Land Sale Shocks Sceince Department
By Chester Collins
- "I think it's a tragedy that such a magnificent gift to the college
and the community has become so controversial," said Bob Blanc, the
Chairman of the land committee formed by the Mendocino College Foundation
after it received 1,800 acres of land northwest of the campus. The land
issue continues on the college campus regarding the land donated in 1995
by Thomas Evans to the foundation.
- The foundation's decision to sell the property has divided staff and
students with many feeling the land's value has not yet been evaluated
adequately. Others feel there has been enough discussion and most of the
land should be sold.
- "From the time the ranch was gifted, the plan was to sell some
of the land," said Blanc. The money gained by the sale of the land
will go to the foundation for use in scholarships and staff development
he said. One student upset about the land sale said it shouldn't be sold
"It is a gift to all students and is more valuable than money,"
said Derek Dahlen. (For more student input on the land issue look at Question
- The Foundation is in the process of selling over 60 percent of the
land donated. Blanc explained that the value of the land goes up slowly,
while value of money goes up quicker. This is the reason the Foundation
is liquidating a large portion of the land. He said only the interest on
the money from the sale will be spent on scholarships and staff development.
However, Blanc said that he "never sat down with any of the (Mendocino
College) staff to talk about the land."
- Science instructor Bob Wallen said that the science faculty was totally
left out of the decision to sell the land. In a recent Academic Senate
meeting Wallen called for a halt on all sale of the land on the market.
He said that the foundation has placed "economic value over educational
value" in its dealings with the land. Wallen said Mendocino College
could be "put on the map" by having an outside laboratory where
watershed research could go on. He knows of no other junior college that
has a watershed of this scale.
- Carl Ehmann, president of Mendocino College, disagrees that the science
faculty was left out and that the land sale should be disrupted. "I
don't think it (the sale) has to be halted. The science faculty had been
invited to participate in the discussion. I am hoping while people disagree
we can work together to get the best of both worlds. To sell property to
develop revenue for student and staff support and have upwards to 1,100
acres for various appropriate projects," Ehmann said.
- Over 14 times the size of our campus, the land given by Evans is the
largest gift ever to the foundation. The headwaters of Hensley Creek and
a portion of its drainage lie on this land. Wallen said "One of the
problems on our planet is that we are destroying our natural environments.
We have almost an intact watershed here; we want to show the educational
and instructional value of this land."
- The land committee has put aside a parcel with the headwaters on it,
Blanc said. " However it was not a specific goal of the land committee
to keep the entire Hensley creek drainage system."
Return to Index for this issue
| Eagle Home Page
Add your own comments about the College and
Webmeister: Mike Oliveria
Email: Mendocino College
Last Update: 5/3/98