By Becky Wiegand,
Manager, Digital Communications
March 22, 2023
Few families have had as great an impact on our modern coastal lands as the Straus family. Ellen and Bill Straus fled Nazi Europe during WWII and settled in Marshall, on the Tomales Bay, to begin a life of ranching. Along the way, Ellen and Bill were at the heart of the effort to save West Marin’s open space from turning into yet another sprawling suburb. In 1980, Ellen and a friend co-founded the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, which has become a model for communities around the country that also want to stem subdivision and encourage a healthy relationship with their agricultural roots.