is very important for wildlife, and is adjacent to Mount Diablo State Park. In addition, an on-site building pad, neighboring subdivision, and fragmented ranchette landscape nearby all indicate what might take place if the property isn’t protected.
“Last May 2021, Walt passed away from leukemia. I thought that the best way to honor Walt’s memory and love of the outdoors, was having our open space preserved by Save Mount Diablo, and eventually be part of the state park system.”
The Krane Pond property is part of North Peak’s Young Canyon and is bordered by a small spur ridge. Its ecological significance eclipses its size. The property includes one of the largest ponds on the north side of Mount Diablo and is critically important for Mount Diablo’s wildlife. It can help sustain a multitude of species from ground squirrels to mountain lions and even rarer endangered species such as California red-legged frogs and Alameda whipsnakes.
Development has carved its way into Diablo’s foothills below the property’s border. Krane was threatened by Clayton’s Marsh Creek Specific Plan 30 years ago while a neighboring parcel was developed into the Oakwood Estates subdivision. Save Mount Diablo helped shrink the specific plan, and the county and Clayton’s Urban Limit Lines gained strength over the years. Krane is adjacent to the Clayton city limits but just outside the Urban Limit Line.
Had developers acquired this property, they would have graded the ridge and developed much of the acreage. Protecting this property halts development in its tracks, saving more of Mount Diablo’s open space.
Beginning in 1971 SMD’s co-founder, botanist Mary Bowerman, began creating acquisition priority lists based on her decades of research on the mountain. The Missing Mile properties, including Krane, were high on the list.
During the fundraising period for the $500,000, Save Mount Diablo will survey the property boundaries, which will be necessary for work on property fencing and dam repair. If fundraising is successful, initial stewardship will include fence repair and maintenance of the pond’s earthen dam.
About Save Mount Diablo
Save Mount Diablo is a nationally accredited, nonprofit land trust founded in 1971 with a mission to preserve Mount Diablo’s peaks, surrounding foothills, watersheds, and connection to the Diablo Range through land acquisition and preservation strategies designed to protect the mountain’s natural beauty, biological diversity, and historic and agricultural heritage; enhance our area’s quality of life; and provide educational and recreational opportunities consistent with protection of natural resources. To learn more, please visit www.savemountdiablo.org.