The Green Valley property is already protected with a conservation easement shown on the Land Trust map. The map in the Chronicle shows 2 internal development zones. The property very sig isnificant given its connection to the Tuteur Ranch conservation easement and the potential for a connection to Skyline Wilderness Park and the proposed Bay Area Ridge Trail.
The Soda Springs property is significant because of its historical heritage ruins and because it touches the large Meade Ranch conservation area shown on the Land Trust map. It is also significant because, given its legacy use, it can still be developed as a resort, dooming our Soda Canyon Road community to life as a tourist attraction. Also at NVR 11/14/19: Historic Soda Springs resort property for sale northeast of Napa
Such major undeveloped properties still remaining in the County should not be allowed to pass into developers' hands without some significant consideration to their value as protected natural heritage for future generations. Hopefully, the Land Trust has their eyes on these properties as well.
Sometimes a map helps with these things: As you can see on the map, Circle R Ranch and Walt Ranch together form a massive potential barrier to wildlife, (and possibly hikers) along the spine of the Vaca mountains that form the eastern edge of the Napa Valley. This granting of a conservation easement for such movement is a huge act of civic responsibility and environmental consciousness. One can only hope that the Halls on the Walt property might become similarly concerned about a legacy of environmental stewardship of Napa's wild lands, in contrast to their urban development potential, and recombine the 35 developable parcels into a single property with appropriate conservation easements. Their proposed vineyards would still be a source of produce for their wines (or of profit for resale) as was their stated intention in the EIR.
Land Trust CEO Doug Parker is quoted as saying "We're interested in building a corridor of contiguous, protected land across the ridge on the east side of Napa Valley." On the map above it would appear that the stretch from RLS State Park to Lake Hennessy is looking quite promising. From Lake Hennessy to Skyline Park it seems like a much more difficult proposition. A trail down the ridge just below the huge Atlas Peak Sutro Ranch Preserve is blocked by two private estate developments, Circle R and Walt Ranch. The Circle R development has discussed the possibility of a 500+ acre conservation easement. Would that include a public trail? The Walt Ranch developers have yet to weigh in on a conservation easement.