Protect the PUC Forest
Pacific Union College (PUC) and the Land Trust of Napa County are working in partnership to permanently protect, preserve and manage one of the most significant forests in the county – 856 acres of forestland in Angwin, adjacent to the college’s campus.
The Land Trust is working to raise the $9 million needed to purchase a conservation easement that would permanently protect the forest and create an endowment fund to ensure ongoing sustainable management of the forest in perpetuity.
Redwood trees, wildlife, and watershed
The PUC Forest supports significant wildlife habitats and rare plants, as well as the watershed of Moore Creek, a key source of water for Lake Hennessey and the main water supply for the City of Napa. Notably, the most interior (farthest from the coast) redwoods in the entire range of the species are in Napa County and the PUC forest includes some of these important stands. Because these redwoods have survived in hotter and drier conditions than other redwoods, they hold great interest for scientists who are concerned about the effect of climate change and whether these stands could prove useful in perpetuating the species. The forest ranks as the second highest in biodiversity in Napa and provides habitat for the federally-listed Northern Spotted Owl along with a number of special status plants.
This easement would also create 1,600 acres of contiguous protected lands with the nearby Las Posadas State Forest, which will support a major migration corridor for wildlife. Because the PUC forest ranks as a high ecological priority, the partnership has already raised $6.35 million, including a $2,850,000 grant from California’s new Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. This new program provides funding to protect exemplary forest land so that it can continue to remove carbon from the atmosphere, helping meet California’s goals to reduce atmospheric carbon.
In addition, the forest is used extensively for recreation and events by the PUC student body and faculty, as well as members of the Napa Valley community. Permanent protection ensures the forest will remain pristine and open for current and future generations.