The Mendocino Land Trust closed the deal on January 5, 2010 on the Hare Creek Beach property which was made possible by the State Coastal Conservancy and with the matching funds from Fort Bragg resident Betty Stechmeyer, who contributed to the acquisition in memory of her late husband and botanist, Gordon E. McBride. The Hare Creek Beach property is 5.6 acres and was purchased from longtime owners, the Babcock family. Very rarely can a privately owned beach be purchased with public funds in California.
The property is located southwest of the intersection of Highway 1 and Highway 20 in Fort Bragg. This purchase will now make Hare Creek forever a public beach, and now with the added focus of conservation education and responsible recreation.
The Mendocino Land Trust intends to permanently manage the property and will develop a long term plan to manage it with community involvement. The Mendocino Land Trust will be seeking community support to build a stewardship fund to include weekly monitoring of the beach, with long-term removal of invasive plants and restoration of the dune habitat. They will need volunteers to help undertake the tasks at Hare Creek Beach.
The Hare Creek property serves as a resting and feeding site for many migratory shorebirds. Hare Creek also supports steelhead and Coho salmon which spawn annually up the creek.
The Mendocino Land Trust intends to develop coastal access from the north side of the property in order to connect a pedestrian pathway between Pomo Bluffs Park to Hare Creek, creating a legal public access and adding a new segment to the California Coastal Trail.