Agreement Preserves Sunset Ranch
A Pupukea ranch is now permanently dedicated to ranching and agriculture, thanks to an agreement by the owner and North Shore Community Land Trust.
Sunset Ranch, owned by Pietsch Properties LCC, voluntarily delivered a conservation easement to the land trust earlier this month to protect its 27-plus acres from development in perpetuity.
Greg Pietsch, the grandson of original property purchaser Charles J. Pietsch Jr., said he intends to keep the land in the family and in productive rural use to conserve it and support sustainability efforts.
Also envisioned are horsemanship activities and special events for community and nonprofit groups at the Boy Scout camp nearby.
“By proactively protecting the lands at Sunset Ranch, they have proven their commitment to sound land management in the North Shore community,” stated NSCLT president Adam Borrello.
While this is the first conservation easement the trust will own and steward, it is one of many projects the trust has led or partnered in, such as the purchase and protection of Pupukea-Paumalu in 2007 and Waimea Valley in 2006.
Easement partners include Hawaii Legacy Land Conservation Fund, the city’s Clean Water and Natural Lands Fund and Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Farm and Ranchland Protection Programs.
“I am encouraged to see the fund being used to protect agricultural and ranch lands, as well as natural areas and habitat,” stated Laura Thielen, director of the DLNR, which administers the Hawaii Legacy Land Conservation Fund.
“Agricultural and ranch land like Sunset Ranch is an important part of our heritage and the rural character that makes the North Shore a special place,” she added.