At their April 19, 2011 meeting, the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors unanimously authorized an option to purchase 1,012 acres that will expand Black Diamond Mines Regional Park in Eastern Contra Costa County to more than 7,000 acres. The acquisition comes on the heels of nearly 800 acres approved just one month ago.
The land is being purchased from members of the Thomas family, long-time landowners in the Nortonville area, for $4,394,000, its appraised fair market value. The Park District will acquire the parcels in partnership with the East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy, which has designated the property a high priority for protection due to its significant habitat for protected species. A range of vegetation communities includes oak woodlands, chaparral and non-native grassland.
In addition to its habitat value, the property will provide excellent opportunities for recreation. Elevations range to 1,900 feet at Kreiger Peak, the highest point in the Black Diamond Mines area. The ridgelines offer panoramic views of central and eastern Contra Costa County. Ultimately a network of trails will connect Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve to Mt. Diablo State Park. The District plans to finalize the purchase later this year. Once completed, the properties will be kept in land bank status pending completion of a land use plan amendment.
Download: Board Materials, Acquisition Evaluation and Property Map (Acrobat PDF)