California conservationists buy undervalued lands

Sep 8, 2014 11:35 AM by News Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California conservation groups took advantage of depressed property values during the nation's recession to snap up vast swaths of land for public use in the Sierra Nevada region.

The Sacramento Bee reported Sunday that conservation groups purchased thousands of acres of land, much of it originally planned for housing developments. Prompted by plummeting real estate values, five nonprofit preservation groups formed a partnership in 2007 and have bought 40,000 acres - roughly the size of the city of Stockton, California.

The parcels stretch along Northern California's Interstate 80 corridor in the Sierra Nevada. The holdings include the Royal Gorge ski resort, which the groups purchased for $11.25 million in the summer of 2011 when the real estate market was near its bottom.

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