How the Northcoast Regional Land Trust
Rondal Snodgrass and David McMurray were the pioneering and progressive co-founders of the Northcoast Regional Land Trust. In the mid '80s through the '90s both were active with Sanctuary Forest, a group that initially formed to save threatened old-growth groves in the Mattole river headwaters, and eventually grew into the successful and award-winning land and water trust still operating in the Lost Coast region. The organization used a process of building bridges between cultural and economic divides, one that inspired Rondal to use a similar approach in creating a vision for a regional effort to promote ecological balance. Rondal asked David to join him in a partnership to begin the discussion of the need for a regional land trust that would assist Humboldt, Del Norte and Trinity County landowners protect their property and the areas abundant natural resources. Rondal gathered representatives from a diverse group of land use advocates: conservationists, ranchers, farmers, timberland managers, natural resource scientists, environmental supporters, recreationalists and public service members. In 1998, a feasibility study group was formed with these various perspectives, backgrounds and skills to determine conservation priorities for the region and to see if a regional land trust could play a role in implementing this vision. All involved had a deep enthusiasm to protect the land they loved and to conserve the special way of life associated with living on the North Coast. Thanks to these innovative and passionate collaborators, NRLT has been thriving for many years, carrying out this original dream.