Press Release

Hetfield Family Donates Easement Over Luiz Ranch

February 27, 2018

Pt. Reyes Station, Calif. – Marin Agricultural Land Trust, Luiz Ranch, Inc., and the Marin County Open Space District today announced that MALT will permanently hold and steward a 1,000-acre agricultural conservation easement in Gallinas Valley, just east of Lucas Valley, long known as the Luiz Ranch and currently owned by James and Francesca Hetfield.

The Hetfields donated an agricultural conservation easement on 240 acres of their ranch to the Marin County Open Space District in late 2017. This acreage connects to an additional 760 acres similarly preserved by the couple in 2005 and 2009. Today’s Open Space District Board of Directors’ action consolidated the three separate easements and then authorized the transfer of the easement to MALT to hold, monitor and enforce in perpetuity.

“Lucas Valley is a key gateway to West Marin, not just in terms of scenic value but also in relation to the region’s ecological and agricultural values,” said MALT Executive Director Jamison Watts. “MALT’s new easement on Luiz Ranch represents 1,000 acres returned to ranching, 2.7 miles of stream conserved, and a link to more than 12,000 acres already protected by MALT and the Open Space District. It’s a boost for Marin’s farming economy and the wildlife that thrive here.”

Under the terms of the MALT easement, the land must be used for productive agriculture and will be visited by MALT conservation staff annually to ensure compliance with easement terms and conditions. The Hetfields will lease the land for beef cattle grazing under direction from their full-time ranch manager. Any future owners of the property will also be required to continue farming the land and meet the conservation requirements of the easement.

In a statement, the Hetfields said, “Our family is very happy to work with MCOSD and MALT on re-establishing agriculture and maintaining the scenic corridor of the ranch. We believe this is a huge community benefit, and one of our goals is to keep agriculture on the ranch for a very long time.”

“We are truly fortunate to have an organization like MALT in the County. Their expertise and dedication to preserving Marin’s farmland will ensure that this property remains a working farm or ranch, and that the scenic open space values of the Lucas Valley corridor continue for generations to come.” said Senior Open Space Planner Craig Richardson. “By transferring this easement to MALT, the Open Space District can focus on its mission of protecting natural areas while providing recreational opportunities for residents. We look forward to continuing our long-standing partnership with MALT to protect the land, air and water of Marin County.”

About MALT: Marin Agricultural Land Trust is a member-supported nonprofit organization created in 1980 to permanently preserve Marin County farmland. Some of the Bay Area’s most highly acclaimed dairy and meat products and organic crops are produced on farmland protected by MALT, which totals more than 51,000 acres on 83 family farms and ranches. To learn more about MALT, visit

About the Marin County Open Space District: The Marin County Open Space District is dedicated to educating, inspiring, and engaging the people of Marin in the shared commitment of preserving, protecting, and enriching the natural beauty of Marin’s parks and open spaces, and providing recreational opportunities for the enjoyment of all generations. Visit to learn more.

Updated to include correct historic location name, Gallinas Valley: March 5, 2018
Contact: Jeff Stump, (415) 663-1158 ext. 303,
High-resolution photos available upon request.