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Ranch In Valley Springs Secures Conservation Easement

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Valley Springs, CA– The Nakagawa family, stewards of the Nakagawa Ranch in Valley Springs, has successfully conserved their agricultural legacy through a strategic partnership with the California Rangeland Trust. Established in 1941, the Nakagawa family’s ranching journey faced challenges during a tumultuous period in American history. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the family, despite acquiring a 425-acre ranch in Acampo, was forced to relocate to an internment camp under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s executive order.

After enduring four years of hardship, the Nakagawas returned to their ranch, working to restore its vitality. Over the years, the ranch transitioned its crops from Tokay grapes and squash to alfalfa and oat hay. In 2007 the family secured a conservation easement for their Acampo ranch, creating the Nakagawa Preserve. Expanding their business in 2007, the Nakagawas purchased a 380-acre ranch in Valley Springs, seizing the opportunity to establish a high-quality Wagyu beef business. The family has since thrived, selling beef statewide and providing calves and breeding stock to ranchers, even as far as Tennessee.

Recently, the family collaborated with the California Rangeland Trust to conserve the Valley Springs ranch, ensuring habitat protection, preventing development, and securing their ranching legacy for future generations. The conservation effort received support from the Natural Resources Conservation Services and the California Strategic Growth Council’s Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program, in collaboration with the Department of Conservation.

The Nakagawa Ranch Conservation Easement, under the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program, will allow the family to continue owning and managing the land while maintaining the health of the ranch through their American Wagyu cattle. Michael Delbar, CEO of the Rangeland Trust, commended the Nakagawa family’s resilience and stewardship, noting their inspiring story of hope in the face of adversity.


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