Five years ago, just as developers were planning to carve up Curry Canyon Ranch in Contra Costa County into pricey ranchettes, an environmental group raised $7.2 million to buy the breathtaking property, bordered on three sides by Mount Diablo State Park.
It seemed like the perfect scenario. Four of the state park’s trails stop at the edge of the rolling, 1,080-acre ranch. State parks officials had encouraged the purchase, and the group, Save Mount Diablo, offered to sell it to the state to expand the park, just as nonprofits had done time and again. But state parks leaders now say they can’t afford to buy the land, even at a reduced price. So it remains closed to the public.