Tiburon Residents Fight for Open Space

Greenbelt Alliance’s signature At Risk is the definitive research on the Bay Area’s farms, ranches, and natural areas at risk of being lost forever to sprawl development. In an effort to bring these lands to the public view, we have real life stories told by the dedicated local residents who fight to keep them free from sprawl.

Marin County has long been a national model of land conservation, with 58 percent of the county’s natural and agricultural lands permanently protected—more than any other Bay Area county. The county also has less land at risk of development than most other counties—11,600 total acres. Of that, 2,400 acres are at high risk, where development is likely in the next 10 years.

Jerry Riessen looks out at the vista stretching from Mount Tamalpais to the Golden Gate Bridge, and beyond the San Francisco skyline. The views from Tiburon’s hilltops are spectacular, and thanks to Jerry and the Tiburon Open Space Committee, they’re free to visit and enjoy. The group spent years organizing the public purchase of two of three pieces of hilltop land—and now they hope to preserve the last.

jerry-riessen-at-risk-2017-dani-padgett “It gives me great joy to see families walking here. It’s so easy to get here by ferry. The vista draws people, and once they get here, they’re out in real nature.”

On the 110 acres of remaining unprotected land along the ridge, irises flutter between outcroppings of serpentine rock. A rare population of threatened Marin dwarf flax opens delicate white flowers. The proposed Easton Point development by the Martha Company would put 43 large houses on this fragile hillside, much of which is prone to mudslides, and crown it all with a massive water tank.

Jerry has been watching legal battles over this land for 40 years. Today, his group sees a chance to preserve this last key piece in a system of lands stretching from Angel Island to the historic coast, up through forests to these windswept grasslands. Their dream is to join these lands to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, to bring this world-class scenery to the world.

Learn more about the Tiburon Open Space Committee here.

Learn more and download the At Risk 201 7 report here.

Photos by Dani Padgett ©

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