The highly anticipated donation of 66 front-country acres of the Craig Ranch was announced Wednesday, Feb. 17, by preservation partners Save the Redwoods League and Sequoia Riverlands Trust. The donation of the 66 acres, formerly owned by the Craig Ranch Trust, transfers the parcel to the Bureau of Land Management and will greatly improve the public’s access to the popular Salt Creek Trail and Case Mountain area.
The property, located southeast of Three Rivers, will soon offer better parking and serve as the area’s principal trailhead for hikers, runners, mountain bikers, equestrians, and others while improving access to one of the BLM’s Sierra Nevada gems — the Case Mountain Grove of giant sequoias. The new BLM entrance at the end of Salt Creek Drive is expected to relieve parking congestion for recreationists who now access the BLM land via the Skyline Drive gate.
In 1993, Ollie Craig (a longtime Three Rivers resident who passed away in 2005) sold 1,000 acres to the BLM, now part of the Case Mountain Extensive Recreation Management Area and an area of critical environmental concern. The 66-acre addition expands upon Ollie Craig’s considerable conservation legacy.
“This action has been years in the making,” said the BLM-Bakersfield Field Office manager Gabe Garcia. “With this donation, we will be able to provide recreation users a better overall experience and give the public the opportunity to see one of the most unique areas in the nation.”
Hilary Dustin, SRT conservation director, said the partnership would not have happened without the vision and determination of Dale Lincoln, a Three Rivers property owner, who is a benefactor and private sponsor of the SRT.