At Nature’s Crossroads – the Dangermond Preserve

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Perhaps best known as “the last perfect place” in California by conservationists, the Jack and Laura Dangermond Preserve is a 24,000-acre nature preserve protecting eight miles of last-of-its-kind wild coastline in Southern California.

Owned and protected by The Nature Conservancy, the Dangermond Preserve was made possible due to the vision and generosity of Jack and Laura Dangermond, who in December 2017 donated $165 million to The Nature Conservancy—the single largest gift in the history of the organization—to purchase this globally significant natural area and protect it forever. Explore the history and science behind what makes this iconic part of California so precious to our natural world.

For millennia, people and nature have thrived together on this land, where a confluence of ecological, historical and cultural resources across Native American, Spanish and American histories have co-evolved for centuries. For the past hundred years, since Fred J. Bixby bought it in 1913, the land has been managed as a cattle ranch—and its light use preserved incredibly intact ecological conditions.

The waters surrounding the iconic lighthouse at Point Conception and the Dangermond Preserve form the most important marine biogeographic boundary on the West Coast—and one of the largest upwelling centers—where deep nutrient-rich waters rise to the surface and fuel high biodiversity. The property encompasses a near wilderness of oak woodland, chaparral, forest and grassland ecosystems; bears and mountain lions are regularly spotted everywhere from the beach to the highest elevations.

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