Press Release

$1 million gift to launch Sonoma Coast Forest Land Protection Fund

Oct 25, 2016


Sheri Cardo
Director of Communications
(707) 526-6930 x111

Pete and Patty Mattson plan a legacy to save coastal redwoods

SANTA ROSA, CALIF. ­— Sonoma Land Trust has established the Pete and Patty Mattson Sonoma Coast Forest Land Protection Fund. Enabled by a legacy gift from the Mattsons, estimated at $1 million, this Fund celebrates a lifetime of memories and experiences that the Mattsons have shared from living among the Sonoma Coast redwoods and taking action to protect them. “We just have a soft spot in our heart for redwood trees,” says Pete. “With the mounting growth pressures in the North Bay, we feel an urgent need to conserve more forestland along the Sonoma Coast.” 

“This special fund will be dedicated to protecting forestland in our county’s coastal region,” says Dave Koehler, executive director of Sonoma Land Trust. “It is individuals like Pete and Patty Mattson who make possible our work to protect the land forever.” 

The Mattsons’ shared passion for redwoods can be traced to their respective childhoods. Pete grew up (nearly as tall as a redwood!) in Los Angeles, where he says there “were only five trees in the whole neighborhood,” but he sought out each one to climb and play in. Patty came by her affinity for forests at home — her family owned a forested ranch on Skaggs Springs Road between Sonoma Lake and Stewart’s Point. Married in 1962, they settled on the Peninsula and explored North Coast forestlands every chance they could. Then, in 1984, they become residents of Sea Ranch, where they built lifelong friendships. Pete and Patty met while studying at UC-Berkeley. Pete went on to become a successful food-industry entrepreneur and made time throughout his career to lead major conservation efforts. Patty worked with Pete both in his business and in conservation. Together, they formed a formidable team.

Pete has served on Sonoma Land Trust’s board of directors since 2001 and was board chair from 2005−2009. Under his leadership, Sonoma Land Trust embarked on its groundbreaking efforts to restore tidal marsh along the northern shore of San Pablo Bay and also purchased the 5,630-acre Jenner Headlands, which features 3,100 acres of redwood and Douglas fir forest. Pete has also played a key role in protecting more than 50,000 acres of forest through his service on the board of the Redwood Forest Foundation and as a Councilor of Save the Redwoods League. 

“The Mattsons’ ongoing support over the years has helped sustain the Land Trust and this legacy gift to establish the Pete and Patty Mattson Sonoma Coast Forest Land Protection Fund and the forests along our coastline will have a lasting impact,” states Koehler. “We are very grateful.”

About Sonoma Land Trust

Sonoma Land Trust believes land is the foundation of our economy and our community’s health and well-being. Since 1976, Sonoma Land Trust has protected over 50,000 acres of scenic, natural, agricultural and open land for future generations, and is accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.